Appreciate Your Colleagues on New Year’s

December 31st, 2015
appreciate your colleagues

People are your most valuable asset in business. In 2016 find meaningful ways to reward them, collaborate further and celebrate successes.

As we head into the New Year, remember your most valuable asset – people!  Start with your employees as customers, suppliers and others will not matter if your employees are not taking care of them. Tell them about their value. Say thank you. Notice what is important to them. Reward them with what is important to them. Celebrate successes. Provide training, mentoring and resources. Listen. It will cost you little to nothing yet achieve BIG results – and, more importantly, create happy employees.

Next, expand to your other business partners. Collaborate for success. Share your goals. Ask about their goals. Find win-win solutions. Even better – look for win-win-win solutions throughout your supply chain. Pick up the phone to say thank you. Find out how you can help with one of their objectives, whether or not it seems to relate to your collaboration. Small, meaningful steps forward with your relationships will add up to significant success.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to Profit Through People:

On Pace with Strongest Job Growth in 15 Years – Think about Training

Profit through People: Making the Connection in Manufacturing


Avoid New Year’s Resolutions

December 30th, 2015

supply chainThe New Year is known for resolutions and goals. However, I concur with my consulting mentor — what’s the point of setting resolutions at the New Year? What is magical about doing it on 12/31? Absolutely nothing. If you set a resolution, stick to it for a few weeks and then give up, are you any better off? No! Instead, think about creating a continuous process. For example, when I was a VP of Operations for a mid-market manufacturer, we set 3 goals per quarter and continually reviewed and revised with changing business conditions. Why wait until the New Year to do what you should be doing continually?

One tip to implement this week:

The great news about following more of a logical path of setting goals and resolutions vs. making grandiose statements on the New Year is that the execution “sticks”. Pick one to three things you’d like to accomplish (whether work or personal) and schedule them in your calendar. It might be unlikely you’ll accomplish one of these with just one calendar occurrence. Start with what makes the most sense. Plan how you’ll accomplish the goal or start with step one. Then, day by day, make sure you are moving forward on these 3 goals. Make it a part of the daily routine. Put it in your calendar. Soon, you’ll accomplish far more than you ever did with a New Year’s resolution!

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…”


You’ll Learn More by Teaching

December 29th, 2015
learn more by teaching

Teaching a topic not only makes you a stronger subject matter expert, but also helps you develop better communication and presentation skills.

Have you ever heard the saying, “you’ll learn more by teaching” than most other options? I can vouch for this first hand. I am President of the APICS Inland Empire Chapter (#1 trade association for supply chain and operations management professionals), and we offer highly respected and sought after certifications in the industry. Thus, we have several instructors teach courses on the fundamentals of manufacturing and distribution — and on advanced topics such as lean manufacturing. I have team-taught our CSCP (certified supply chain professional) classes, and I guarantee you learn more by teaching! Teaching can be hard work — the best instructors make the sessions interactive, provide real-world examples, engage the audience, etc.

The same is true with my clients. I have taught a session or one-on-one far more often to implement a particular best practice with a client than I have in a group setting like APICS classes. Either way, the class will ask questions and poke holes in your concepts. Thus, you have to be on your feet, experienced and able to think in the moment to be a successful teacher. It is well worth developing your skill set in teaching. You’ll be surprised by what you lean. Try it out with your colleagues — pick your best topic and teach it. Ask your colleague to do the same. Ask for feedback. Adjust as it makes sense. Go to a class on communication and presentation skills. For example, in APICS we offer train-the-trainer courses and ask our instructors to re-take the class every few years. Ask for a mentor. Results will follow.  

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to Profit Through People:

Never Stop Learning

Do You Have Engaged Employees?


Seasons Greetings

December 24th, 2015
seasons greetings

Treat yourself during the holidays in the company of family and friends.

I wanted to take this opportunity to take this opportunity to wish my clients, colleagues, family and friends a happy and healthy holiday season!

Doesn’t this picture look decadent! I thought it looked wonderful ­­— especially to sit back and relax with this Christmas assortment (even better if someone delivers it to you). In today’s Amazon-paced world it seems like we all could use a minute to think and relax. Thus, I wanted to pass it on to you with a wish for just that, surrounded by family and friends this holiday season.

Thank YOU for another successful year — my 10-year milestone (with a big shout out to my LMA Advocates), my continued business growth, new and interesting client projects & results, engaging APICS events & a fabulous Board of Directors (they dramatically increased the value we provide, and I want to pass on my gratitude), an engaging and collaborative ProVisors group (you won’t find beter trusted advisors anywhere!), trusted alliances (such as the ACA Group and the Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable), and most importantly great times spent with friends and family.

This year, I’d like to pay special tribute to my dad. I was fortunate to spend my dad’s birthday with him a few days prior to his stroke and eventual passing. He was a consummate family man and he and my mom are the catalyst behind my success. They had the unwavering belief that I could accomplish anything I wanted. And if I tried my best, that was all that mattered.

For example, I remember that I first realized I was woman in a male-dominated field when my wonderful colleague Bill Weber asked me how I felt about being the only woman at a Board of Directors meeting (where they would have preferred a white-haired graduate from Harvard; however, thank goodness, my CEO wanted someone who delivered results).


Turning to the New Year, I look forward to kicking off my next 10 years with gusto. I plan to starty off early next year by wrapping up the book I’ve been writing on the Amazon Effect — and, of course, much of my focus will be on collaborating with clients to help them achieve even greater levels of success.

I am going to AZ to spend Christmas with my family and will help my mom with some jobs around the house, and I’ll be back in CA for New Year’s with friends — hopefully sleeping in, enjoying a few movies and grabbing a bite to eat at one of my favorite restaurants (ones with guacamole!).

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous 2016!


Keeping in Touch

December 21st, 2015

supply chainAs we are in the holiday season, it certainly seems like a good time to keep in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues. What are you doing to make sure your contacts know they are valued? For example, I have heard from several contacts I haven’t talked to in a while. It is nice to catch up and remember the importance of people. As I say in my consulting business, people are #1 to success. And isn’t it just a great time of year to keep in touch anyway?

One tip to implement this week:

The great news is that the holidays provide a great reason to keep in touch. I prefer to use the personal touch. Write a hand-written note in a holiday card. Pick up the phone to let them know you appreciate them. Schedule a time to get together and catch up. Send a personalized email or video card.

In my ProVisors group, we had a conversation about this topic. The key is to do something of high quality that stands out from the crowd vs. the non-personal touch. Think about something a little different. Don’t just send something to check it off your list. Put thought into it to value the relationships. Don’t worry if you haven’t started. It is a fantastic opportunity through the New Year to leverage this opportunity.

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…”