Strategic Pricing

October 31st, 2016

supply chain

I’ve been working with a new client recently on digging into costs; however, we aren’t taking the traditional cost-cutting approach. Of course, the more efficient and less costs required to run a manufacturing operation, the better, assuming customer service, cash and other metrics remain intact. However, if you take the big picture, cross-functional view of costs and process improvements, you are bound to find opportunities.

In this case, if we can find opportunities, we can go from being a small player in a new market with significant potential to being a going concern. If we are losing deals because of pricing, there might be an opportunity to think differently and design a new formula for success. Lower prices across-the-board is rarely better. Instead, think strategically about pricing.

For example, we followed a strategic pricing strategy when I was a VP of Operations for a mid-market manufacturer. In that case, we knew that if we covered variable costs and strategically priced while considering the break-even point and contribution margin, we could cover key costs, grow the business and increase profitability. We followed the plan and results followed. If we had kept going down the current path, we would never have sold the business for a significant profit because results would have been “too slow”. In today’s Amazon-paced world, you can miss your opportunity in a blink of an eye.

One tip to implement this week:

For this week, depending on your position and expertise on pricing, my suggestion is to learn about pricing. How significant a variation does your company provide in pricing? Why? Are there certain volumes, combinations of items or special circumstances that reduce costs so that you can pass on some of the savings to your customers? Do you know what market pricing dictates

If you are already on top of pricing, take a step back and think about pricing from a strategic standpoint. How important is pricing as a reason your customers buy from you instead of the competition? What is most important to them? Are there certain customers or products where an increased level of sales would make your company more attractive to investors, customers and other stakeholders? What are your trade-off’s with profitability? Have you thought about pricing differently based on ABC customers and/or products? Gather your team and discuss. Golden nuggets might just arise.

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…”


Lisa Anderson Presents “The Increased Need for More Control, Speed and Profit”

October 27th, 2016

Join LMA Consulting Group President, Lisa Anderson, as she hosts an interactive discussion on how supply chain leaders can make their businesses thrive when they’re up against shorter lead times, increasing risks and labor rates.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group and a sought after manufacturing, distribution and supply chain consultant, speaker and writer who works with manufacturers and distributors in aerospace, building products and food is presenting “The Increased Need for More Control, Speed and Profit: How to Thrive in the Environment” in a TalentStream webinar on Wed, November 2, 2016, at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT. As the recession is long over and manufacturing has been reigniting, executives are re-evaluating their end-to-end supply chains in response to the critical importance of short lead times, 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. This presentation will feature an interactive discussion on how supply chain and operations leaders can re-configure their supply chain and re-focus their efforts to not only remain competitive but to thrive in this environment.

“In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, customers expect rapid deliveries and 24/7 accessibility at low prices. Executives are turning previous notions about offshoring upside down,” explains Anderson. “And although there are key challenges, customers don’t want to hear about our obstacles, they just want their orders faster. If we ignore these demands, we risk our customers going to our competitors who can get them what they need when they need it at the right price and level of service.”

“Since service has risen to a level of critical importance, I’m starting to see my clients and colleagues consider what it will take to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and/or to nearby countries. I’m conducting a research study to dig into this topic in more detail so that my clients can stay ahead of the curve. Success will not follow those late to the party. Customers will go to those who have the right product at the right price at the right location at the right time. Join us for the webinar to find out how supply chain management is becoming strategic to business growth and success.”

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.

TalentStream, a recruiting company that helps emerging technology companies secure the right people, the most critical piece of the puzzle to build and grow a successful business, is hosting the complimentary webinar. Registration is required.


APICS-IE Symposium Spotlights Global Supply Chain

October 26th, 2016
global supply chain

The October 29 Fall Executive Panel & Networking Symposium will focus on managing and navigating Global Supply Chains giving manufacturing and logistics attendees access to an expert panel with international law, global supply chain and manufacturing and international trade experience.

APICS Inland Empire Symposium Sets Stage for Global Supply Chain Strategies, Compliance, and Sourcing Decisions

The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS,  the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, will be delivering an international-focused meeting on global supply chain trends and strategies at its Navigating Global Supply Chain Fall Executive Panel & Networking Symposium on October 29  in Corona, Calif. Expert panelists including international business attorney John Tulac; Josie Vigil, Director of Supply Chain Operations for B. Braun Medical Inc.; Pooya Kabirir, Vice President of Engineering & Operations at Combustion Associates, Inc.; Elizabeth Warren, Executive Director for FuturePorts; and Luke Haylock, Global Director of New Product Development for Alcoa. The panelists will discuss global trade, the evolving requirements and regulations and how to balance customer needs, cost, cash flow and compliance. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of global supply chain strategic thinking, global disruptors and how to best manage these impacts in the manufacturing and distribution of products. In addition to a focused conversation on global supply chain, attendees will have time to network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to also help them build their career.

“We’ve assembled a panel that touches on all of the strategic, compliance and operational aspects of a global supply chain, says Lisa Anderson, President of APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group. “We are fortunate to have a community of professionals, including speakers, sponsors and members, committed to helping attendees gain value so that they walk away with strategies and new concepts to lead their companies and functions, provide valuable input on key initiatives and develop their personal careers. Gaining a competitive edge in the global supply chain requires a team approach!”

Sponsors this year include Arbela TechnologiesBrandman UniversityManufacturing Executive Institute, and Compete Consulting Group. Event supporters provide additional value to attendees serving as a resource and advocates of this symposium’s focus on the ‘Global Supply Chain’. Compete Consulting Group, a new sponsor of APICS-IE, values the community of experts and resources that the Symposium will bring together to help those considering or trying to make improvements to their logistics operations. “Like APICS-IE does for its membership through the educational topics they present, it is our business to provide a new level of visibility and cost savings within the shipping industry,” notes Josh Dunham, Managing Partner of Complete Consulting.

With so many moving parts, it takes a virtual international village to support companies in navigating the global supply chain. “A global supply chain has so many connections and complexities that leveraging the right system to bring it all together is critical to the success of a business,” said Amir Khoshniyati of Arbela Technologies. “As part of the APICS-IE Symposium, we look forward to collaborating with attendees and hearing more about the secrets to success in navigating the supply chain. We are proud to support APICS-IE in delivering such a value-packed program.”

The APICS-IE Executive Panel & Networking Symposiums draws attendees from all over Southern California. Held twice yearly, platinum sponsor Manufacturing Executive Institute actively promotes attendance at the Symposium. “We support APICS-IE in providing opportunities for our members to learn from experts on topics like global growth and supply chain,” states Maggie Watson, Manufacturing Executive Institute. “We are proud to sponsor APICS-IE as we offer complimentary training programs and are dedicated to bringing relevant knowledge to individuals who are interested in making dramatic improvements in their manufacturing and distribution companies.”

Brandman University, a leading provider of undergraduate and graduate programs including those focused in supply chain management, is supportive of the APICS-IE programming and encourages students to attend. “Brandman University is proud to partner with APICS-Inland Empire to equip and empower this great community and region with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to have the finest supply chain professionals in the U.S.” says Nick Lacy, Director of National Relations.

The APICS-IE Fall Symposium: Navigating Global Supply Chain will be held Saturday, October 29, 2016 at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM are $15 for members, $25 for non-members and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included. Register online or cut and paste this link into your browser:


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?


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

Motivating Your Team

Three C’s to Leadership Success


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…”