APICS Inland Empire Chapter Spring 2015 Symposium – Focus on Innovation

March 31st, 2015
APICS Inland Empire Chapter

APICS Inland Empire Chapter Spring 2015 Executive Panel & Networking Symposium, on May 2nd, promises an informative agenda focusing on supply chain innovation.

Knowing how precious the weekends are for busy supply chain, manufacturing and distribution professionals needing to recharge their internal batteries, we’ve been hard at work carefully preparing another informative symposium and networking event.

The ideas-rich symposium will give attendees time to network as well as participate in an expert panel discussing how our current business climate demands we innovate, how companies have integrated innovation into their cultures and where to look for new ideas to remain competitive.

For our Spring 2015 Executive Panel & Networking Symposium, we are proud to have assembled a dynamic panel including the nationally-recognized authority in the transportation sector and on the global supply chain, Fran Inman, a member of the California Transportation Commission and VP of Majestic Realty, Chief Procurement Officer Rich Malone of WET, an innovative company that builds and installs the world’s biggest fountains like Las Vegas’ Bellagio, and Bob Bennett, president of Lean Consulting Associates, LLC and former Lean expert for Toyota.

Please join us for an informative panel discussion, breakfast buffet and the opportunity to meet peers and network with others in our industry. Here are the details:

Saturday, May 2nd

8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Eagle Glen Golf Club

1800 Eagle Glen Pkwy.

Corona, Calif. 92883

Register here and join us for an invigorating morning of conversation, information and fellowship. Also remember to get these benefits year round by becoming a member of APICS-IE.


The Value of SIOP

March 30th, 2015

supply chainI’ve been thinking about the value of SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning). Not only can it be a great way to gain bottom line results (capacity to support business growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow), but it also can help align the functions of an organization. I’ve facilitated three executive SIOP meetings in the last few weeks. In each case, the process brought up critical business topics not otherwise addressed and better aligned the people on one page with one plan.

For example, in one of the executive SIOP meetings, the “next” potential bottleneck surfaced through the SIOP data. Instead of it being a contentious topic as it typically had been, it was brought up as just the “next” area of focus in order to keep the momentum flowing in the right direction. This can make a significant difference to teamwork as folks rally around a mutual plan for success instead of fighting over turf battles.

One tip to implement this week:

SIOP is not something that you’d implement in a week; however, the basis of SIOP is culture change. Start by thinking about how to get everyone on one page. Perhaps the best way to do that is to start by listening. Ask your colleagues for their thoughts and ideas for success. I find that almost all “goldmines” are found with people who already exist within an organization but are either not valued or no one thought to ask them. Simply ask people for their ideas and listen.

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…”


Mixed Messages Is a Motivation Killer

March 27th, 2015
mixed messages kill motivation

One of the worst work experiences is not knowing how to proceed. When supervisors give mixed messages morale takes a dip.

Mixed messages from leaders not only harm results but they also are a motivation killer! I’ve had several situations arise recently from a variety of clients and contacts related to the harm of mixed messages, and so I thought it appropriate to discuss. According to my Skills Gap research, 77% of manufacturers and distributors are having trouble finding the required skills to support their business. Thus, the last thing we can afford is to make that situation worse by de-motivating our stars with mixed messages!

For example, a superstar performer at one of my clients received recognition last month for her exemplary work. This month, she was called out in a meeting for doing something that didn’t seem to align with “standard work”.  The interesting thing is that what she is doing is an IMPROVED process. Talk about confusing and de-motivating to be called out for doing something ‘good’ (although viewed as bad) while the majority in the meeting are not achieving the baseline goal yet were not called out! As odd as this seems, I find that it is not uncommon.

As leaders, we must take time to think about how our messages are perceived. If we want to thrive, we need the FULL motivation and focus of our employees, especially are star players. Thus, we must ensure we “do what we say” and “say what we do”. We also need to think through when and how we bring up poor performance. In my example, there was no poor performance; however, if there were, it is not effective to bring it up in a meeting full of the employee’s peers. I’ve found that it is quite possible to turn poor performance into high performance with constructive feedback and mentoring.

Additionally, if we do not address poor performance, it is the largest de-motivator to star employees. Although more comfortable for the leader (as you don’t have to have the hard conversations), it is one of the best ways to lose top performers. They will go where they are appreciated. Although the lack of money is a de-motivator, money alone is not a motivator. The vast majority of employees are motivated by contributing to the company’s success and by being valued for their work. Think long and hard before chasing away your top performers!

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Perseverance Counts

March 24th, 2015

supply chainI’ve been thinking about perseverance. I can attribute the majority of my success throughout the years to perseverance. I guarantee I’ve passed by people who were smarter and more talented by not giving up. My parents have been instrumental in this process because they always made me think that I could do anything I set my mind to achieve, and they demonstrated persistence.

Historically my Mom has been known for her perseverance; however, I have to say that my Dad has taken his challenging lot of Parkinson’s in combination with multiple stroke recoveries with just about as positive an attitude as possible (and my Mom pushing behind him).

I just got back from AZ for a brief visit and to help them with errands, etc. My dad’s Parkinson’s is getting worse, and I really hope he can maintain. My dad’s doctor told my mom that she is obviously doing a great job in keeping him active; otherwise he wouldn’t be walking; period. Persistence pays off. The same is true in work life. When you run into an obstacle, do you stop? Or do you find new ways to succeed?

One tip to implement this week:

Perseverance starts with your state of mind. When the first thing goes awry this week (whether BIG or small), take a few extra minutes to think about it before you react. What would you typically do? What is your end objective? How will your reaction positively or negatively affect your end objective? Try not to blame. We all know people who still blame their parents for things that happened 70 years ago or who blame their boss for screwing up their career. It is easy to do so don’t worry about the past. Instead, put that energy to use in a different way. Look for potential solutions. I guarantee that if you shift your mindset, success will follow – if you give it enough time and persistance.

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…”


The Value of Feedback

March 24th, 2015
feedback  from clients and staff

Show you care about service and improvement by being open to customer feedback surveys and employee opinions.

Feedback can be invaluable; however, it can also be the opposite. As my HR mentor used to say, do not react to all feedback. Consider who is providing the comment. Sometimes, people mean well and provide feedback; however, it is not appropriate or accurate. Sometimes, people are jealous, and it taints the feedback. On the other hand, critiques can often times provide immense value from the right people and in the right circumstances.

Be open to reviews. Request it from those you trust will provide honest (at least from their perspective) and value-added information. For example, I’ve always encouraged feedback as it can accelerate your progress. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, consider it a gift. If people didn’t care, they wouldn’t tell you. And, you know which comments to ignore from those who want to hurt you. Listening to feedback also lets people know that you value their input. Don’t overlook the importance of feedback!

In addition, if you have people reporting to you, provide feedback. Do NOT wait until performance reviews. Provide feedback continually – both positive and constructive. Once people realize you are interested in their success, they will listen and value your opinion. Be specific with positive reviews. How else will the recipient know what to repeat and build upon? Be clear with ideas for improvement and provide opportunities to try them out. Even if you don’t have people reporting to you, provide feedback. Make sure you approach them in a good way; however, make time to provide them with thought-out value.

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