CBS Tampa Interview

August 11th, 2020

Since talking with CBS Tampa for a story on rising grocery prices, I thought it would be good to share with clients and colleagues as well. The bottom line is that grocery prices are definitely spiking due to supply chain disruptions due to coronavirus, not due to shortages of food. There are significant supply chain disruptions and volatility in demand and supply. For example, grocery is spiking in many categories such as eggs, pantry staples, and meat while restaurants, hospitality and schools have dropped like a rock which resulted in farmers dumping millions of gallons of milk, eggs etc. Getting the right products to the right place at the right time through available channels has been challenging due to labor shortages mainly at the farm level. The supply chain is starting to stabilize but disruption will exist while coronavirus surges and until additional channels are set up and packaging accepted in grocery so that stock can be redeployed.

Will your supply chain be impacted? Or will rising prices impact your business? Stay up-to-speed on the latest trends to stay on top of your supply chain and how to proactively navigate COVID.

 



People are on the Move

August 9th, 2020

Do You Know If Your Best People are Looking for a New Job?
You better believe it! There is a trend across clients and colleagues that the best people are on the move! COVID-19 has disrupted the landscape. Whenever multiple clients experience similar situations, we take note. There is no doubt that the pandemic has spurred smart clients to hire top talent and top talent to look for new opportunities. In the last few weeks alone, several clients and colleagues have lost valued talent.

Why is Talent Leaving?
From what we’ve observed, there are three key reasons.

  1. COVID-19 inspired reevaluation of life and career – COVID-19 has made people rethink their life. If life is short, are we doing what we want or are we simply going through the motions? This is a tricky one, as they are leaving for the greener pastures of retirement, new industries, 180 degree changes in job functionality and more.
  2. Evolving conditions associated with COVID-19 & the likely future – If virtual is here to stay (at least partially), it changes everything. Commutes are less relevant if we only go into the office one or two days a week or once a month in some cases. Why not move to the virtual dream job?
  3. Frustration with current conditions: Interestingly, #1 and #2 are entirely new conditions from COVID-19 whereas #3 has long been an issue. People leave people, not companies. People also leave frustrating circumstances where they don’t think they’ll have an impact on the future. COVID-19 has inspired less patience in top talent.

What Can You Do?
Talk to your people. It has never been more important. Do NOT postpone a quarterly performance check-in conversation for an urgent board request. If you aren’t talking with your people, they will start talking to other potential managers who appreciate their talents.

Create a vision for the future.  Make sure each employee knows how he/she fits into that future. Be excited about the opportunities and involve your team in creating that future.

Provide resources, education and training, mentoring and opportunities for advancement. If you don’t, you will be searching for replacements. Tailor it to each person and his/her desired career path.

The Bottom Line: Keeping your top talent will no longer be easy. Put immediate focus on this critical topic.

Listen to our video on top talent and read our eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 to gain additional insights on talent, leadership, HR and more.

Please send your feedback, stories and ideas. We believe manufacturers have a unique opportunity for growth and success if they innovate and focus on the opportunities during COVID-19. To achieve this potential, you have to start by keeping your star performers.

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

Your People During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Profit Through People



A Ray of Hope with Export

August 4th, 2020

As I participate with the California DEC (District Export Council) meeting as part of the Inland Empire DEC, I continue to be reminded of the vast opportunity of export. This is especially true during the pandemic as manufacturers innovate to be able to support critical needs in the U.S. and throughout the globe. For example, many Southern CA and Inland Empire companies pivoted in response to PPE needs, as well as other critical industries’ changing requirements. The Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles talked up the opportunities of export at the Southern California Supply Chain Summit conference, recently.

California exported $174 billion in 2019.  The Inland Empire is in the top 10% of all surveyed areas in export. The statistics are powerful.  If you consider 95% of all potential customers are outside of the U.S., we have vast potential to increase. Less than 1% of American companies export.  Opportunities abound.  And, fees for exporting services have been reduced during the pandemic. Opportunity is ripe!

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
As you perform a rapid strategic assessment during the pandemic to determine where to focus resources to thrive post COVID-19, potential to export should be on the table. There are vast resources available through the District Export Councils. as well as the trusted advisor network to aid in the process. Each business is different. Yet, we’ve seen unprecedented potential in export in a multitude of industries our manufacturing and distribution clients cover. I chair the Import & Export Advanced Manufacturers Alliance of the Inland Empire, as part of the path forward following a Brookings study in the region.

One of my favorite quotes of all time included in one of our Predictions documents was from Roy Paulson of Paulson Manufacturing, a significant exporter in the Inland Empire. He said, “As a view looking forward in these auspicious times, expect to see more talk of tariffs, threats and waving of hands, all the while, those of us in exporting will be busy making deals, signing contracts and getting business done.” Fast-forward to the pandemic, and Roy purchased additional machinery and equipment to rapidly increase output to support as many people, businesses and countries as possible with PPE.

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive in 2021.

If you are interested in doing an assessment of your current situation, associated risks and opportunities and how to navigate changing conditions, please contact us.

 

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.



The Rise of E-commerce & WMS Popularity During the Pandemic

August 4th, 2020

According to Forbes, COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce growth by 4-6 years. Smart players are taking advantage of the opportunity. Only Amazon takes in more money than Shopify’s websites, and analysts are predicting a 75% annual rise in the next five years.

The ONLY item in common across all clients and colleagues across the board is the rise in e-commerce during COVID-19. In fact, it has been the only bright spot in many cases. As a result, there is an increasing interest in B2C AND B2B software to support improved customer satisfaction and efficient order processing and fulfillment. You do NOT have to sell to consumers to be interested in providing increased value to customers and increasing internal efficiencies!

On a related topic, warehouse management software (WMS) is also gaining in popularity. Not surprisingly, as e-commerce increases, smaller, more frequent shipments become commonplace. So, executives and supply chain leaders are thinking about how to effectively and efficiently handle this increased volume in the warehouse. It is a completely different model than pallet and case shipping in the traditional warehouse. Additionally, unrelated to e-commerce, as manufacturers and distributors work to manage costs to offset the negative impacts of COVID-19, they want to further utilize WMS systems to increase their efficiency and cost effectiveness.

One Tip to Implement This Week:
Although e-commerce and WMS are hot topics in supply chain management, they may or may not be relevant to your situation. The key is to be thinking about what is integral to creating a superior customer experience with increased profitability and cash flow. Does technology support your objective? If so, which technology?

If you have the opportunity to serve customers directly or the opportunity to encourage your B2B customers to place orders through a customer portal (giving them better visibility and accessibility), now is the time to launch a B2B/B2C software. Do a quick review of your situation so you have the facts to assess the best path forward but do not delay. Invest quickly and reallocate/expand resources to take advantage of the opportunity while the iron is hot.

An an example, check out the story of what e-commerce did for the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Similarly, the proactive ERP partners are pursuing WMS and related business analytics to provide extra value to their clients during these turbulent times.

If you are interested in a rapid assessment of your situation and/or an e-commerce, WMS, BI or ERP-related selection to support your growth plans, contact us.

If you are interested in learning more about these types of trends and impacts for manufacturing and supply chain, read my free eBook Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19.



Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Recommends Stabilizing Supply Chains to Capture Opportunity

July 31st, 2020

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – July 31, 2020 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., recommends that manufacturers and distributors increase the focus on stabilizing supply chains. LMA Consulting Group works with manufacturers and distributors on strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation to maximize the customer experience and enable profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth.

“During the last six months, manufacturers and distributors have experienced unprecedented volatility of both demand and supply. Risks that were not fully considered have resulted in supply chain disruptions, extra costs and/or customer service challenges,” stated Ms. Anderson. She insists that customer needs be the driver to proactively managing demand and supply. “Start with your customers and your customers’ customers. Talking with them is key to realigning manufacturing operations and the extended supply chain.  No matter the circumstances, these conversations can lead to opportunities for growth, improved profitability and increased inventory turns and associated cash flow. Simultaneously, increase the cadence and visibility of your Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP) process to realign demand with supply and stabilize your supply chain,” she continued.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced most companies to reassess their business model and customer base.  Many found new and different ways to improve upon existing products and services.  Others found ways to leverage existing resources to expand.  “It is about constantly building for the future.  What do you want your business to look like in six months, one year and beyond? Who are your ideal customers? Creating opportunities for these future customers and products will lead to reassessing market plans and product supply strategies.  Revisiting sourcing options, evaluating regional versus global manufacturing platforms, and exploring innovative ideas and the expanded use of technology and automation should all be on the table and analyzed.  Opportunities exist if you look for them. But first, the supply chain must be stabilized and resilient. We can learn a lot from diving deep into critical elements of demand and supply both for the present and more importantly, the future,” she concluded.

LMA Consulting recently sponsored Navigating Through Volatility, a webinar series for APICS (Supply Chain Professional Community) and hosted a recent session: The Future of Manufacturing. Ms. Anderson has also released, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19, an eBook that provides practical go-forward insights, advice and experiential value for manufacturers and their supply chains.

 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.  She focuses on maximizing the customer experience and enabling profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth. Ms. Anderson is a recognized Supply Chain thought leader by SelectHub, named a Top 40 B2B Tech Influencer by arketi group, 50 ERP Influencer by Washington-Frank, a 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, 101 strategies for creating bold customer promises and profits. A regular content contributor on topics including a superior customer experience with SIOP, advancing innovation and making the supply chain resilient, 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