Tag Archive: eagle eye

Vision Backed by BIG Goals and Leadership

October 4th, 2016

SAP CEO Bill McDermott talked much more than just about data. One of his most compelling stories related to turning around Xerox’s lowest performing division and ending the year as #1. Who says success isn’t derived from leadership has his/her head buried in the sand.

The keys Bill described were quite simple: 1) Listen. 2) Provide the vision and goals. 3) Lead.

We believe this proves the premise behind our newsletter, Profit through People — people are any organization’s #1 assets! Do you treat your people like assets? Or costs?

Bill said that the people at this division were quite disgruntled and specifically upset because the cost cutter that preceded him took away their Christmas party. So, he listened to what they requested — for him to communicate clearly what he wanted and for him to give them their party back.

The next day he stood before them and told them that he had booked the best place in town for the party, and he gave them his vision for the future. He accompanied that with the BIG goal of going from last place to 1st place by the end of the year. And then he supported them — and LED.

Guess which division ended the year in 1st place? Theirs!

As my HR mentor used to say, leadership will make or break success. Bill proved this theory. Will you?


Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

It Begins and Ends with Leadership

The Hidden Benefit of Observation 


Why Financial Acumen is Relevant to Operations

September 6th, 2016
budget binder

Have you put your organization under review to look for ideas and solutions that may be right in front of you? Take a step back and look for those strategic weapons with an eagle eye at improving performance and your bottom line.

When I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain, we constantly were pursuing how to reduce costs while improving the performance of the product and service to our customers. Understanding how to get to true costs — not double or triple counting cost improvement programs isn’t as easy as it seems like it would be. Costs are also critical for thinking strategically about pricing, what focus to put on certain products or customers, etc.

Thus, having this financial acumen is essential and noteworthy. Fortunately for me, I had a finance mentor early in my career path; thus, I decided to get an MBA with an emphasis in Finance. Of course, although quite valuable, I learned 100 times more from a Finance Director who worked for me later in my career. He was invaluable because he knew costs, how to analyze capital investments, and what was important when it came to variances, contribution margins and cash flow. What else could you want in a superhero? Thanks, Marty!

Thus, we have evolved this unique formula to the “right” combination of people (culture, change, leadership, etc.), processes and protocols (inclusive of systems, finance, etc.) — and it has a great alliteration of P’s to boot!


Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

Lessons from My Finance Mentor: How to Turn a Profit 

Are You Working on the Right Priorities?


Interest in Global Rises

July 7th, 2016
global business climate

In order to thrive in today’s business climate, executives have no choice but to get a global perspective. Leaders must find a way to stay on top of the trends, likely impacts and opportunities out there.

Since we are a more inter-connected world that ever before, the interest in global continues to rise. This does NOT mean that more manufacturers are outsourcing as the opposite is the current trend; however, companies need to be aware of the impacts of global – and so their interest in global is on the rise!

There are also more terrorist attacks than ever before, and so of course, people are more interested in what’s going on in the world. To some degree, people are less likely to travel the world yet they are more interested in what’s going on around the world. On the other hand, I just got back from Australia and New Zealand – seeing the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney’s elaborate ferry system is quite different from reading about them. Traveling in a smart way can still open doors and build relationships.

News gets out almost immediately with instantaneous communications and social media. For the most part, there is no time to put a spin on information as someone already has filmed it. In some respects, it has made it a more transparent world – and drives more interest. For executives, they have to be concerned about where their people, plants, suppliers and customers are located as it will certainly have an impact on their business.  Do you even know what your footprint looks like?

In today’s Amazon-impacted world, people expect immediate access to the products and services they desire yet they also want the lowest cost. It doesn’t matter where it comes from as the world is our oyster; however, when thinking about how to deliver rapidly with less cost, less cash tied up in intransit inventory and higher quality, it makes for an interesting – and challenging – equation. A comprehensive view must be taken inclusive of taxes, transit times, risks and the like.

The bottom line is that executives have no choice but to pay attention to the world if they want to thrive. The key is to find a way to stay on top of the trends, likely impacts and opportunities out there. How are you building this critical aspect into your career and your business viewpoint?

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

The Impact of China’s Slowdown

The Hidden Benefit of Observation 

Organizational Review Can Yield Strategic Weapons

June 7th, 2016
organizational review

Have you put your organization under review to look for ideas and solutions that may be right in front of you? Take a step back and look for those strategic weapons with an eagle eye at improving performance and your bottom line.

One of our favorite clients recently related back to one of our service lines and why we call it “Eagle Eye.” Because just like an eagle, he worked with us to pick out the priorities (prey) rapidly and accurately — and “make it happen”. What else is there to say? He got it. There are lots of strategy experts but FEW who can execute and make it happen!

Our client was in the building products industry at the height of the recession with real estate prices in the toilet and construction on a dramatic slowdown. Of course, our client was not the only company in the industry to struggle. The key is how to reduce costs while being able to service customers slightly better than the competition. In this case, 5% improvement was enough to drive sales and stand out in the crowd — quite important in the middle of a nasty recession!

In this case, we completed an organization-wide assessment of people/culture, processes and systems while evaluating distribution center size, margins, items, and innovative alternatives. Could we reduce our overhead base while finding a way to edge out the competition with service?

Although systems are always a part of our projects as they tend to be one aspect of the total equation, they rarely, if ever, are “the” solution. However, in this case, we uncovered an opportunity to leverage functionality unique to this configure-to-order industry that would provide an advantage in speed and service while minimizing the cost — and utilizing an already-existing asset (and one that was cost prohibitive for the competition to purchase during the recession) — a great yet unexpected “no-brainer” emerged.

However, this seemingly obvious strategic advantage wasn’t clear to anyone prior to the organization-wide review. Oftentimes, our best ideas and solutions are sitting right in front of us but we miss them. Take a step back and make sure you are seeing the trees in the forest. Do any look like unique opportunities? Undoubtedly, there will be one if you look hard enough!


Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

What is Eagle Eye Strategic Focus?

Are You Working on the Right Priorities?

4 Excel for SIOP Success

April 5th, 2016
SIOP expertise to drive exponential results

4 EXCEL is a LMA Consulting Group proprietary process to help businesses engage executives and employees to execute integrated plans that improve overall performance.

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.

4 EXCEL(SM) is our proprietary process that leverages SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) expertise to drive exponential results.  

We’ve found 4 EXCEL to achieve two vital outcomes:

  • Bottom line results – growth, profitability, cash flow, productivity, customer loyalty
  • Engagement and collaboration across the organization — and often-times across your supply chain.

There are 4 E’s for success:

  • Engage executive team in SIOP (sales, inventory, and operations planning)
  • Energize cross-functional teams inclusive of customers and suppliers (to align demand with supply)
  • Execute integrated business plans
  • Elevate business performance (growth, profit, working capital, customer service).

Please refer to our webpage to learn more and contact us if you are interested in leveraging 4 EXCEL(SM) at your organization.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

SIOP/ Integrated Business Planning 

Are You Working on the Right Priorities?