Reshoring Gains

March 30th, 2017

According to Industry Week and the Reshoring Initiative, after two decades of job losses, we have turned the corner. In 2014, we had a net gain of 10,000 reshored jobs. And, clearly, this is picking up steam especially as we are in the thick of 2017.

According to the article, South Carolina is the top winner thus far, followed by Michigan and California (surprising; however, since Boeing is the 3rd largest reshoring company, it makes sense), Kentucky and Texas. Walmart and Ford were the top two reshoring companies. There is certainly a buzz with reshoring and near-sourcing.


We’ve received calls from several potential clients who are evaluating and/or have decided to bring back manufacturing. And, according to my newly released outsourcing/near-sourcing/in-sourcing research study, 70% of executives expect near-sourcing to increase. Stay tuned for the executive summary of the results of this study. In the interim, are you evaluating what makes sense for your supply chain? And, are you preparing for growth in a flexible and agile way?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

If you are interested in taking advantage of this rare opportunity, you must be prepared! Of course, we would not advocate hiring across-the-board in anticipation of potential new volume; however, do you know which of your customers are thinking of bringing manufacturing closer to customers? If so, will your business increase? If not, why not? What can you do to position yourself so that you reap the benefits? Do you know if this will have an impact on your mix? What is it? Start with your customer.

On the supply side, build flexibility and capabilities into your organization so that you can ramp up capacity rapidly to meet changing business conditions profitably. Get your team together and start thinking through these topics. And contact us if you’d like to gain the experience of a manufacturing business transformer who can partner with you to focus resources and attention on those priorities that will drive dramatic results.


Do You Really Support Empowerment?

March 28th, 2017

To be an effective leader oftentimes means empowering employees to make changes and decisions to help customers even if those decisions don’t align with yours.

The 80/20 of business success stems directly from leadership. The best leaders can make even the worst-performing teams excel and, unfortunately, the weakest leaders can drag down even the best of teams. A few questions to ponder include:

1. Does your culture encourage empowerment? Regardless of what you say, do people believe they will be rewarded for empowering employees?

2. Do your managers jump to answer questions or give their employees a chance to shine?

3. Do you communicate empowerment but would get upset if your employee made an empowered decision that created a month-end shipping crisis?

4. Do your employees understand the guidelines within which they can make an empowered decision?

5. Are you willing to live with and vocally support an empowered decision that doesn’t align with how you would have handled the situation?


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

Empower Your People to Grow 

Develop a Talent Edge 



Harvey Mudd College Wins APICS West Coast Student Case Competition

March 28th, 2017
APICS Student Case Competition

Harvey Mudd College won first prize in the undergraduate division of the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition and now moves on to national competition in San Antonio in October.

The APICS Southwest District recently hosted 23 teams in San Diego from the Western United States, Hong Kong and Mexico in a student case competition to solve computer-simulated supply chain problems, provide analysis and present their recommendations. Undergraduate team Harvey Mudd College won the top spot representing the Southwest District in the national competition in San Antonio, Texas. These simulations challenged students, most with backgrounds in operations management, supply chain management, business management, industrial engineering, or MBA students, to create solutions to the problems posed and provide the rationale for their recommendations. Their work cumulated into judged presentations explaining their strategies and proposed outcomes.

“I am always impressed with how well the students perform, and this year was no exception – in fact, they raise the bar higher every year,” explains APICS West Coast Student Case Competition co-chair Lisa Anderson of LMA Consulting Group, Inc. “This is such an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their supply chain and business management problem-solving talents and presentation skills to their peers, professors and potential employers. I am especially thrilled because Harvey Mudd is an APICS Inland Empire Chapter student team.”

Winning team member Katherine Shim of Harvey Mudd College was thrilled with the outcome, stating, “It was exciting to see the theories we learned at school working. It was a great opportunity to experience the power of teamwork and the effectiveness of a rigorous technical approach. Harvey Mudd College educates their students to become creative problem solvers who also effectively communicate with others as leaders.”

As in previous years, there were two separate divisions – a Graduate and an Undergraduate division. Ten teams competed in the graduate division, and 13 teams in the Undergraduate division. Arizona State University took first and second place in the Graduate division. Undergraduate division winner was Harvey Mudd College with second place awarded to San Diego State University. Harvey Mudd College received the highest overall score and will be invited to compete at a case competition at the APICS International Conference & Expo in San Antonio, TX in October, representing the Southwest District.

“The opportunity to apply supply chain principles has helped me achieve a deeper understanding and gain confidence in my skills,” shared Harvey Mudd student Joe Sinopoli. “I appreciate the resources that APICS provided to help us prepare. The environment of the competition was collegial, welcoming, and wonderful for networking. The shared knowledge and opportunity to hear ideas from students at other institutions has benefited my education.”

Saagar Anand, of Arizona State University, felt the competition provided valuable practical experience. “The simulation called for a deep understanding of what it takes to make a business profitable. We focused on getting to the root cause of the problem and used data analytics to make our decisions. The competition was one of the best I have attended as it simulated a real-world business situation by making us present to the Board of Directors. We had to explain the decisions we made and answer questions. It also fostered a good learning environment as one could see what other teams had done differently.”

Fellow ASU student, Moose Fritz, agreed, saying “The APICS West Coast student case competition was a tremendous experience which built upon the traditional analytical requirements of a simulation competition, demanding both teamwork and communication skills. This holistic learning system, combined with the chance to meet and network with professionals in the field, made this one of the most valuable experiences I have had at any level of education.”

Judging was provided by APICS professionals with extensive experience in supply chain and operations management with 50 percent of the final score focused on the return on investment results from their computer-simulated exercise and the other 50 percent graded on presentation effectiveness.

“Student case competition is about leadership, decision making, strategic thinking and communication. What a great experience for the students!” Prof. Kash Gokli, Professor of Manufacturing Practice at Harvey Mudd College.

The annual competition provides students with experience working as a team to solve supply chain issues that take place in companies today. Participants are able to showcase their talent for fellow students, professors and future employers. The event was coordinated and chaired by the APICS Southwest District Student Case Competitor Chairs APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group president, Lisa Anderson and The ACA Group’s Ellen Kane.

For more information on the competition, visit the APICS Southwest District Website.


Times Square and Marketing Appeal

March 27th, 2017

Recently, when I was in New York, I had the opportunity to walk down Times Square (pictured below). The people, the buzz and the lights are amazing — almost no matter what time you take a stroll. There is a certain appeal of the advertisements. TV shows that you didn’t care about previously look more enticing as they flash by on nearby buildings. Store advertisements seem more appealing than they do in print, on-line or on TV. Do you wonder why? There is a marketing appeal to walking in Times Square. How can we create this with our companies?

marketing appeal

One tip to implement this week:

No matter our job, we are all in the marketing business. Who doesn’t want their product, services, projects or even their own image to be attractive? It is why there are so many marketing resources working to help create the “right” image. It is also why services such as LinkedIn are so popular. What can you do to create the best image?

Start by getting clear on what benefits/outcomes your products, services, projects and people achieve. People do not care about what you want to convey; they care about what is in it for them — of course. So, how can you help them? Or how can you make them feel good? Times Square makes many people feel energized and excited. How can you create that sort of excitement about your product or service? Or, how can you make a potential employer or customer feel like they would be fortunate to do business with you? Simply start by getting clear on 1, 2 or 3 reasons. Then, you can move on to how to convey those reasons in a compelling manner.


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…”



LMA Consulting Group’s Lisa Anderson Is a Panelist for Drucker Supply Chain Forum

March 24th, 2017

Drucker Supply ChainLisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, CLTD, known as The Manufacturing Business TransformerSM and president of LMA Consulting Group, to participate as a panelist at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum to be held on Monday, March 27, 2017 at The Peter F. Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics, Claremont Colleges. Anderson, a sought after speaker on supply chain, customer service, skills gap, ERP, SIOP, and the Amazon Effect and its impact on business operations of manufacturers and distributors, will participate in the “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” panel at the Forum.

Anderson was recognized as a top 20 supply chain influencer by SAP, is board approved in supply chain strategy, was named a top 100 supply chain blogger on SupplyChainOpz and is soon to release a new book “I’ve Been Thinking: Strategies to Make and Keep Bold Customer Promises and Profits ” based on her weekly insights of leadership, customer service, supply chain, manufacturing and process improvement tips.  Anderson has also recently earned her APICS Certificate in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) in addition to her APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation. As a panelist at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum, Anderson will share her experiences and discuss the unique challenges and broad skill set required in the field of Supply Chain Management.

“I’m excited to participate on the “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” panel at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum.   This panel applies equally well to students and professionals as there is an unprecedented need for strong supply chain talent in the marketplace,” explains LMA Consulting President Lisa Anderson. “The end-to-end supply chain has become more complex, global and cornerstone to growth and profitability in companies; thus, top supply chain talent has become a differentiator to success.  As a former VP of Operations and Supply Chain for a mid-market manufacturer who has been consulting with diverse industries for the last 12 years, I’m looking forward to sharing what I’ve learned along the way and discussing the future of the supply chain professional.”

LMA Consulting Group helps growing companies elevate business performance while creating a customer service edge. Through a number of proven proprietary processes, LMA Consulting Group can pinpoint areas for improvement with eagle eye precision and develop the strategies to deliver results. Anderson, also known as The Manufacturing ConnectorSM, is currently working on a book entitled “The Amazon Effect” detailing a business roadmap to thriving in an ultra-competitive marketplace. A regular content contributor in topics including supply chain, ERP and SIOP, she has been interviewed for articles in publications like Industry Week, tED Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She actively posts educational blogs three times weekly and has three newsletters, Profit through PeopleSM and “I’ve Been Thinking” and “Supply Chain Briefing”.

Join the Discussion on Supply Chain

To register for the event click here or cut and paste this link into your browser For information about Lisa Anderson, go to or call 909.630.3943.