Tag Archive: customer

Ramping Back Up

August 22nd, 2020

We are seeing business just beginning to ramp up. As said in our eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19, this is not an on/off switch. We should turn the dial carefully (as quickly as possible while accounting for the end-to-end supply chain). Every situation is different.  Yet, common concepts exist and preparation is required. A few highlights include:

  • Employee readiness: There are several rules and regulations in addition to considering your employees’ mindsets and readiness.
  • Customer readiness: Clearly, without predictable sales volume (at least to an 80/20 standpoint at a high level), it is impossible to know what to produce, purchase, store, prepare cash reserves etc.
  • Supplier readiness: Of course, no matter how ready our customers and employees, if our suppliers aren’t ready (and our suppliers’ suppliers), nothing will be accomplished.
  • Financial readiness: It sounds obvious but we also need the cash to operate our end-to-end supply chain successfully.
  • Risk tolerance: We are pushing clients to assess risk to make prudent decisions.  Yet, in order to be successful, they will have to take on additional risk. A no risk policy will result in bankruptcy!
  • Resiliency: Start the process of future-proofing your manufacturing and supply chain and make a commitment to continuously improve. Without this mindset, do not turn the dial.

Your most important job in the foreseeable future (minimally 9-12 months) will be to navigate this ramp up to the new un-normal, and even more critically, the most successful clients will take the bull by the horns and create their future.



Should We Be Reshoring?

August 14th, 2020

Are you thinking about your product supply strategy? You certainly should be! I was asked to talk on Bloomberg’s “What’d You Miss?” about reshoring since it is a hot topic in the news. I was also on a webinar with other CEOs and thought leaders recently about the Future of ManufacturingThe reshoring conversation took the majority of the hour because it was top of mind for manufacturers as well.

The surveys are ‘adding up’:

  • According to an EY survey, 83% of executives expect a regionalization of the supply chain.
  • According to Supply Chain Dive, 64% of manufacturers say reshoring likely following the pandemic.
  • According to Thomas Industrial Survey, 64% of manufacturers are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to N.A.

It doesn’t matter which survey is your favorite, at least review your product supply strategy in light of your current and most likely future conditions. As I said in my eBook on product supply strategies, there are many reasons compelling manufacturers to look at this topic. A few highlights include:

  • Customer demand: Customers don’t care where we produce or source what. They expect immediate delivery of customized products and services.
  • Customer changes: Customers expect to change their orders as their customers’ demand changes.
  • Total cost: Total cost is in alignment for non-commodity products. Mexico and the U.S. provide good alternatives for customer demand in N.A.
  • Working capital: Cash is relevant.  When you account for disruptions in your end-to-end supply chain as well as changing demand, it can become a significant number to watch.
  • Risk & Disruption: Look no further than COVID-19 to understand the impacts. Asia shut down for a few months. Mexico and Europe were unable to supply essential businesses in the U.S. according to multiple panels (aerospace executives, large CPG etc.)

With all this said, as I commented on Bloomberg, NOT all situations make sense for reshoring (and certainly not at 100% by tomorrow morning). Instead, use uncommon common sense, conduct a rapid assessment and develop a strategy and path forward. Also, put triggers in place to proactively manage and adjust as needed. If you’d like to discuss further, please contact us.



e-Commerce & the Rise of Online

June 9th, 2020

According to the statistics as well as client commentary, e-Commerce sales and online everything is on fire:

  1. According to data from Adobe Analytics, the second half of March saw a 25% increase in e-commerce sales.
  2. Even more impressive, Adobe said that April saw a 49% increase in U.S. e-commerce sales!
  3. Of ALL our clients, the only unanimous area of growth during COVID-19 was in e-commerce sales.
  4. According to a Gartner CFO survey, 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.

 

Thus, the key question is whether you are proactively thinking about online opportunities. If not, get ready to see your competitors rush by.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Undoubtedly, you should be thinking about online from all angles:

  1. E-commerce (B2C): If you haven’t started offering e-commerce capabilities, you better evaluate rapidly and get on board. There are several options for how to pursue this opportunity. You can offer direct e-commerce with your website. You can go through a partner with key customers and folks such as Amazon. The bottom line is that your customer doesn’t care how you provide the capability but they expect to be able to order easily.
  2. B2B: If you serve other businesses, you cannot ignore these trends because you don’t sell to consumers. Your customers expect a B2B customer portal with the same type of e-commerce capabilities that Amazon provides. We have been helping a client with a systems roadmap, and it is quite clear that the “80/20” from the customer and sales viewpoint is Amaon-like capabilities (with an almost exclusive focus on B2B currently). Nothing else is sufficient.
  3. Supply chain partners: What are your customers, suppliers and other supply chain partners offering?
  4. Employees: Remember, your employees expect you to have Amazon-like capabilities and online capabilities as well. This perception spills over into all aspects of the business.
  5. Online is more than B2B/B2C: Have you thought about how COVID-19 has forever changed the way we do business? After all, if Gartner thinks 74% will change to remote work in some fashion, that is a HUGE change. How will that change your industry, your supply chain and your employees’ needs?

E-commerce was already on the rise, and COVID-19 gave it a strong boost. As with everything, there are advantages (such as the consumer gaining quick delivery of essential items) and disadvantages or challenges (managing freight costs, reconfiguring warehousing operations and space requirements, implementing technology rapidly, figuring out how to be environmentally-friendly delivering to tons of consumers and many more issues). Those who are most successful in proactively thinking through these considerations and creating strategies will thrive whereas the rest are likely to struggle significantly. Which avenue will you pursue? Read more about this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 . If you are interested in a rapid assessment, please contact us.



Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Predicts Proactive Approach to Demand and Diversification of Supply is Key to Future-Proofing Manufacturing and the Supply Chain

May 27th, 2020

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – May 27, 2020 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., predicts that a proactive understanding of customer demand and diversification within the supply chain will prevent a next round of guffaws as the effects of COVID-19 disruptions to the supply chain begin to subside and the world faces the uncertainty of the return of COVID-19. 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.

The importance of the supply chain took front and center stage as the COVID-19 pandemic raged throughout the world. “The wrong products were in the wrong places at the wrong time. From bumper crops of vegetables, eggs and other foodstuffs to the infamous toilet paper capers, consumers became very aware of the fine balance within the worldwide supply chain.  Crops and dairy products originally destined for restaurants soon saw their demand disappear while grocery stores had to limit demand to keep up. Hoarding of consumer paper goods like toilet paper and paper towels caused weeks’ delay in replenishments.  And, after nine weeks of shortages, manufacturers are still having challenges in aligning demand with supply,” stated Ms. Anderson.

The key is future proofing the supply chain so that it is resilient to disruptions.  That requires taking a proactive approach to putting strong secondary and tertiary backups in place for every element within the supply chain.  “The supply chain is both simplistic and complex. It is all about satisfying the customer, even before they know what they want.  The complexities start when managing equally important priorities.  From developing strong relationships with core suppliers and identifying customer buying patterns to forecasting inventory needs to satisfy demand, the details are many, balanced with having the right products in the right place at the right time for the right price, all while being profitable. COVID-19 has highlighted that even if your supply chain is complex, it also must be nimble,” she continued.

“We’ve seen the consequences of wringing too much out of the supply chain.  The winners have been those manufacturers who had strong relationships with multiple suppliers, good insights into customer demand, multiple options for transportation and dedicated teams willing to pivot to new ways of doing business to keep and expand the business. We have seen new business opportunities emerge and stalwarts struggle. The good news is that we have, once again, rallied to a challenge,” she said.  The video conferencing tech explosion, brick and mortar retailers becoming online behemoths to satisfy at-home demand and manufacturers retrofitting production lines to make ventilators and sanitizers have demonstrated the strength, innovation and ingenuity of manufacturing during a crisis. “Now, it’s time to take what we have learned and quickly adapt it to the new un-normal.  Manufacturers are already making inroads with new suppliers, forming unusual partnerships to expedite progress, building speed and resiliency into their operations, pursuing industry 5.0 and reshoring production closer to ever-changing customer demand. As much as these initiatives sound proactive and thorough, they are not enough. Manufacturers need to get ahead of the curve and create disruption to thrive in this new un-normal she concluded.

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



Amazon Kicks off the New Year by Creating Disruption

January 30th, 2020

According to a Bloomberg article, Amazon kicked off the New Year by creating disruption. They have abruptly stopped buying products from some of their wholesalers, looking for ways to bypass wholesalers or push the cost to down the chain and increase profit. If your business depends on Amazon, hopefully you have been future-proofing your manufacturing and supply chain operations.

If not, you might be in a world of hurt! With that said, if you are heavily dependent on any one customer or supplier, you are in a risk-ridden situation.  It makes me wonder whether FedEx’s move away from Amazon was brilliant or whether they took on too much risk moving away from Amazon. Listen to a recent video where I refer to this topic. Are you taking these types of strategic questions into account in your 2020 plans?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Although the impact is obvious to wholesalers cut off by Amazon, the impacts are more widespread than that. Will Amazon be able to go direct to manufacturers? Will they be able to increase profits by squeezing their supply chain without impacting service? What happens, if that isn’t as easy as it appears? Will customers just wait? Are they getting too big or will other e-commerce players have an opportunity? It will be interesting to see.

In addition, no matter if you are related to this industry or not, it will impact you! If new players become involved, the manufacturing and logistics footprints will evolve. Will you be ready for opportunities? Undoubtedly, we will be impacted by changes in logistics infrastructure, rates and service requirements. The question is whether we will let this happen to us or if we will proactively address it. It might be too late to future-proof against this particular move by Amazon, but there will be countless more changes coming by Amazon as well as many other disruptors. Will you be ready to navigate changing circumstances and market conditions for a positive customer and bottom line impact or not?

At a minimum, continually re-evaluate your supply chain road map and think through related impacts. These topics certainly relate to our new LMA-i, LMA-Intelligence series including the Amazon Effect, the Resilient Supply Chain and Future-Proofing and contact us if you’d like an assessment path-forward plan to accelerate your bottom line and customer performance.