Tag Archive: DMA

What Tours Have You Gone on Lately?

August 27th, 2018

In the last month, I have attended quite a few tours of manufacturing and distribution operations.  The pictures below were taken at an APICS Inland Empire and ProVisors tour of Southwest Traders Foodservice Distribution and Do It American Manufacturing.  Both were excellent.  And I walked away with great tips!

Tours are a great way to see different ways of doing business and gain insights and ideas to apply in your company.  I find that what I see and learn will provide value to clients somewhere down the line.  As often as I hear clients request a consultant with knowledge in their specific industry, I have found that we often-times provide even greater value when we can apply a concept that we’ve seen in a completely different industry that looks like it could be an ideal solution.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
How recently have you gone on a tour?  You might want to start by going on a tour of your company.  As strange as it sounds, it can be eye opening if you take the view of an external tour and see what you observe.  Better yet, take others with you and see what they observe.

Beyond your facility, there are many options for tours of manufacturing and distribution operations.  You can go to customers and suppliers to better understand their operations. Not only will you gain ideas, but you’ll learn about companies that tie directly to yours and collaborate with supply chain partners.

You can also tour by joining a trade association like APICS (trade association for supply chain and operations management), the DMA (distribution management), ISM (supply management), CSCMP (transportation) and more.  Last but not least, why not ask friends and colleagues for a tour.

While you are touring, observe and ask questions.  You are likely to see new techniques, learn about new technologies, see different equipment (such as narrow aisle forklifts which we saw at Southwest Traders), observe robots in action (which we did at Do It American), discuss metrics and dashboards and much more.

Step out.  Take a Tour.  Learn from Others.



Cyber Crime Is UP. Should We Be Concerned?

May 15th, 2017

I attended the DMA (Distribution Management Association) event earlier this week, and I heard a compelling speaker from the Los Angeles office of the FBI talk about cybercrime. It is simply a massive industry. In 2015, internet fraud led to a loss of $14.6 million per month. Talk about a massive amount of cybercrime, just in Los Angeles vs. bank robberies nationally in 2014 at $2.4 million per month. Are you protecting your business from Ransomware and BEC (business email compromise)? If not, I now am armed with several horrifying statistics to pass along.

internet fraud

One tip to implement this week:

Every executive should be thinking about cyber crime. Is it worth saving a few dollars on a less expensive, inexperienced IT resource? Absolutely not! 71% of breaches occur in small businesses because they tend to be more vulnerable, and 60% of them close their doors within 6 months. Certainly these types of statistics should encourage you to be vigilant.

It isn’t just IT resources. A lot of cyber crime has to do with education and culture. If employees open emails that look harmless and don’t know what to look for or how to handle the situation, it can go from bad to worse in a hurry. One executive got in a heap of trouble when attacked by BEC because the culture was such that the CFO didn’t question blindly following what looked like an email from the CEO with instructions of where to wire funds. Start by learning about cyber crime. Find out what you should be looking for and make sure your employees understand how to handle these situations. Crooks will continue to go after these untapped funds and so we must be proactive and alert.

 

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”