Tag Archive: Future Proofing

The Future of Technology

August 20th, 2020

Technology is a tricky topic. On one hand, almost everyone has put technology and ERP implementations on hold due to concerns about COVID-19 impacts and to conserve cash. On the other hand, it is the best time to gain employees’ attention and focus on upgrading technology to scale the business, create a superior customer experience and deliver bottom line results.

Kellogg or Post?
As I said in my eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19, the Kellogg vs. Post story from the Great Depression provides an excellent example to ponder. In the 1920’s, Kellogg and Post dominated the market for cereal which was still a relatively new and untapped market. Post reigned in expenses and Kellogg doubled its ad budget and pushed its new cereal. Even as the economy hit bottom, Kellogg’s profits rose 30% and they become the dominant player.  Do you want to be Kellogg or Post? The morale to the story is NOT about dollars invested. It is about the opportunities of investing resources (which can be simply in the form of employees’ focus) in future success.

Which Technologies Provide Immediate and Long-Term Value?
Of course, the answer depends on your industry, company, current infrastructure, your customers’ evolving needs, your suppliers’ evolving needs and more. Why not perform a rapid assessment of what makes the most sense for your business and take one important step forward? As I said in my eBook, Newton’s Law is relevant. Objects in motion stay in motion whereas objects at rest will stay at rest. You must take steps forward, no matter how small.

Let’s highlight a few of the more likely technologies to provide immediate value and long-term value:

  1. Further utilize & expand your ERP system: No one uses 80% of their system.  Most organizations utilize only 20%. Find the next 1% that will yield a significant benefit to your customers or bottom line. Clients are gaining significant value from this simple step.
  2. B2B customer portal/ B2C e-commerce: No doubt about it. The ONLY growth area across the board is e-commerce. In addition, what could be more important than visibility of orders for your B2B customers? Delays will result in lost opportunity!
  3. Business Intelligence (BI): We are overloaded with data. The issue isn’t having data, it is making meaningful decisions and formulating plans based on the interpretation of data. BI will bring meaning to your data that translates into customer and profit opportunities.
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) & Human Learning: In today’s environment, predictive capabilities produce VASTLY greater results than simply analysis and static plans. Demand planning/ forecasting, predictive maintenance, cash flow forecasting, and the automation of tasks are enhanced with AI.
  5. CRM: There has never been a time when understanding, staying in touch with and being on top of evolving customer needs has been more important.
  6. Digital Twins: Virtual replicas of physical devices that technology gurus can use to run simulations before actual devices are built and deployed. Read a fascinating article about the applications in logistics.
  7. Systems to gain efficiencies: WMS (warehouse management), TMS (transportation management), rate shopping, MPS (master production scheduling)/ MRP (material requirements planning)/Inventory planning, replenishment including VMI (vendor managed inventory) and more.
  8. 3D Printing/ Additive manufacturing – If you can produce a customized product on demand close to customers, you win in today’s Amazonian environment. Either way, it speeds up R&D.

Read our eBook, Future-ProofingiManufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 to read more about technology as it relates to successfully emerging and thriving post-COVID-19. Explore these concepts further as you start thinking through your technology roadmap.

Did you like this article?  Continue reading on this topic:

The Rise of E-Commerce & WMS Popularity During the Pandemic

Systems Pragmatist



Being Featured on Bloomberg & the Rise of Reshoring

June 3rd, 2020

Of course, it was very exciting to be featured on Bloomberg’s ‘What’d You Miss?’ show! It speaks to the rising popularity of reshoring that Bloomberg is searching for supply chain experts to talk about reshoring and whether it makes sense.

NOTE: I am about half-way through the segment if you’d like to watch the show.

As I said on Bloomberg, of course, the answer of whether you should reshore is “it depends”; however, it is becoming quite attractive for many industries and situations. At a minimum, review whether it makes sense to source manufacturing closer to your end customers. If you need a push, look no further than the Amazon-like customer requirements, increasing labor costs in China, the lessening importance of labor costs as the Future in Manufacturing panel discussed, the risk of disruption (tariffs, COVID-19, natural disasters etc.) and more. I discuss this topic in depth in my eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19.

 We have also launched a rapid Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain assessment if you’d like assistance in evaluating for your particular situation. Contact us if you are interested. Stay safe and healthy. We continue to post coronavirus resources, write blog articles on navigating coronavirus as well as “beyond lockdown” strategies, and we are sponsoring APICS Inland Empire‘s “Navigating Through Volatility” webinar series. Join us and learn more here



Immediate Strategy

May 7th, 2020

Do you want to be Amazon or Sears? Sears used to be the Amazon of its time, but they failed to change with the times. There is little life left in this former powerhouse of retail. On the other hand, Amazon continues to evolve and is clearly doing quite well in these trying times. In fact, our clients are experiencing growth across the board in only one category – e-commerce. Amazon continues to rule the day!

As I state in my eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19, if you want to be more like Amazon, you will rethink strategy but NOT like you might think. It should not be a lengthy process that looks across multiple years. Instead, create an ‘immediate strategy.’ What does that look like? Read about an immediate, 3 and 9-month strategy in the eBook:

  1. Immediate Strategy: Focus on establishing immediate priorities, assessing risks and understanding your customers, suppliers and other partners.
  2. 3-Month Strategy: Focus on how to keep moving forward and increasing value
  3. 9-Month Strategy: Focus on how to redesign to take advantage of the opportunities

As you think through the strategies outlined and determine your path forward, please keep us in the loop. We are interested in your journey, what works, and what pitfalls to avoid so that we can share insights and ideas. Don’t worry. We will protect the innocent; however, keep in mind one of the tenets of the eBook is to fail forward with innovation. Those who innovate will have a unique opportunity to sail past the competition as the world creates a new normal over the next year. If you’d like to discuss your strategy, please contact us.

Did you like this article?  Continue reading on this topic:

Coronavirus and the Economic Impacts
The Strategic Use of Data



Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Releases eBook Future-Proofing Manufacturing and the Supply Chain Post COVID-19

April 29th, 2020

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – April 29, 2020 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., has released, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19. This eBook provides insights, advice and experiential value for Manufacturers and their Supply Chains.

 

The importance of the supply chain came into focus as shelter-in-place orders and the COVID-19 epidemic shifted the demand and supply for newly deemed essential items. “Manufacturers have long understood the intricacies of the supply chain.  What has recently emerged is the key role that the supply chain plays in every aspect of a business.  From sourcing strategies and managing supplier and logistics partner relations to proactively forecasting demand and managing customer service and inventory expectations, the end-to-end supply chain is much than production or operations.  A wrinkle in the supply chain can throw a company off its axis,” commented Ms. Anderson.

“We have been talking about manufacturing and the supply chain being at a critical juncture and the need to become agile, proactive and exponentially innovative.  Little did we know that we would be in the spotlight to meet the challenge under these circumstances. We have seen manufacturers respond to critical needs, like ventilators.  We have seen the supply of toilet paper and other paper goods disappear, highlighting the importance of the supply chain.  We are already seeing manufacturers building a new framework to future-proof their supply chains for the future.  This experience, while sometimes painful, has provided trial by fire and a means to step ahead for a different future,” Ms. Anderson said.  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.

Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19 provides practical go-forward business concepts than can be applied to any manufacturer, distribution or supply chain organization.

Ms. Anderson is an active member of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, was recently appointed to the Department of Commerce, District Export Council of the Inland Empire and is sought out by organizations such as Oracle for her manufacturing and supply chain insights. Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19 can be downloaded here.

 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



Think Twice About Your Manufacturing Supply Chain

April 11th, 2020

My recent episode from my new video series related to “What’s Happening?” in manufacturing and supply chain addresses reevaluating production outside of the U.S. There has been a lot of activity lately impacting sourcing decisions. Just consider the new phase 1 trade deal with China, offset by a very worrisome law that went into affect in China in December related to data privacy (and lack thereof!) and a BIG win for manufacturers with the new USMCA trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Are you staying up-to-speed on these essential changes and trends?

Our most successful clients are on top of it! In fact, they are typically ahead. In today’s Amazon-paced, customer-centric world, it is no longer an option. You must be proactive just to survive. Get out of your chair and attend a key industry event, join us at our next Harvey Mudd executive roundtable to discuss the digital transformation and related impacts and network with peers, say yes to participating in the latest economic forecast event or the like. In addition, read highlights about the latest technologies and how they might impact your industry, seek out experts who can help you think through the top priorities in today’s Omni-channel world (whether related to you or not; you’ll pick up valuable insights to apply regardless), take your trusted advisors to lunch and ask them for their insights and more. The bottom line is you must be informed, proactive, collaborative and agile.

When it comes to thinking about your supply chain strategy, don’t get side tracked with all the hoopla. As Roy Paulson said in our 2019 predictions document (my favorite quote), “As a view looking forward in these auspicious times, expect to see more talk of tariffs, threats and waving of hands, all the while, those of us in exporting will be busy making deals, signing contracts and getting business done.”  I cannot tell you how true this statement is across the board. Thus, instead of getting into debates and moaning about your current situation, put a plan in place to thrive amidst the chaos.

As it relates specifically to China, China alternatives and our North American neighbors, watch our interview with John Tulac, international business attorney to learn more. We had a great time talking philosophy and throwing out issues and ideas on how to navigate China. I’ve committed to sharing widely to get the word out. I believe fully in being upfront and proactive, and I hope you’ll join with us in spreading the word of caution. This topic also squarely fits with our new theme on future-proofing your manufacturing operations and extended supply chain.  Contact us to discuss further.