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Manufacturing is at a Peak!

December 29th, 2017

Supply Chain Briefing

According to an Industry Week article, manufacturing is at its all-time PEAK!  Not only is it FAR from dead but it is at the highest point in history.  By every measure of industrial production, the U.S. is at record levels.  We are more than twice as high as we were in 1979 when we were at the peak in employment.  

No matter what measure is used, manufacturing is at the top of its game.  Inflation adjusted manufacturing GDP will peak in the 4th quarter of 2017.  Any way you slice it, manufacturing is strong.  Are you thinking about how to leverage this strength?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Manufacturing isn’t showing signs of slowing down.  In fact, with the recent tax law passage, it could get an additional boost.  Of course, the strong companies are automating and finding ways to provide exceptional customer experiences.   

There is vast potential for growth and success.  

  • Are you working with the strongest suppliers?  
  • If so, do you know how much of their capacity you use?  
  • If they continue to grow, will you continue to receive the same level of service?  
  • Are they continually automating?  
  • Do you have secondary suppliers?  

Remain Competitive and Gain Your Edge
Just because manufacturing is growing, this is by no means a time to rest.  To remain competitive and gain an edge with customers, you need to stay abreast of the latest technologies.  

  • Do you understand your customer expectations?  
  • Are you thinking about what they’ll need one, two and three years from now?  

The most successful companies are definitely thinking AND doing something about it!



Season’s Greetings from Lisa Anderson

December 24th, 2017

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

 Like this hot chocolate, I hope your holiday is cheerful and filled with family and friends.  As always, our family will be in a whirlwind during the holidays.    

Thank YOU  for another successful year.  You are core to our success. Thanks to my APICS-IE Board of Directors for another great year!  

 

 

 

 

 

And thanks to my ProVisors ONT group of top-notch trusted advisors…. 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m fortunate to have many wonderful people surrounding me:  My Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable, Univeristy of LaVerne Executive Board/CEO Summit, MCIE executive committee, my global consulting strategy group, my student case competition co-leader   

 

 

 

 

 

and someone who is very integral to my success, Ellen Kane (left) and my two best friends, Sandi & Vicki. 

 

 

 

 

 

The bottom line: I appreciate my clients, colleagues, family and friends!
I look forward to more exciting opportunities, dramatic client results and, most importantly, enjoying more interactions with all of you!

Turning to the New Year, I plan to write a new book on the Coming Power of Manufacturing (with a chapter dedicated to my previous work-in-process book the Amazon Effect) as I’m excited about the vast opportunity for manufacturers and supply chain organizations….

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous 2018! 

Lisa Anderson
LMA Consulting Group Inc.

 

 

 



Kaizens & the Importance of Metrics

December 20th, 2017

My colleague and I led a Kaizen workshop on metrics last week with a process manufacturing client.  It is always interesting to brainstorm which metrics are the most relevant in tracking a company’s success.  They are NOT always the same.  Companies are in different industries; they are different sizes; the profit drivers of the business are different; executives’ focus is different…..and the list goes on.   

However, every business should take a few minutes to strategize on metrics.  Do you know what you are doing AND whether the metrics you are tracking are relevant to your success?

One tip to implement this week:
As we said in kicking off the metrics Kaizen, it can be a great place to start by taking stock.  What are you tracking already?  Why?  Do you make decisions based on the metrics you track?  If not, why not?  In essence, take a pulse.  Next, it can be quite valuable to gain feedback on what should be tracked.  Have you asked the people talking with customers on a daily basis?  How about those producing and shipping to your customers?  I bet they will have something to say!  Certainly, executives always have a wish list for metrics.  Do you know which metrics are on the list?  

Although you might be tempted to jump on the long list you are likely to generate in talking with all the stakeholders in the organization, don’t do it!  Make sure to understand the impact.  Which will lead to decisions that will impact customers?  Which are likely to drive profitability?  Start with a small number.  Prioritize and start using for decision-making before you move on.

 

 



Is Apple Moving Design In-House?

December 15th, 2017

According to an Industry Week article, Apple is considering designing chips in-house.  The Japanese Nikkei said that Apple could replace as much as 50% of the power management chips that go into iPhones with its own design.  That could be a dramatic change!

Supply Chain Impact to Component Vendors
Apple has developed its own processors for years but has recently increased its focus on the in-house design of components. There have been recent changes in supply chain (recent acquisitions have reduced the number of chipmakers).  Could this be a change in strategic direction or a response to a changing supply chain or something else?  No matter the reason and whether it will come true, the question is whether you would be aware of this change if you were in a related industry or dependent on suppliers related to this potential change.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Of course, if Apple moves design in-house, it will impact the current supplier (Dialog); however, it doesn’t stop there.  The suppliers who supply Dialog should be thinking about the impacts and how they can redeploy resources.  It begs the question of the level of diversification of your customer base.  Has this been a priority?  Is there a way you could turn part of this situation into a positive, whether you are Dialog or a related company?

Think About Potential Changes in Your Industry
Even if you are unrelated to any of these companies and impacted parties, it pays to be thinking about potential changes in your industry.

  • Are you in lock step with your customers and suppliers?
  • Do you know what is on their minds?
  • Do they know what you are thinking?
  • Could it be of benefit to brainstorm markets, products, and more with supply chain partners?
  • Do you have relationships within your industry that could alert you to key trends or do you attend important trade events?
  • At a minimum, what are you doing to ensure you are not surprised?

If your strategy includes keeping your eye on industry and customer change and your ear to the ground, you most likely will see the change coming so that you can steer the right course.  If not, now if the time to get started.



Holiday Parties & Diversity

December 13th, 2017

I participated with several holiday parties recently – and have a few more planned.  That is a nice benefit of leading and participating in so many groups.  The pictures below are from my APICS Inland Empire chapter holiday mixer and member appreciation event.  Thanks to Susan Brunasso for pictures!  What strikes me is the diversity of our APICS group – we range from students, supply chain professionals (such as planners, buyers, operations managers), executives/ business owners (thanks to Dan & C.C. Vest, Don Brithinee, Brian Reed, Kar Shanmugam and more for their great support), trusted advisors to manufacturers and distributors, sponsors (thanks Maggie Watson), Board members and more.  

Clearly our women are above (looking festive I might add) and our men below (although Susan always inserts me into the photos too).

And our UCR students (mainly) are below since our CSUSB student is featured above with the men.

One tip to implement this week:
Have you thought about the diversity of your employees, work groups, trade associations and more?  

There are many ways to think about diversity.  In terms of APICS, I was talking about the wide variety of roles and responsibilities that rallied around increasing value for manufacturers and distributors (although because Susan took photos of different groups, I unintentionally also spoke to gender).  

We gain value from diverse perspectives, ranging from the fresh ideas (often provided by students) to “what works” to the latest technologies.  I didn’t even mention that we have some technology experts on our Board as well!

I find that creating diversity doesn’t require rules and regulations.  In fact, forced diversity can harm organizations! Instead, valuing different ideas, solutions, points-of-view and more creates the environment for diversity. Undoubtedly, we achieve a FAR greater value for our members with a more complete view.  We definitely shoot to make 1+1+1 = 33, and our diverse group of experts achieves this objective.  

Are you valuing fresh perspectives (even if not in line with your own)?