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The Importance of Being Top of Mind

July 30th, 2018

 

Last week, I led my Ontario ProVisors group meeting.  It is a top notch group of trusted advisors that I’m thrilled to lead – not only is it a great group of people (professional, smart and funny) but they also provide my clients with “just what they need when they need it”.  It is surprising (and exciting) how often a client will ask for a specific (oftentimes obscure) resource or question, and I can help him/her because I know the best person to answer his question or fill his need.  If you have a need, please feel free to contact me.

Last week, we were brainstorming the best ways to be visible so that clients can find us and the idea of being “top of mind” came up.  I have certainly found being top of mind important as clients need to remember you when the issue arises.

It is quite surprising how visibility plays into success.  I had a few core group members I thought I would NEVER forget because they were awesome, integral to the success of the group and helpful to me personally.  Both moved away/took a different job of sorts.  Fastforward two years later: when I was asked for a referral, they didn’t pop to mind first.  Hard to believe when I realized how true it was!

Later that night, I went to another ProVisors meeting.  One person mentioned that although he sees me on LinkedIn, when he saw me in person, he remembered he had clients that needed my expertise.  Glad I was top of mind!  Are you?

One tip to implement this week:
No matter your role, it is important to be top of mind for your customers, clients, Board members, peers, and more.  Do you purposefully find ways to be top of mind (in a positive way of course)?

For example, do you check in on your key customers every month, week or whatever time frame is appropriate?  Do you send your key supplier a card for an important occasion?  Do you find a way to remember key dates related to your employees, peers etc.?

CRM isn’t required.  Use Outlook.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  Pick up the phone.  The great thing about being top of mind is that it doesn’t require money and resources.  Instead, it requires a little effort!  Do you appreciate the effort others take when you are top of mind to them?  Return the favor.

 



Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Presents 2018 LMA Advocate Award to Aerospace Executive, Kelly Ford

July 28th, 2018

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – July 27, 2018 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., presented the 2018 LMA Advocate Award to Aerospace/Defense executive, Kelly Ford.

“It is a pleasure to recognize Kelly Ford with our 2018 LMA Advocate Award.  We have worked on many projects together at three separate aerospace firms.  I appreciate the relationship we have built and the collaboration that has made our projects successful” Ms. Anderson commented. LMA Consulting Group works with clients on manufacturing strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation that maximizes the customer experience and enables profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth.

Kelly and I have achieved significant results together – improved customer service levels to support business growth, expanded capacity and efficiencies, and right-sized inventory levels to maximize the use of cash and capital. Most importantly, we engaged and valued the opinions of the most important asset of the firm – the people. It turns a project into a fascinating puzzle, making it fun” she continued.

Inspired by the outcomes of client projects, LMA Consulting solicits client feedback, ideas and trend information.  In turn, the firm adopts and incorporates key learnings, makes continuous improvements and expands service offerings to continually raise the bar in meeting evolving client needs. Advocates, partners and centers of influence are key to LMA Consulting’s continued growth and success, as they work together to advance manufacturing and the global supply chain.

“Over 13 years, I have learned that it takes more than hard work and intention to affect growth.  It takes focusing on innovation every day.  LMA Advocates help us do just that and more. I am so grateful to be able to call Kelly Ford one of our LMA Consulting Group trusted advisors” she concluded.

About LMA Consulting Group – Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD

Lisa Anderson is the founder and president of LMA Consulting Group, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in manufacturing strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation that maximizes the customer experience and enables profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth Ms. Anderson has been named a Top 40 B2B Tech Influencer by arketi group, a 50 ERP Influencer by Washington-Frank, ranked in the top 46 most influential in Supply Chain by SAP and named a top woman influencer by Solutions Review. She recently published, I’ve Been Thinking, an inspiring collection of 101 strategies for creating bold customer promises and profits. A regular content contributor on topics including supply chain, ERP and SIOP and innovation, Ms. Anderson is regularly interviewed and quoted by publications such as Industry Week, tED magazine and the Wall Street Journal.  For information, to sign up for her Profit Through PeopleTM Newsletter or for a copy of her book, visit LMA-ConsultingGroup.com.

Media Contact
Kathleen McEntee | Kathleen McEntee & Associates, Ltd. | p. (760) 262 – 4080 | KMcEntee@KMcEnteeAssoc.com



Robots Taking on Pharmaceuticals & Food?

July 28th, 2018

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, robots are taking on pharmaceuticals and food preparation.  In pharmaceuticals, companies like Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline are investing heavily in automation to radically change the process of drug discovery.   If robots can handle thousands of samples around the clock (although costs will decrease or be reallocated to more valuable tasks), these results pale in comparison with the vast opportunity to develop drugs quicker!

Are you radically re-thinking and innovating with speed in mind?

Meanwhile, a burger joint will open in San Francisco that makes $6 burgers entirely by robot.  Creator is betting that robots can create burgers more efficiently and better (with techniques borrowed from Michelin-star chefs) than humans.

Now the question will become – when the robot curious wears off, will people frequent a robot run burger shop?  Regardless, the question really becomes – are you considering whether robots or automation might benefit your customers and business value?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
As much as we warn our clients not to get “too” carried away with robots and technology (as it is easy to chase these ideas down a rabbit hole leading nowhere), it is certainly worthwhile to think about the strategic use of technology as it relates to innovation, providing a superior customer experience and in improving performance.  If it fits with your strategy, doesn’t distract from your priorities (or preferably compliments and enhances them) and generates a return on investment, why wouldn’t you consider every option?

One client leveraged the use of robots (designed uniquely for them by internal expertise) so that they could run a critical operation around-the-clock.  They couldn’t find employees with the appropriate skills to run more than first shift and overtime.  And, they were constantly struggling to keep up with orders.  Once the robot was up and running, the bottleneck was virtually eliminated and customers received what they needed when they needed it.  The people on first shift took on the complex tasks, set the robots up to run at night and remained extremely valuable (even more so).

Have you thought about these type of unique innovations to propel your business?  We’ll be starting a new video and interview series, “Innovation: Fast-tracking growth and profits” shortly.  We’d love to hear about your suggestions and innovations.

 

 



Hawaii and Strategic Thinking

July 25th, 2018

 

I met my global consulting group in Hawaii to talk strategy.  Have you thought about where you are going lately? More importantly, have you thought about why you are going there?  

It is quite easy to get caught up in doing whatever you set out to do a year or two prior when you set your strategy.  But don’t things change?  Certainly, the world stage continues to evolve.

Put dedicated thought into your strategy, set aside time to think and consider different viewpoints. In my case, gaining input from some of the best consultants from different countries and specialties while putting aside time to think surrounded by amazing views (see a few below) is bound to stir strategic thought.

One tip to implement this week:
Have you dedicated time to strategic thought lately?  Or are you too busy to even think, let alone dedicate time to strategic thought?  Perhaps you need to drive to the beach, mountains, or your favorite nearby setting and take 30 minutes to empty your mind.  Or, stay closer to work.

Deliberately put yourself in a work group of people with different ideas and viewpoints. Usually when I groan because I’m not sure I want to be in a group with someone.  Many times, it turns out he/she spurs me to new heights with new ideas.  

You don’t have to fly to Hawaii to broaden your view.  Take a look around regardless of your setting. There are countless amazing views we encounter on a daily basis.  Whether it is the local nursery, your neighbor’s yard, the hustle and bustle at the train station, an artist painting in the park or your dog jumping in excitement at your return home after a long day, you have interesting views to spur strategic thought.  

The key is to relate these views and put yourself in different situations that might spur strategic thought. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

 



There is More to Chicago than Good Pizza. Logistics Anyone?

July 23rd, 2018

 

My aunt worked at CSX rail outside Chicago for her entire career.  Growing up, it sounded like odd, middle of the night shifts was what rail was all about.  Now, rail – and specifically Chicago – have become strategic. As people moved west in the good old days, Chicago became a rail hub, and it remains so today.  

When having supply chain network strategy discussions with clients, Chicago often arises since it connects rail across the country. Now Chicago has expanded beyond rail to become a high-tech logistics hub.  And with transportation rates tight with no end in sight, we better pay attention to the impacts of Chicago logistics!

Chicago logistics is all about connectivity.  Connecting the east with the west, Chicago is a natural hub.  5 international airports, 7 Class I railroads carrying 50% of the nation’s freight (think of the enormity of that figure!), 3rd largest intermodal port in the world, 3rd largest interstate highway system in America, and more.  Chicago is the leader in transportation assets and connectivity. Have you considered what this means to you?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too fast to dismiss Chicago’s relevance (even as tempting as this is when it is in the negative digits in the middle of winter).  Location, location, location. Chicago clearly has the location in the middle of the country which puts it in the top position related to connectivity. Connectivity brings power.

Chicago connects the east with the west, rail with rail, rail with trucks, rail with air, high-tech talent with logistics opportunities, products with consumers (as it is also a significant consumer base) and more.  Being at the center of this activity can have a significant impact. For example, in one client’s supply chain strategy project, we hesitated at expanding the volume through Chicago because it frequently “got stuck” and experienced delays which negatively impacted the customer experience.  

We had to account for this extra lead time (and therefore extra inventory and carrying costs) and find creative offsets to the lead time to support customers.  Whether you go through Chicago or not, do any of your suppliers? How about your suppliers’ suppliers? How about your partners?

We are all impacted. The question is by how much!  Contact us to tell us how it worked out for you.