Category: The Manufacturing Connector

Trends: Are You Looking for What’s Coming?

March 28th, 2016

My most successful clients are constantly searching for what’s around the next corner. You cannot become complacent! Unfortunately, while you are resting on the sidelines, your competition will pass you by. Instead, be vigilant about looking for what is coming around the next corner and spotting trends.

A Supply Chain In a State of Flux

In supply chain, the world is constantly changing. Strikes occur. Storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like are very hard to predict. Natural disasters strike. Political unrest is significant. Costs evolve, especially in comparison to one another. Imagine how complex things get with currency fluctuations! Countries struggle – just look at what’s been going on in China. Oil and gas prices can have a great impact. Just look at products and countries dependent on the oil industry. The products cost less to produce but the countries and companies with significant oil exports are struggling. And the list goes on…

There are also strategic changes taking place. Amazon has created quite the stir with immediate deliveries and a membership model. This has created havoc in the distribution industry as e-commerce has become a necessity which also drives completely different warehousing and fulfillment operations to maintain efficiency. The green and sustainability movement has created many new requirements as well. How about water? Talk about a hot topic in California!

APICS-IE Event to Examine Supply Chain Trends

APICS, APICS-IE, Symposium, trends, supply chain trendsWhat is next on the horizon?  To be successful, you must keep up!  Join APICS Inland Empire for our executive panel and networking symposium on “Emerging Supply Chain Trends” at Eagle Glen golf club in Corona on April 30th.  We welcome members and non-members alike.  You’ll walk away with new ideas from top executives and supply chain gurus.  RSVP before it sells out.

 



APICS Inland Empire Examines Emerging Supply Chain Trends at April 30 Symposium

March 22nd, 2016
Many emerging trends will impact how supply chains are managed, designed and operated in the future influencing the decision-making process right now. APICS-IE is assembling a panel of experts on Saturday, April 30 at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif., to proactively help manufacturing, distribution and logistics attendees understand and predict trends that may later cause disruption.

APICS, APICS-IE, Symposium, emerging supply chain trendsThe Inland Empire Chapter of APICS,  the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, is focused on investigating and predicting supply chain trends that may impact your business with its Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium: Emerging Supply Chain Trends on Saturday, April 30, 2016. Expert panelists including include Dr. Chris Gopal, Senior Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Executive Director of the Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics, Craig Young, VP of Manufacturing Niagara Bottling, and Roy Paulson, President, Paulson Manufacturing, will not only share data and trends, but also how companies should be forward thinking and respond to slow moving stock, supplier reliability, lead times and forecasting. Attendees will also be able to ask questions, network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to also help them build their career.

“In today’s Amazon-paced world, it is imperative to stay on top of emerging supply chain trends,” says Lisa Anderson, President of APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group.  “This session will be a great opportunity to not only hear what the experts in supply chain think will happen in the future but it also is an unmatched networking event for students, professionals, executives and the media in supply chain.”

The APICS-IE Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium, Emerging Supply Chain Trends will be held Saturday, April 30, 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 here or cut and paste this link into your browser:

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ec9kly6bbcbf5469&llr=pd7pgykab#

 



Manufacturers and Distributors Feel The Amazon Effect

September 30th, 2015

APICS 2015 Lisa Anderson

My clients and colleagues know that I frequently talk about the value of people and especially engaged employees. I even have a newsletter, Profit through PeopleSM sharing tips about how to leverage all aspects of your organization to improve overall company performance. Why stress people so much? Because they are going to be critical to you and your company in raising the bar so that you can meet, and more importantly surpass an entirely new and elevated set of customer expectations, what I call The Amazon Effect.  I define The Amazon Effect as:

The pressure put on companies to provide superior customer service, rapid deliveries, and higher accessibility to products/services is known as the Amazon Effect. Achievement of these factors can lead to higher growth, more loyal customers and opportunities for margin improvement, but not meeting these ‘Amazonian’ standards can quickly lead to a company’s downfall. Think of this as a game of poker, the ante to just get in the game is 24/7 service, easy-to-use ecommerce Website, same / next day shipping and easy return processes.

It’s not enough to just survive any longer, businesses need to thrive. My research tells us that customers want products and services delivered immediately (24 hour turnaround is no longer sufficient) with a 24/7 viewpoint, increased levels of customization, and extra mile service. Manufacturers need to create a ‘sweet spot’ of people, processes, plans, profit drivers and priorities to create a customer service edge.

Attending APICS 2015 in Las Vegas, October 5-7, 2015?

Plan on joining my session entitled Priming Your Supply Chain for The Amazon Effect on Tues., Oct. 6 at 8:00 a.m. at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ideal for attendees from manufacturing, operations, distribution and supply chain, I will be sharing key strategies on where and how to make improvements to stay competitive and relevant to customers. I will also share case studies on how companies were able to re-focus their energies on a more customer-centric operation netting more sales at higher yields.

Learn more about APICS 2015 or register for my session.

Can’t Make the APICS 2015 Conference?

I am  currently working on a book entitled “The Amazon Effect” detailing the business roadmap to thriving in an ultra-competitive marketplace. I share with readers how to make meaningful business transformations to focus on customer service, improve planning with SIOP and ERP, leverage technology and profit through the people in your organization and supply chain. Sign-up in advance for “The Amazon Effect” and I will notify you when it is released.

Learn more about The Amazon Effect with these other articles:

Slashing Lead Times to Counter the ‘Amazon Effect’

The Amazon Effect: Which Came First? Service or Product Offering?

The Amazon Effect: Create a Customer Service Edge

 



Put the Spark Back in Manufacturing

April 17th, 2014
apics

The APICS-IE executive panel and networking symposium is an opportunity to join with your colleagues (and competitors) to learn and collaborate.

Only those manufacturers and distributors who want to thrive in 2014 will join in, collaborate and be a bigger part of the community! In todays’ increasingly complex world, seemingly touchy-feely topics like collaboration and community are a must. Who can know “all the answers” as to how to improve operational performance, decrease customer lead times, create customer loyalty, accelerate cash flow, quicken the product development life cycle etc.? No one I know; however, the “right” team of people do. Thus to be successful, it’s becoming more and more critical to seek out opportunities to join with your colleagues (and even competitors) to learn and collaborate. The APICS Inland Empire’s executive panel and networking symposium on May 3rd is one of these rare opportunities.

The Inland Empire Chapter of A.P.I.C.S., the national association for operations management advancing productivity, innovation and competitive success, is igniting manufacturers and distributors with its 3rd Annual Executive Panel & Networking Symposium: Filling the Skills Gap: Putting the “Spark” Back in Manufacturing & Distribution on May 3rd. With manufacturing making a strong comeback, there is an even greater need to attract new talent and build more employee skills for manufacturers and distributors. Through breakfast networking and panel discussion with Noel Massie, UPS Southern California, Roy Paulson, President of Paulson Manufacturing, Alan Dunn, Founder of the Manufacturing Executive Institute and Dwane Lamb, Director of Operations with PEG Grand Terrace (Wilden Pump), attendees can look for new ideas to bring some energy back to their companies.

The Symposium brings together manufacturing and distribution-minded professionals to exchange ideas and hear from business leaders on what they are doing to recruit, engage, train and motivate their workforce.There will also be a focus on how to kindle ideas on recruiting new talent to look at manufacturing as a career choice and how to train new employees so they are work-ready right out of school.

The 3rd Annual Executive Panel & Networking Symposium: Filling the Skills Gap: Putting the “Spark” Back in Manufacturing & Distribution will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM are $15 for members, $25 for non-members and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included.

apicslogoRegister here or cut and paste the following link into your browser:

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event;jsessionid=54ABE5B0DCE6DD7D05A8E901393304A8.worker_registrant?llr=pd7pgykab&oeidk=a07e8xj5pcxbb7daad4.

 

 

 

Lisa Anderson - The Manufacturing Connector



The Amazon Effect: Create a Customer Service Edge

April 15th, 2014
Amazon effect and customer service.

Want to stand out from the crowd and provide loyalty-endearing service with rapid turnaround times? Create a customer service edge.

There has never been a better time to create a customer service edge! Gone are the days of picking up the phone with easy orders on the other end! Although we’ve emerged from the recession and are typically profitable, growth is still a challenge. As baby boomers retire, there is less consumption, and with less consumption, demand is stagnated.

Not only is growth harder to come by but service expectations are elevated due to the Amazon effect. Mega-distributors like Amazon have had a significant effect – consumers certainly expect rapid delivery, Sunday deliveries etc. Even manufacturers and distributors are seeing lead times squeezed if they wish to remain in the game.

In my 20+ years of experience as both a former VP of Operations of a mid-market manufacturer and as a business consultant and entrepreneur, I’ve found that those companies who leverage these types of hidden opportunities leapfrog the competition.How can you stand out from the crowd and provide loyalty-endearing service with rapid turnaround times? Create a customer service edge.

How do you create a customer service edge? 1) Engage employees. 2) Involve your supply chain. 3) Provide tools & support.

1. Engage Employees: Have you ever seen unhappy employees with happy customers? Me either! You have to start with your employees. Have you provided them with a compelling vision? Do they feel that they are involved with a company that is making a difference in some way? Do they know how they contribute to the vision? How do they add value? Are you providing feedback? Appreciating progress? Engaging them in key projects and ensuring they feel they are a core part of the team?

You’d be amazed as to how the most unlikely employee can contribute to creating a customer service edge if included in the process. In my experience, I’ve seen engineers close a sale, I.T. leaders create customer intimacy, and supply chain employees create a customer service edge. The common ingredient is engaged employees. How important is service to you?

2. Involve your supply chainNow that your employees are on board, you cannot afford to stop there. A customer service edge can only be created by involving your entire supply chain – after all, how will you shorten lead times and improve on time delivery if your customers consistently change their mind at the last minute and your suppliers provide an unreliable delivery lead time?

For example, in one company, we implemented a vendor managed inventory program with our #1 customer, and we went from unreliable service levels to winning the coveted supplier of the year award. We involved the entire supply chain in that we determined how to fulfill our customer’s distribution centers to ensure 98-99% service levels by becoming more intimately involved in the complete supply chain – utilizing our customer’s customers’ demand data, involving our carriers as partners to ensure delivery performance within shipping lanes, and partnering with suppliers through a collaborative forecasting process.

3. Provide tools and support: Last but not least, the best strategies fail in execution; thus, what can we do to ensure we beat the odds and create a customer service edge? Focus on execution – blocking and tackling. Don’t just dictate a customer service priority. Explain its importance. Provide coaching. Support the process with systems.

Build customer service into the performance management process. Celebrate success. With a clear strategy and the appropriate support, customer service will thrive.

In today’s new normal business environment, every company is searching for the “magic formula” of sales growth. Don’t follow the pack; instead, stand out from the crowd with a customer service edge, and leverage the opportunity to leapfrog the competition.

Join the conversation on variables affecting customer service by participating in the Amazon Effect Survey. I’m looking for your input on trends in online ordering, customer expectations and changes to the supply line. Please complete the survey or cut and paste the folloeing link in your browser http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e90lre14hsdp8fre/start .

 

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on this topic:

The Amazon Effect

Stand Out From the Crowd and Delight Your Customers!

Customer Service

Why Customer Service Must be #1