Tag Archive: profit through people

What is Walmart Doing?

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I sat on a panel of experts for Mobility 21’s annual conference titled “Speed to Delivery: Good’s Movement’s High-Tech Future“. It was a fascinating meeting and panel discussion due to the amazing amount of technology being discussed to address the future of transportation. One of the panelists was the Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart. Walmart has come up in several circles lately. One of our clients supports Walmart’s stores, and so we learned quite a lot about their fulfillment processes, demand planning practices and, of course, their new OTIF (on-time-in-full) metrics. We also discussed Walmart service with a 3PL partner, and, of…
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Which Business Best Practices Do Top Notch Trusted Advisors See?

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In my ProVisors ODAM (Ontario-hosted Distributors and Manufacturers group – don’t you love the play on words?) meeting this month, we discussed business best practices we’ve seen with our manufacturing and distribution clients. It was a fascinating discussion as our group is diverse and consists of the most respected attorneys, CPAs, commercial insurance, business financial advisers, and consultants from around Southern California. Yet, we agreed rather quickly on core best practices. Thanks to Ron Penland for making the meetings engaging and trend-worthy. Here are some of the top themes surrounding best practices: Start by understanding financial statements and cost –…
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What are the Best Referrals You’ve Received?

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I lead a group of trusted advisors for ProVisors in the Inland Empire, and we celebrated our five year anniversary in September. It was a fun celebration and interesting to see how many long-term members we have, who have gained significant benefit from participating in the group. I very much appreciate my executive committee as they helped create this amazing success. A BIG THANK YOU to Kathy McEntee, Gus Marantidis, James Valmonte, Jan Palmer, Dana Mitchellweiler, Steve Nosenchuck, John Tulac and Mike Kouyoumdjian. At the anniversary event, we talked about our best referrals, introductions, resources or assistance gained during our tenure in…
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How To Know If Your Old Business System Is Just Fine

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We cannot tell you how many clients call thinking they need a new system to support their business when they simply don’t! Certainly, there is a time to upgrade to a new business system, when you’ve outgrown your old one (for example: QuickBooks with add-ons like Fishbowl), or your old system is highly customized and unsustainable, or when you are in the midst of a merger or acquisition. However, before jumping to the conclusion that your system must be upgraded, think twice. Any ERP transformation project will be expensive (more than you think!) and resource intensive. With that said, it…
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Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain

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There is an ever-increasing interest in emerging technologies for supply chain. When thinking of your end-to-end supply chain – from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing and distribution operations, to your customers’ customers – you must consider technology to have any hope of achieving success. In today’s Amazon-impacted environment, rapid information and product flow must be accompanied with low-cost and efficient supply chains to maximize the customer experience, profitable growth and cash flow. Trending technologies to consider in your strategic discussions include the following: Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing – it is no longer just for R&D. The progressive…
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Why Executives Should Care About ERP Strategy

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Lately, we’ve been called in by several clients with ERP challenges that directly impact business growth and success. Do you desire profitable growth? If so, add ERP into your strategic discussions. Would you delegate a decision that could literally make or break your customer service, profit margins (or lack thereof) and ability to grow? I think not! ERP Strategy Matters There has been a widespread need to consider ERP as a strategic topic. For example, these scenarios have arisen in just the last month: In one manufacturing company, the ERP system was holding them back from growing. For a family-owned…
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Who Should You Follow? A Guide to Good Mentoring Relationships

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We recently took on one of our first consulting mentoring projects. Since our focus is on delivering growth and profitability for manufacturing and distribution companies, we work mainly with business-to-business. With that said, every consulting project involves some level of coaching – mentoring – to people working on those businesses to deliver results. And since we consider results to be the 80/20 of our business, we put a lot of attention on coaching the appropriate employees (from line supervision to the executive team) to achieve a desired outcome. So when a consulting mentorship opportunity arose with a mentee who was…
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Are You Asking Good Questions?

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There is a shocking number of clients and colleagues that struggle, gather teams, run kaizen events and do all sorts of other activities (and throw good money after bad more frequently than anyone cares to admit) to improve operations (improve the customer experience/service levels at greater profit and margins levels) while missing the most obvious answer — asking good questions. We’ve found that asking good questions can be the “secret weapon”. Thus, we’ll ask questions about asking questions… 1. Before leaping to a standard toolkit such as “run a kaizen event,” have you asked common sense questions? Is common sense uncommon in…
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Do You Really Support Empowerment?

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The 80/20 of business success stems directly from leadership. The best leaders can make even the worst-performing teams excel and, unfortunately, the weakest leaders can drag down even the best of teams. A few questions to ponder include:  Does your culture encourage empowerment? Regardless of what you say, do people believe they will be rewarded for empowering employees?  Do your managers jump to answer questions or give their employees a chance to shine?  Do you communicate empowerment but would get upset if your employee made an empowered decision that created a month-end shipping crisis?  Do your employees understand the guidelines…
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Case Study in Accelerating High Performers

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Situation: Our client had a select few high performers in their organization amidst a sea of average performers and a few non-performers. As is typical, all the attention went to resurrecting the non-performers as problems followed them wherever they went. Angry customers. Lost profit. Etc. At the same time, the high performers were frustrated by the slowness of progress and concern for their future. Path Forward: The solution can be quite contrarian to what 80% of leaders follow. Forget about your non-performers. Stop spending time trying to resurrect poor performers. Give them tools to perform, hold them accountable and move them out…
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