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Drucker Supply Chain Forum Executives Share What They Look for in Supply Chain Professionals

April 11th, 2017

What are executives looking for in supply chain professionals? That was the topic of the panel I participated in at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum with executives from the Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. So, what is the consensus?

1. Broad knowledge– Supply chains are global and more complex in today’s world. Thus, a broad and diverse set of skills is required to be successful in the field. If you have the opportunity to try a new area you wouldn’t have requested, give it a shot. You might just enjoy it. Worst case, you’ll have built skills that will come in handy as you move forward in the supply chain profession.

2. Technology– There is no doubt about it. Supply chain and technology skills must go hand-in-hand. If you aren’t keeping up with what’s needed to be effective in the current environment while also looking ahead, you’ll be left in the dust. Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum. Cloud computing is the norm. Collaborating across your supply chain is becoming commonplace. Are you on top of these topics?

3. Communication & presentation skills– Unfortunately, no matter how smart your solutions and ideas, none will proceed if you cannot present them effectively. And, that is just one aspect. Consider how to collaborate across your supply chain without these skills. Not feasible.

4. Risk– Your supply chain cannot be effective without thinking about the impact of risk. There are countless types of risk around us – cyber, natural disasters, financial, political etc. Have you at least considered the most impactful and likely risks?

5. Sustainability – This topic continues to gain steam and popularity. Are you thinking about how to turn sustainability into a win-win-win?   

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

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The L.A. Times & Automation

April 10th, 2017

supply chainI toured the Los Angeles Times last week and was impressed with the automation. Although newspapers seems like an old business, it was impressive in pure size and volume with minimal people. The business sprawls 2400 acres and is run with 200 people. There were robots to move huge rolls of paper through the facility. There was automated equipment that brought the papers from the machine to the next room over where it was compiled into stacks. We were fortunate to go inside a paper machine and see just how fast the paper ran by (although the example below was stopped at the time).

automation

Certainly, the LA Times invested in automation. However, when I asked that question, the answer was that most of this technology wasn’t new. I find this is true with clients as well — it’s interesting how often what can seem like ‘old’ technology can provide vast improvement to the status quo. Have you looked for opportunities lately?

One tip to implement this week:

As much as we love to talk about the latest and greatest technology such as artificial intelligence or drones, the majority of the time there is a vast opportunity to implement technology that might be less exciting and/or considered ‘older’ but one that will improve productivity, profitability and the like. Have you looked at your already-existing assets for new uses?

For example, I’ve implemented vendor managed inventory or collaborative inventory planning with customers many times throughout my career because it provides a win-win in HUGE proportions. It isn’t new but it achieves significant results — shorter lead times, better service, lower costs, less inventory, etc. What can you do in your business that would achieve a similar result? Think about automation. Push the envelope in thinking. And, remember, some of the best ideas come from unlikely places and with unlikely tool sets.

 

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…”

 



3 Takeaways from the Drucker Supply Chain Forum

April 5th, 2017
supply chain experts

The Drucker Supply Chain Forum engages a diverse group of supply chain experts to not only discuss trends and potential global disruptions, but also core values, employee engagement and careers in supply chain, logistics and distribution.

At the Drucker Supply Chain Forum held recently, there was a panel of distribution executives from Amazon, Toyota, QVC and Komar discussing “Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage”. I’ve found that if all of my clients (or my best clients) have something in common or emphasize the same point, I should pay attention. In this case, the themes noted by every successful executive included:

1. Core values– interestingly, we found that establishing and living by core values was integral to success when I was a VP of Operations for PaperPak. The executive panel agreed. Do you have values? Do your employees know them? Do they think you live by them? Don’t even think about discussing values if you cannot live by them as you’ll lose more ground than you ever thought possible. But, if you plan to live by them, values can be hugely successful.

2. Engagement– again, this warranted several pages in my upcoming book, “I’ve Been Thinking: Strategies to Make and Keep Bold Customer Promises and Profits”, as I’ve always found it crucial to success. It is simply amazing how much MORE engaged employees accomplish than the rest. And, isn’t it a more exciting work environment to live in?

3. Employee Focus– I’ve yet to see a company with happy customers and unhappy employees. Have you? Every panelist brought up the importance of an employee focus. Amazon provides education to employees – whether or not the education relates to the job. QVC has created an intriguing environment for their employees to enjoy what could be seen as a typical warehousing job. Toyota follows the Toyota Production System tenet with employees on top. And, Komar focuses intense attention on employees — performance reviews, core values, etc.

 

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

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The Drucker Supply Chain Forum

April 4th, 2017

I participated on the panel, “Professional Pathways in Supply Chain” at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum last week. Interesting to note that the panel was all women — definitely not typical but nice to see! I was joined by executives from Walt Disney, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. It was a lot of fun, and I learned as much as I contributed.

learning

We had some engaging discussions about the future of supply chain and the types of professionals that will be needed. For details on these topics, please tune in to my recent Profit Through People newsletter. However, one of the keys I wanted to highlight here is the critical need for a broad set of skills in supply chain today. The end-to-end supply chain is a vast topic (from your suppliers’ suppliers through manufacturing and distribution to your customers’ customers). Are you continually learning to stay ahead of the curve?

One tip to implement this week:

There is much we can do to learn continually and increase the breadth of our skills. There are a few immediate steps we can take: 1) Look around you for a mentor and ask him/her to be your mentor or just simply ask for advice. It is one of the best ways to learn. I’ve had several mentors over the years, and they were instrumental in my success. 2) Put yourself in positions where you collaborate with colleagues around you. There are vast amounts you could learn by talking with your colleagues. 3) Join a trade association and/or find courses to supplement your knowledge. For example, I am the president of APICS Inland Empire, the premier professional association for supply chain management. We are continually offering programs such as our executive panel & networking symposium on “Disruptive Innovations in Supply Chain” and classes including the new certification CLTD (certified logistics, transportation and distribution).

Which will you do this week?

 

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…”

 



Congratulations, MCIE Innovation Awards Winners!

April 3rd, 2017
Innovation Award Winners

LMA Consulting Group and MCIE Innovation Award Chair Lisa Anderson announces E=mc² Innovation Award Winners.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, CLTD president of LMA Consulting Group and chair for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE)  Manufacturer’s Summit E=mc² Innovation Awards,  a special award ceremony celebrating innovative businesses and students solving challenges in today’s manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce the four category winners; Process Efficiency – CAI, Marketing – Adventure CabinsHuman Capital and Talent – Connect Products and People and Innovation by Students – Harvey Mudd College. Innovation Award candidates are judged on criteria based on which company or student demonstrates the most innovation and resulting benefits in improving resources or energy efficiency; employment and workforce issues; and effective marketing.

This year’s Innovation Awards Committee consisted of experienced members with a combination of 100 years in the industry (both manufacturing and education) and deeply rooted in manufacturing success in the Inland Empire. Committee members included former chair and founding officer of MCIE Wallace Brithinee, president of Brithinee Electric; Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering; and, Innovation Awards Chair Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group.

We had a number of exceptional entries this year really showcasing their innovative talents in talent management, process improvement, marketing and, for the first time this year, innovation by students,” shares Award Chair Lisa Anderson. “I’m always intrigued and proud of what innovation actually takes place here in the Inland Empire. This year did not disappoint, and I look forward to building on this success in the coming year.”

Taking on a cultural innovation was the 2017 Human Capital and Talent Innovation Award winner Connect Product and People. “Connect’s goals are to provide meaningful work for veterans and individuals with disabilities, equal pay for equal work, and to stop the exploitation of these tremendously talented individuals — require social responsibility,” states Connect Products and People president, Jonathon R. Mills. “We are honored to be leading this change in culture and want to thank you MCIE for its support.”

CAI President Kusum Kavia focused her organization on making the best use of all of its resources and it paid off with CAI being awarded the Process Efficiency Innovation Award. Says Kavia, “It is special to us because it comes from fellow manufacturers in our region.”

Travis Saenz of Adventure Cabins expressed his appreciation for the Marketing Innovation Award, saying “Thank you to the MCIE Summit committee and members for presenting Adventure Cabins with the Marketing Innovation Award. Our company took on a new web-footprint and marketing strategy that is paying off.”

New this year was the Student Innovation Awards recognizing the Harvey Mudd College students’ contributions in partnering with Niagara Water to achieve significant results. “Students with no preconceived ideas of what works and what does not work can come up with great out-of-the-box solutions and innovations,” Explains Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering. “We’re excited that The Harvey Mudd clinic program, teaming up with industry, does 45 projects a year with a lot of innovation.”

The 2018 Manufacturing Summit will be held next February. For more information, visit MCIE Website or cut and paste this link http://mfgcouncilie.com/homepage/.