Tag Archive: global competition

What Do Sears and Amazon Have in Common?

October 10th, 2017

Thanks to my client Dan Vest, I read a fascinating article about Sears and Amazon. Who knew Sears and Amazon had so much in common? Pretty startling! The Reader’s Digest version is as follows: Sears was the former Amazon about 100 years ago, growing 50-fold within a decade with its world-famous catalog and then transforming from a mailing company to a brick-and-mortar giant. They were the everything store with an uncanny feel for consumer demand. Sound familiar? So what might we learn from history and paying attention to trends?

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

Perhaps Sears isn’t something to be totally ignored… As transformative, customer-focused and growth-oriented as they were 100 years ago, they stopped looking for the next customer-focused innovation and have suffered mightily. Clearly, if you lose track of your customer, you are likely to lose track of your growth and profits. It is also easy to get lost as you get big – suddenly what used to be innovative is replaced with ridiculous rules and bureaucracy with no glance in the direction of the customer. Walmart came on the scene with amazing service and low costs. And now Amazon is the 80 pound gorilla.

There is another interesting development to note. Amazon tends to choose strange bedfellows and has partnered with the brick-and-mortar giant. Amazon will sell smart technology such as the Echo in Sears stores and the Sears flagship Kenmore brand product line will be sold online through Amazon. Unique collaborations seem to be driving success.  Just look at the partnership of innovative Amazon with “not-known-for-its-innovation” United States Postal Service (USPS), yet it works. Do you see postal trucks delivering on Sundays? I do.

In short, pay attention to history, trends and never stop thinking. Add collaboration into the mix and you might just hit a home run.

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MCIE Innovation Awards of Inland Empire Adds College Student Category

January 5th, 2017
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MCIE Innovation Awards of Inland Empire, to be held at the Ontario Convention Center on Feb. 3, announces the new Student Award for college students.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group and program awards chair for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) Manufacturer’s Summit E=mc² Innovation Awards, a special award ceremony celebrating innovative businesses solving challenges in today’s manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce a new category award of Student Award in addition to the five award categories of Innovation in Product Development, Innovation in Resource or Process Efficiency for Manufacturers, Innovation in Human Capital and Talent, and Innovation in Marketing. Submissions are due by January 16, 2017, with awards made at the Manufacturing Summit, the largest event of its kind in Inland Southern California, to be held at the Ontario Convention Center on Friday, February 3, 2017.

The E=mc² Innovation Awards are a great way to showcase what a company is doing to be innovative to raise the bar,” shares Award Chair Lisa Anderson. “In a climate of robust global competition, talent shortages due to skills gaps, Amazon and mega distributors changing the competitive landscape and poor employee engagement, these awards can prove to Inland Empire companies and their employees, that they are innovative and have great ideas to grow their business and remain competitive. And with the addition of the student category, we now have a spotlight on hiring recent graduates who showcase their talents with their submissions.”

Award winners have tapped into new ideas, processes and manufacturing techniques to build and improve their businesses. Previous winners include Riverside, Calif.-based Newport Cottages, a children’s furniture manufacturer and winner of the Innovations in Human Capital and Talent Award, struggled with workflow issues unable to increase sales from new orders while managing the demand from current customers. They partnered with the Riverside County Workforce Investment Board to promote and facilitate a Lean Manufacturing Transformation Rollout Program and turned their disorganization into a true company transformation.

Last year’s Innovation in Resource & Process Efficiency Award Winner, Celestica, a design and engineering through to manufacturing and after-market services firm based in Ontario, Calif., had to overcome a dual problem of reducing costs as requested by customers while improving efficiency to handle more orders. They had to evaluate their operation, perform a Kaizen Blitz to eliminate non-value add activities and rely on employee’s creativity to improve receiving and overall operations.

The 2015 E=mc² Innovation in Marketing Award went to the Riverside, Calif.-based Phenix Technology, a recognized manufacturer and seller of high quality professional fire helmets, for revitalizing this Made in America, 40-year old company into a global powerhouse. Angel Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Global Operations of Phenix Technology explains, “As a small business in California, we struggle to compete with large manufacturers from all over the world. Many have what seem to be unlimited budgets for marketing along with reduced costs for doing business.” But part of not just surviving, but thriving is the innovation many in the Inland Empire have. “We are committed to making our products in the Inland Empire, says Sanchez. “To ensure we can continue doing so for decades to come we focused our energy on innovation. From lean manufacturing to creative marketing, we work hard to thrive in California. It was an honor to be recognized for our efforts and hopefully our model can help other small business to succeed.”

The 2017 Manufacturing Summit will be held Friday, February 3, 2017, at the Ontario Convention Center. For more information, visit MCIE Website or cut and paste this link http://mfgcouncilie.com/homepage/.

 



The Importance of Global

July 14th, 2016

supply chain

Just returning from meeting with my global advisory board in Sydney, I happened to speak to the International Business Group of ProVisors yesterday on “Global Supply Chain Partners: Associations, Networks & Resources”. Thus, I’ve been thinking about the importance of international considerations — regardless of the business. I cannot think of a client that doesn’t have some sort of international consideration — ranging from owning, partnering or sourcing manufacturing in China or Mexico to sourcing materials and parts from around the world to purchasing machinery from international companies to supporting customers globally to being impacted by global competition…..and the list goes on.

Expanding your thought process to include global can positively impact growth, profit, company value, cash flow and service — doesn’t that sound like a no-brainer? That’s one of the reasons my APICS Chapter has put together the theme “Navigating the Global Supply Chain” for the next executive panel and networking symposium (see below).

APICS oct 29

One tip to implement this week:

The first step to navigating the global marketplace is to be aware.

If you are a CEO, business owner or GM, set aside time to think about global implications for your business. What are they today? What do you expect them to be next quarter and next year? What would you like them to be? There is vast opportunity. For example, I know of several highly successful companies that have pursued the underutilized opportunities in exports alone. There are so many more, I could write a book on this topic alone.

If you are a process owner, set aside time to think and brainstorm with your team about global impacts that affect your area of expertise. Understand them. Are there opportunities to pursue? I’d be hard-pressed to find a business that couldn’t find an opportunity in this arena. Find one and put together your thoughts, ideas and recommendations. Soon, you’ll be ready to run it by your peers and senior leaders. New worlds of opportunity will open.

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…”