Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule

October 25th, 2016
5 second rule

We all know the 5 Second Rule when trying to recover and justify eating dropped food, but it also works to motivate yourself into action.

Keeping with the APICS 2016 theme, we can achieve profit through people by following the 5 second rule, according to Mel Robbins, commentator and legal analyst for CNN. Her point is “Do you think you’ll ever feel like doing what you need to do?… NEVER! Thus, follow the 5 second rule.

The 5 second rule: The moment you have the idea (to talk to someone, to email your boss, to present an idea to a key customer, or help a colleague), you have 5 seconds. Start doing something within 5 seconds. For example, if you want to talk with someone, start walking towards them. If you want to present an idea to a customer, write it down. Think of some small step that will get you going in the right direction. Otherwise, you’ll talk yourself out of it!

So, how can we use the 5 second rule?

  1. Tell your boss about an idea – can you imagine how many ideas we’d have if everyone just communicated one idea?
  2. Change one small thing you have wanted to change – it is amazing how often people just “get through their day” and don’t consider changing something to make their daily life better. Pick one small thing and do it.
  3. Tell one person about how you admire them – there has to be someone at work you think is doing a great job, has a great attitude, etc. Even if it is the President, go tell him/her. Pick up the phone.
  4. Introduce yourself to someone you wanted to meet – perhaps you’ve been interested in R&D but didn’t think anyone would listen. Ignore your inner voice and introduce yourself.
  5. Give constructive feedback to a colleague – this can be one of the hardest yet most appreciated things you can do. If you truly want to help, do it. You never know how effective it could be.

Mel has been wildly successful talking about the 5 second rule. She told us her story of being “down and out” and picturing a rocket taking off “5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..” and pushed herself to get out of bed. Who hasn’t felt that way before? From lying in bed to CNN – imagine what you could do if you followed the 5 second rule?


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Favorite Charities

October 24th, 2016

supply chain

When I led my ProVisors ONT meeting last week, we talked about our favorite charities. We are a group of trusted advisors for businesses (commercial bankers, commercial insurance, consultants, attorneys, etc.) yet discussing charities was a great exercise to get to know each other better which also improves our ability to collaborate and do business with each other. At the end of the discussion, we picked a name out of the attendees, and one of us walked away with the money collected for the charity of our choice. The winner gave the money to rescue the animals. Do you know what is meaningful to your colleagues?

I talked about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research because my dad had Parkinson’s. Although my mom extended his capabilities beyond the typical (for example, kept him walking with help longer than the typical person), it was a great struggle and Parkinson negatively impacted his ability to lead his life. It would be great for them to find a cure and/or to extend the quality of life.




One tip to implement this week:

The tip this week is quite simple. Find out what is important to your colleagues, your boss and/or your employees. Whether or not you can ever do anything to help with these causes, don’t you think it would be good to know what is important to them? I had no idea that some of the folks would pick the charities they talked about even though I have known them for many years. It was good to hear about these worthy causes.

Perhaps it will be a great start to your holiday season to spend a few minutes thinking about this topic….

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”


Research on Outsourcing Trends in Manufacturing

October 20th, 2016
Lisa Anderson

Manufacturing Connector Lisa Anderson initiates research study to better understand the outsourcing, nearsourcing and insourcing trends and how these practices impact manufacturers’ and distributors’ strategies.

LMA Consulting Group’s Lisa Anderson Conducts Research on Outsourcing Trends in Manufacturing

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group, is launching a third industry research study to help manufacturers, distributors and supply chain executives identify, understand and anticipate the trends in outsourcing, nearsouring and insourcing. On the heels of the recession and an earlier trend by business to outsource, many businesses have jumped on the outsourcing bandwagon only to reverse course and bring all or some of their production back in-house. Later hybrids of insourcing and nearsourcing have helped companies maximize total value and more effectively meet customer demand. The study will look at national trends and have a subset of Southern California business activities.

“It is our goal to be on the leading edge of trends impacting manufacturers and distributors so that we can recommend strategies to not only remain competitive but to thrive in today’s era of volatility,” explains Anderson. “Following on two of the most vital ingredients for success of any company – employees and customers – reflected in our Skills Gap research and Amazon Effect studies, we wanted to turn our attention to a topic receiving global attention that greatly impacts both employees and customers — outsourcing, nearsourcing and insourcing. I saw many executives follow the popular wave of outsourcing with short-sighted decisions to outsource key products because they thought they would save significant labor costs and be congratulated by corporate, Boards and the like, only to find out it wasn’t as easy or successful as they thought. Not only did they consume all sorts of resources in trying to manage the process, they also extended lead times, created disgruntled customers and often-times, stockpiled inventory. With the emergence of some of the newer, hybrid versions of nearsourcing and insourcing and with the rise of the customer in today’s Amazon-impacted and high-tech, automated world, I think it will be fascinating to see what can and should be reversed and what innovations can be developed to support this “what makes sense” strategy of positioning inventory close to the customer.”

Capitalizing on her over 25 years of experience advising manufacturers and distributors on supply chain, operations, ERP and SIOP, Anderson continually provides data that helps manufacturers and distributors focus in on which people, process and system improvements are essential to preparing their supply chains to create a sustainable advantage.

Qualified participants in manufacturing and distribution are welcome to complete the survey.  The complete Outsource, Nearsource and Insource report will be available in 2017. To receive the free report when it is available, register here to automatically be sent a copy.

For information about Lisa Anderson, go to or call 909.630.3943.


Unscrambling a Challenged System Implementation

October 18th, 2016
business man figuring it out

When faced with a challenging system implementation, take a step back and reassess instead of devoting more resources to a plan that may not work out.

From time to time, we receive a call from a client dealing with a challenged ERP implementation. Unfortunately, “challenged” is a nice word for most of these! Of course, by the time the client calls, they have spent a lot of money and are frustrated which isn’t a great starting point because unscrambling the situation is never an easy endeavor — assuming you want to provide service and make money.

Unscrambling these scenarios requires a unique combination of skills:

1. System thinking – as odd as it sounds, there is NOT a need for experience in the specific system. Certainly, it might add value but the most important skill is system thinking — connecting the dots in terms of how systems work, down-the-line impacts, how they’ll integrate with other process steps, etc.

2. Business process expertise – we find that this is a critical component. There are always several ways to perform a certain role or accomplish a task. Some of the ways will create positive down-the-line impacts while accomplishing your goal and some will work perfectly well for you (and might even be faster) but will create negative down-the-line impacts. The complication is that no documentation will tell you about these. This is where having “been there and done that” with multiple systems and process combinations is required.

3. Timing/sequencing – even if you have good system thinking and good process expertise, if you don’t “see” the various outcomes with different sequences and timing impacts, you’ll still end up in a jumble.

4. Project management expertise – unscrambling several moving parts requires a deep project management expertise. Organizing and tracking several moving parts and related impacts (prerequisite steps, concurrent steps, etc.) requires a skill in project management.

5. Relationships/communication – one would think we are asking for too much when we throw this topic into the mix but it is a key component. Often, there will be some technical capability required to resolve certain aspects. Thus, communicating effectively across applications and technical capabilities is a must. Additionally, your ERP and system partners (or lack thereof) might need to be addressed, improved and/or changed out. After all the frustration already incurred, it is essential to know quality resources.

6. Training/application understanding – this is an easy one to outsource once you know what is needed. Our clients typically think it is #1, yet it is the least critical aspect. Once the solution is known, it is easy to provide training.

Yes, it is one of those situations where there are no easy solutions. The fix itself could seem simple yet putting together a plan and executing the plan will turn complex. Our best advice is to take a step back and assess your situation. After spending a lot of money (that has become a sunk cost), the key will be to remain focused on what the best long-term solution will be to maintain and grow your business successfully. It will require more money than you hoped but you’ll “right the ship” so that you have a sustainable solution.

As an aside, if you happen to employ resources with many of these skills, hang on to them. Follow the advice of one of my best clients who hired top notch engineers during the recession when he didn’t need them. He now has them and will sail past his competition.


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US Roadmap 2025

October 17th, 2016
US Roadmap

It is critical for manufacturers and distributors to keep track of the rapidly changing factors that impact the supply chain including technological and workforce issues. The US Roadmap 2025 is a strategic study to weather and thrive amid current and future global disruptors.

The Material Handling and Logistics Association has taken the lead in updating the roadmap for supply chain and logistics for 2025. I participated in a strategy session focused on thinking about what is coming in ten years, what disruptors are likely to exist and how we should prepare to succeed in 2025. Southern California is #1 in both manufacturing and logistics; thus, there is much to think about to stay ahead of the curve and think about how technology, workforce, and other factors will affect logistics in the future.

For example, we discussed the impact – or lack thereof – of the Panama Canal. Although it is certainly an alternative, it might not be as much of a threat of the change in the origin of manufacturing. As manufacturing moves away from China, could different routes make other ports more viable? The advantage Southern California has is the sheer size and capability of the ports – they can handle big ships (which many others cannot), there is deep water, the equipment and infrastructure at the ports is available, etc. However, there are grave concerns about the 710 freeway coming out of the Long Beach port. Traffic and congestion is a big concern. What is likely to change in the next ten years? Can we collaborate with government? Will autonomous vehicles be commonplace? How about increasing truck traffic at night? There are many considerations to ponder.

It is wise to stay on the leading edge of what is of such critical importance to manufacturers, distributors, logistics providers and the economy. Think about attending local trade association events such as APICS Inland Empire’s executive panel and networking symposium on “Navigating the Global Supply Chain”. Read trade journals. Talk with colleagues. Ask experts. And join us at the Material Handling and Logistics Roadmap 2025 unveiling at ProMat in April 2017.

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