Tag Archive: 5P accelerator

Results Follow People

June 30th, 2016
growth, results

Results follow people who put together strategies and successfully implement them. Great tools help, but people are critical to improving your bottom line.

Results don’t occur with the latest fads – even with good fads such as lean manufacturing or SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) programs. Results don’t occur with cool system functionality – certainly, it makes life easier if you have great tools but results won’t occur due to a system. Instead, results follow people. LMA Consulting Group has been in business for over 11 years, and prior to that I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain for an absorbent products manufacturer. I’ve yet to see an example of results that didn’t follow the people.

For example, in working with an aerospace manufacturer a few years ago, we had to rapidly improve service levels for our customers. After a quick assessment, we started implementing a plan to resolve the bottleneck operation. In two months, what had not been resolved in a year was dramatically improved with the rollout of our plan. However, the plan wasn’t the 80%; the reason for success went back to the people. Management supported the plan and was involved on a daily basis in the rollout. The executive in charge visibly supported the plan even when inconvenient.  The team met daily to review progress, discuss issues and ensure success.

Down-the-line, the management team changed. The executives left. The emphasis changed to different topics. And service levels fell. Certainly the new process and plan would still work. Results followed the people – out the door. Then, as one would expect, things changed again. People re-focused, and business started improving.

We all fight fires and hopefully put together and execute strategies; however, we must keep in mind that getting distracted on reports, the latest fads 5P Accelerator for results, growth and profitsand the like are useless unless accompanied with leadership. If you are interested in ensuring results follow people, contact us on leveraging our proprietary process, the 5P Accelerator to fast track growth and profits.

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5P Accelerator to Fast-Track Growth and Profits

April 26th, 2016
5P Accelerator for growth and profits

Energy spent on focus, speed and relationships can help companies chart a course for growth and increase revenue.

Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners?

They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How?

Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and thinking into the development of our proprietary processes:

  • Best practices across industries (ranging from aerospace to building products to food & beverage to distribution) and company-sizes (from small, family-owned businesses to facilities and divisions of multi-billion dollar, global enterprises)
  • Expert advice from our collaborations and alliances of clients and colleagues inclusive of top-notch trusted advisors, communities of executives and business owners, and trade association experts and professionals.
  • And, most importantly, we’ve bounced these against “what works” and is immediately pragmatic.

5P Accelerator(SM) is our proprietary process that fast-tracks growth and profits.

Our 5P Accelerator(SM) focuses on the core factors of success:

  • People – success begins and ends with people. Do you consider your people assets or costs? Give me a strong leader with a mediocre strategy any day over a weak leader with a strong strategy!
  • Processes – the foundation of success; similar to a house, if you don’t have a solid foundation, fancy curtains will not be sufficient to withstand a storm.
  • Plan – too many executives jump to action and skip the planning step. A plan is not only a part of your foundation (imagine a football team without a playbook) but it also provides an important collaboration vehicle.
  • Priorities – if I only had a dollar for every executive who wasted time on non-essential priorities, I’d be rich! What seems like a priority because your boss or customer happens to be yelling over the phone or a respected boss, peer or Board member is asking about isn’t necessarily so…..
  • Profit drivers – considering what is essential to your strategy, key customers and potential customers, profitability, cash flow or other critical factors should be of utmost importance.

Unfortunately, getting the 5Ps “right” can be challenging enough; however, it might not be sufficient for success. Add in focus, speed and relationships to tip the scales in your favor to fast-track growth and profits.

Please refer to our webpage to learn more and contact us if you are interested in leveraging 5P Accelerator(SM) at your organization. 

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Keeping an ‘Eagle Eye’ on Priorities

February 2nd, 2016
eagle eye on priorities

Assessing and spelling out priorities should always be at the top of your list to gain clarity and ultimate business success.

I’m frequently reminded of how critical priorities can be. Of course, this is why it is one of the pillars in my 5P Accelerator model for fast-tracking results. Do you pay attention to priorities? You should!

In today’s Amazon-impacted world, my clients want — and need — quick results. Fast progress will not occur if you are working on the wrong priorities. It seems apparent; however, it is worth noting as it is such a common occurrence. Here are some recent examples and types of priorities to ponder:

  1. Priority clarity: I’ve been working on an ERP project design and implementation. Priorities are absolutely essential in this case. There are always countless tasks that need to be completed in order to go live. How do you know you are working on those most critical to an on-time, on-budget, on-results implementation? Take the time to wade through priorities to obtain priority clarity.
  2. Skill set priorities: On another ERP project, skillset related priorities are cornerstone to success. In this case, there are limited resources with specific skills. Thus, the priorities related to these specific skills must be elevated in importance. This is similar in concept to focusing on the bottleneck of an operation with the theory of constraints. Elevate the priorities surrounding the scarce resource to ensure success.
  3. Cross-functional priorities: In a SIOP project, the goals of different departments created the need to focus in on cross-functional priorities. Instead of working on whichever priority was most important to the department we happened to be talking with, we had to evaluate the business as a whole and look for cross-functional priorities. Which priorities would provide the largest win overall even if some departments or individuals were negatively impacted? Look for the win-win-win.

The bottom line is that if you are interested in success, you must keep an eye on priorities. Don’t get lost in details; look for the priorities.

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System Strategies to Kick Off a New Year

January 19th, 2016
system strategies

Kick start your new year with business strategies that are more focused, faster and improve overall relationships. The 5P Accelerator is a new way to take a critical step toward success.

Since I work with clients ranging in size from small, family-owned businesses to multi-billion dollar corporations, industries ranging from aerospace to building products to value-add distribution and on topics ranging from growth to service level improvement to increasing business performance, I have the opportunity to see countless businesses — and what works and what doesn’t work.

It seems like a great time to share what is important as we head into a new year, new quarter or even new day. There is always opportunity to take that critical step towards success.

From a systems standpoint, here a few of the top strategies/areas to consider as a next step in driving business success:

  1. Leverage what you have – Even though I dedicate a portion of my practice to selecting the “right” system to best meet business objectives, I find that 80% of the time, the current system (almost no matter how bad it seems) can be further leveraged to drive results. There are two situations I can think of where the client was extremely system challenged but we found a few ways to improve upon processes, even in the worst of cases. Start by thinking about what is most important to your business. Then dig into the areas of the system that could support that critical business process. It can be as simple as that.
  2. Upgrade when it makes sense – As I said earlier, every business can be improved with its current system; however, there is a limit. If you are in a high-growth mode and leveraging a system geared to small business, you’ll begin to run into the wall in terms of capabilities. It might be time to upgrade. If you have gone through a merger or acquisition, it is likely you’ll need to consider upgrading to have a common platform. If you have a highly customized system to support your business with limited growth potential without continuing down the customization path, it is likely time to consider upgrading. If you want to make a leap forward with your technology and are using an outdated system that has weak support and might be bought up by the next software giant to come along, it might be time to consider an upgrade.
  3. Select the “right” system to drive business results – I have helped many clients select the best system to meet their business objectives the last several years. It can be a dog-eat-dog world with radically different estimates and smooth-talking salespeople; however, there are also great suppliers selling highly functional and flexible systems to bring your business to the next level of performance. The bottom line is that it boils down to how well the software options support your critical business factors (which should be a short list; not 100 items) and how well the software suppliers will partner with you for success. Implementation will cost more than software and it will cost more than you expect to do it well, yet it will deliver substantial results after things smooth out.
  4. CRM – In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, service is of critical importance. My clients are expected to deliver faster, provide more options, suggest value-additions, be available 24/7 — and the list goes on. CRM software can help you keep track of your relationships, potential business and provide extra value to your customers.
  5. Warehouse automation – As e-commerce continues to grow in importance around the globe, many manufacturers and distributors must rise to the occasion. It isn’t as easy as using the same processes that work effectively for your regular business. E-commerce drives significant differences to warehouse operations if you want to be able to provide the level of service consumers have become accustomed to at the price they are willing to pay. These changes are driving significant investments in different equipment and technology for those companies with heavy e-commerce business. Bring in experts. Do your research. It will make or break success.
  6. SIOP functionality – More and more of my clients are further leveraging their planning, capacity planning, demand planning/forecasting, MPS/MRP and advanced planning systems to better align demand and supply for improved service levels, reduced lead times, improved margins, accelerated cash flow and to support growth.

Think about which of these might benefit your business. Leveraging systems is one way to grow without adding overhead and it will improve your business performance by utilizing an already-existing asset in most cases. Give it a try. Contact me for support with these strategies and/or to let me know how it goes. Sharing success stories and even failures can propel you to success.

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