Tag Archive: global impacts

Are You Stuck in Silo Thinking?

December 6th, 2016
avoid silo thinking

It is easy to narrow your thinking and stay focused on work at hand, but we need to get our head out of our operations and think big to innovate and grow.

We not only work across many manufacturing and distribution industries such as aerospace, building products and food but we also work across company-sizes ranging from small and medium size owner-operated companies to medium size private equity-backed firms to large, complex, global organizations. Thus, as we see trends across each of these segments, we pay attention. Unfortunately, silo thinking is commonplace.

Traditionally, silo thinking refers to thinking from your department-perspective and not looking cross-functionally; however, we also see vast examples of silo thinking from the company perspective. In this case, the organization falls into the trap of thinking internally and not thinking about supplier and customer impacts. And, it could mean that we think U.S. centric, even though we’d bet significant dollars that no one has a 100% U.S. centric extended supply chain. We need to get our head out of our operation and think BIGGER.

In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, extended supply chains are more interconnected than ever before. Thus, we must be aware of the impacts of our decisions on the rest of the supply chain. Actually even more important than remembering impacts, we can grow revenue and profits by looking for opportunities and unmet needs across our extended supply chain. Think about why we say “a supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. Anyone with a problem supplier might have learned this the hard way!

A natural extension of this thinking leads us to remembering that although English is the most spoken language in business settings and even though the U.S. is a big and generally affluent market, there is something to be said in remembering that 95% of consumers live outside of the U.S. And, since our supply chains extend throughout the world, we must be able to have conversations about global impacts, cultural differences and strategic priorities. Flip your silo on its head.

P.S. On a related note, we are going to kick off two new newsletters shortly — one for clients only that discusses these types of thought-provoking topics and one on the latest supply chain trends and news and how to apply it. We’ll keep you in the loop on how to receive them.

 

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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…”

 



Global Is “In”

July 5th, 2016

profit through peopleOne of the reasons my global advisory board has been as valuable as its been is because it is global. We have people from the U.S., Australia and Japan with experiences from all around the world, and we are supported by a wider community with people from almost every continent. Looking through a U.S. lens might seem expansive to someone who has spent his/her lifetime in one state or on the east coast or the west coast yet it is narrow as compared to global impacts surrounding business on a daily basis.

No matter what you think in terms of politics and the like, it is imperative that you understand global impacts. For example, with the China struggles going on earlier this year, manufacturers should be on high alert for future quality issues. Have you been considering that? When I was in Australia for my strategy session, we discussed the impact of the strong U.S. dollar. Certainly it made my trip less expensive; however, it has far reaching impacts. Which countries should companies source from? Should they hedge? Should they in-source? There are vast numbers of questions to think about.

Within the last week, Europe has certainly had a strong impact on not only the stock markets but the global economy. What will Brexit mean? What decisions should companies be making now for impacts that will occur within the next 1-5 years? How should they mitigate risk?

The Olympics is another global topic. The Zika virus has certainly impacted attendance. How will companies protect their employees? Are athletes willing to take the risk? Money was poured into preparation for the Olypmic games. What will happen if it falls short?

It doesn’t matter what you think about globalization. It is all around us. The only question is whether you’ll be prepared and thinking ahead on how to best prepare and leverage for likely global impacts.

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