Tag Archive: company

The Latest Trends

January 26th, 2018

I spoke at APICS San Fernando Valley a few days ago on the latest trends and what’s in store for 2018.  We had a great discussion on topics ranging from people (or lack thereof) to technology.  

For manufacturers and distributors, a few of the highlights included:  

1) The Amazon Effect – the customer experience is the ultimate!  

2) Near-sourcing – I go beyond the mainstream and am boldly saying “Southern California is “the” place to be!  

3) The skills gap – if I could only convey how much trouble several clients are having finding the right fit for open positions…..!!!!!  

4) Technology (with lots of details behind this one!) and a few more.  

Have you thought about what trends are most likely to impact your business?

One tip to implement this week:
I also attended a Board meeting with a client a few days ago, and this topic is quite relevant.  Staying on top of what is likely to impact your business gives you the clarity of priority!  

Start by taking a few minutes with your top team to brainstorm.  Give a few customers a call to find out what’s happening with them.  Check in with a few of your key suppliers.  Drop in on your trusted advisors and attend a trade association and/or alumni networking meeting.  You’ll soon be well-versed to come up with what is trending AND relevant to you.

Once you have thought through the trends most likely to impact your business, it might make sense to think about how to transform these impacts into opportunities.

Profitable and scalable growth is the common thread among every single one of my clients – how can you leverage these opportunities to aid in creating scalable, profitable growth?   

Take a tip from the LEAN toolkit and involve your people.  You might be surprised how many opportunities will emerge if you put ALL the brain power in your company on thinking about how to do this.

6 Questions Predict People Success or Failure in 2018

January 8th, 2018

Quick Question: If you leave your phone at home, is there any question about whether you’d turn around to get it?  And, if you didn’t have your phone at home, is it possible you wouldn’t have gotten up on time in the first place or known what time your meeting starts?   

Technology is taking over the world.
Sometimes it is hard to talk with real people when you need to ask a question.  Thus, it is worth considering the top priorities for people in our new, interconnected, global world in the New Year.

A few questions to ponder.

  1.  Have you walked by your top performer’s desk lately to check in on him/her?  Not an email.  Not a phone call.  Not a social media chat.  But an interactive one-on-one conversation?  
  2.  Have you been upfront with your weak performers?  Have you provided constructive feedback so that they know what to improve?  Think carefully about this question – will they be surprised if you show them the door with dignity if they struggle to implement the feedback?  If so, you better get on it!
  3.  Have you picked up the phone to find out what is on the mind of your top customers? Do you know what is important to him/her?  Do you know what you could do to improve their customer experience?
  4.  Do your suppliers and trusted advisors understand where you are headed and why?  If not, why not?
  5.  Do you have some sort of pay for performance system in place?  Or does the person with the most seniority regardless of value make the most money and receive the best bonuses?  Are you putting your money where your mouth is?  For example, if you are always saying your principles are important, if your top sales person doesn’t follow the principles from time to time, will he/she still receive the biggest bonus check?  What does this tell the rest of your team?

Remember, no matter how sophisticated and technology-rich your company, it will not run without people.    

Last Question:  Do you see people as assets or expenses (overhead)?