Category: Eagle Eye Strategic Focus

What is at the Cross-Section of Success?

March 4th, 2019

In thinking about the tours and events in which we’re recently participated, spoken or led, the audience represented a great cross-section of manufacturing and logistics industries, as well as company size:

  • Professional Women in Healthcare – spoke on the Amazon Effect
  • Aerospace & Defense Forum – spoke on the resilient supply chain
  • Anti-seminar themed Executive Luncheon – was a panelist on the topic of increasing demand
  • CSCMP state of the industry event – listened to the president of CSCMP discuss the latest statistics and timely topics in logistics
  • ProVisors manufacturers and distributors event – featuring a City National Bank expert discussing an economic forecast
  • The Founder of the UGG brand – talking about how he created the UGG brand and grew the company from the back of his van to what it is today
  • Tours of UPS, Amazon, Pacific Mountain Logistics, Shamrock Foods, Goodwill, Lifestream, ESRI and more.
  • Meetings with 9 academic institutions in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas
  • Harvey Mudd executive roundtable event –  M&A and preparing for sale
  • Webinars with APICS-IE on IoT and with the Society for the Advancement of Consulting on overcoming obstacles, leveraging PR and more.
  • And more…

So, what is at the cross-section of ALL of these tours, events and/or interactions?

The need for a resilient end-to-end supply chain!

What is in common is the sheer amount of volatility and disruption. Whether the disruptor or the disrupted, entire industries are transforming the way business is done. Some are preparing to have artificial intelligence and automation take over. For example, according to research performed at the University of Redlands, 60%+ of jobs are subject to automation by 2025. Others are dealing with massive benefits or disruption from changes in trade, depending on their role, while others choose to ignore the hoopla and are growing while everyone else is caught up in the chaos! And, this is just the beginning. Trade wars or not, many companies are near-sourcing, and looking at additive manufacturing and vertical integration.

What’s next? If you develop a resilient supply chain, the idea is you don’t have to worry because you’ll successfully navigate disruption to achieve peak performance. Contact us if you’d like to find out how to create a resilient supply chain.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on this topic:

Eagle Eye Strategic Focus

What’s Ahead for Supply Chain?

Collaboration in the Supply Chain

 



What’s Ahead for Business?

January 26th, 2019

Thinking about our clients, colleagues and trade association/ trusted partner contacts from across multiple industries and company sizes, four overarching themes emerge in response to the question, “What’s ahead for business?”.

 

 

  1. The Customer Experience: It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about manufacturing, logistics, healthcare or services, the customer experience is of paramount importance. This is quite different from customer service! The customer experience relates to how the customer feels after interactions with you and your firm. Whether you achieved perfect OTIF (on-time-in-full) or not, if the customer doesn’t want to do business with you, you haven’t achieved a superior customer experience. What will you do to up the ante?
  2. The Holistic View: Although this is a common thread in our client conversations, it isn’t commonplace. Having a Holistic View has become a “must” as the global marketplace is more interconnected than ever before; systems and technology are more connected with everyday interactions; and, the customer and profit go hand-in-hand. Clients who address a singular topic such as running a kaizen instead of looking at the holistic view of what will dramatically improve their business performance will be left in the dust. Are you looking at what your executives or board are asking about or are you taking a step back to look at your business from the holistic view?
  3. Volatility is the New Norm: The stock markets and business performance are becoming less and less related to one another.  Yet, both are volatile. There is uncertainty in global trade, government shutdowns, the impact of artificial intelligence and robots, natural disasters like the California fires, what the disruptors such as Netflix and Uber will do next and much more. Are you thinking about how to create a resilient end-to-end supply chain?
  4. The Coming Power of Manufacturing and Supply Chain:No matter your industry, you better pay attention! For example, according to a Healthcare Finance article, by 2020, supply chain expenses will eclipse labor as the new number one cost in healthcare. Also, according to a Chairman at the City of Hope, the cure for several types of cancer is within reach but will be cost prohibitive unless manufacturers figure out how to produce in volume and less expensively. Certainly, Amazon is turning the world upside down, creating an entirely new relevance to the art of maximizing service, inventory and margins simultaneously. Re-shoring is on the rise, additive manufacturing is uniquely positioned to transform industries (customized, immediate products on demand) and bringing the customer closer to the source is a recipe for success. Do you still see manufacturing as outsourced to China or as a force?

Our most successful clients will be thinking about these trends to integrate into their strategy, their customer conversations and their employee and partner plans. Are you positioned to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the risks? If you would like an expert to assess your situation, contact us.

Did you like this article?  Continue reading on this topic:

Do You Have an Eye to the Future?

Disruption, Innovation, Global Trends & the APICS-IE Symposium 

 



Keeping an Eye on Global Markets

September 1st, 2018

If there ever was a strategic topic of critical importance no matter your position in the supply chain, it is keeping an eye on global markets.  We’ve worked with clients who ONLY source materials, components and products from U.S.-based suppliers.  Yet, even they must pay attention to global markets to thrive.  Are you making this a priority?

There are countless reasons to stay informed of global markets.  First and foremost, we live in a global society. It isn’t practical to go through a day without coming into contact with products, services, people, currencies and more from around the world.

A few additional reasons to keep an eye on global markets:

  • Interconnected world – We live in an interconnected world.  A political risk in Asia can impact the price of your materials.  Or, a shortage of oil or gas (as an example) in one country can impact the price and availability elsewhere.
  • Economy & currencies – Currency exchange rates will have an impact somewhere in your supply chain whether or not it touches your product or service.
  • Tariffs & trade – Tariffs certainly can have an impact.  The impact can be far reaching and can be from areas that don’t directly touch your organization. In this case, you might have short-term pricing impacts or long-term strategic impacts of where to locate manufacturing or which countries and markets to pursue.  Hopefully, you are considering both.
  • Global customers – There might be unique opportunities in one part of the world to utilize your product or service with a greater benefit realized than in another part of the world.  Are you considering your options and expanding your mind to the possibilities?
  • Risk – There’s no doubt that mitigating risk alone is reason to keep track of global markets.  For example, earlier in my career when there were issues getting materials out of Brazil, we wouldn’t have been able to service customers if we hadn’t planned for a backup supply elsewhere in the world.  Similarly, we would have gone out of business if we relied on only local suppliers when a major hurricane hit our manufacturing plant.  Every local business was under water except us and even with a plan we were affected – were shut down for a short period of time because our employees could not get in or out of our facility.

Keeping an eye on global markets can become a full-time job. Clearly, few, if any, clients can afford that.  Thus, pursue ways to collaborate with customers, suppliers, trade associations and more to leverage insights. Minimally, put aside some time on a daily basis to watch for key trends.

 



Weigh in on Outsourcing, Near-Sourcing and Insourcing Trends in Research Survery

November 3rd, 2016

We need your help. Just as we have conducted previous research studies on Skills Gaps and The Amazon Effect, we are now working on a study that examines outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing trends for manufacturers and distributors. It has arisen as a hot topic within our clients and so our goal is to be able to provide timely expertise and trends to help our clients navigate this topic in the best way to achieve growth, customer loyalty, profitability and cash flow.

In the last several years, it has become obvious that we are living in an Amazon-impacted world. Customers expect rapid deliveries, 24/7 accessibility and products and services tailored to their needs. Thus, the traditional sourcing from Asia (with the longer lead times associated with it) has created a significant challenge. Additionally, for non-commodity products, the total costs of outsourcing are rising to parity with North America sources. And, of course, risks abound. Thus, executives are reacting to these factors and re-thinking their strategies about outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing.

Have you outsourced, thought about sourcing or plan to in the future?

outsource, research, survey, manufacturing, outsourcingWe want to hear from you. As manufacturing reignites, executives are re-evaluating their end-to-end supply chains in response to elevated customer expectations, increasing labor rates in low cost countries, concerns about “too much” money tied up in inventory due to lengthy lead times and worries about the increased level of risk and disruption in the supply chain. Combinations of outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing solutions are increasingly popular as a way to optimize customer service, cost and cash flow. What have you done and/or learned? What are you currently doing? Do you have outsourcing, near-sourcing and insourcing future plans? Complete the survey and help others facing the same decisions make better decisions.

Register to Get the Outsourcing Research Results

Again, I thank you in advance for participating. I always receive great feedback from these studies and we can’t do them without your input. Don’t forget to register for the free report that we will send upon completion of the outsource research. And feel free to let me know of any other topics we should consider researching.



Global Is “In”

July 5th, 2016

profit through peopleOne of the reasons my global advisory board has been as valuable as its been is because it is global. We have people from the U.S., Australia and Japan with experiences from all around the world, and we are supported by a wider community with people from almost every continent. Looking through a U.S. lens might seem expansive to someone who has spent his/her lifetime in one state or on the east coast or the west coast yet it is narrow as compared to global impacts surrounding business on a daily basis.

No matter what you think in terms of politics and the like, it is imperative that you understand global impacts. For example, with the China struggles going on earlier this year, manufacturers should be on high alert for future quality issues. Have you been considering that? When I was in Australia for my strategy session, we discussed the impact of the strong U.S. dollar. Certainly it made my trip less expensive; however, it has far reaching impacts. Which countries should companies source from? Should they hedge? Should they in-source? There are vast numbers of questions to think about.

Within the last week, Europe has certainly had a strong impact on not only the stock markets but the global economy. What will Brexit mean? What decisions should companies be making now for impacts that will occur within the next 1-5 years? How should they mitigate risk?

The Olympics is another global topic. The Zika virus has certainly impacted attendance. How will companies protect their employees? Are athletes willing to take the risk? Money was poured into preparation for the Olypmic games. What will happen if it falls short?

It doesn’t matter what you think about globalization. It is all around us. The only question is whether you’ll be prepared and thinking ahead on how to best prepare and leverage for likely global impacts.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

The Impact of China’s Slowdown

The Hidden Benefit of Observation