Tag Archive: IEEP

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity for Manufacturing, Logistics & CA to Align

July 15th, 2019

Last week, I went to the California Capitol building as a part of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership’s (IEEP) regional leadership academy. It was interesting to hear how the process works. I also am also representing the IEEP’s Logistics Council as it relates to moving forward with the Brookings report recommendations to create a consortium of logistics and advanced manufacturing excellence in the Inland Empire.

We are positioned ideally to scale up and partner with industry, academia and government/non-profit partners to achieve this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of aligning seemingly disparate goals of manufacturing, logistics, California government and the federal government’s interests to achieve a win-win-win-win. Wouldn’t that be a feat!

The idea is simple. The Inland Empire’s predominant high-paying professions include logistics and manufacturing. The IE has been outpacing all of California in job creation due to these industries yet they are not typically supported (to say the least!). Since they are contributing vitally to the IE community and jobs, we have the cards stacked in our favor:

  • IE logistics is #1 in the U.S.
  • IE manufacturing is strong and vast (SoCal is #1 in manufacturing in the U.S.)
  • The IE has access to great talent in the local and surrounding area universities (CSUSB, UCR, Drucker, Harvey Mudd, Cal Poly, Redlands), community colleges (Norco, Chaffey etc.), and partners such as GA Tech
  • And, the IE is in the unique position to leverage advanced technology to increase customer value, improve profit and create clean technologies as a win for the environment, X.

Thus, we are scaling up and collaborating for success.

This opportunity didn’t just fall into the IE’s lap. The leaders saw potential and ‘went for it’. Are you looking for opportunities?

One tip to implement this week:
In our work with clients, it is commonplace for clients to ignore vast opportunities such as this exciting initiative. There are always roadblocks, different interests, money flows to address and lots of other issues that arise. The key question is whether you are looking at each issue as a detriment or if you see the big picture and train your eye to ‘see’ a successful path forward.

Recently, our APICS Inland Empire chapter had the opportunity to provide training and education to Target (thanks to our partnership with the University of LaVerne). When the opportunity arose, we didn’t know how we would scale up and fulfill it successfully. However, we took the leap of faith to create value and had the confidence that we’d figure it out.

At first, we were worried about executing against our commitments.  Yet, it all fell into place. It forced us to be a bit more creative.  So, when the next leap of faith opportunity arose to provide manufacturing and logistics education to high school students to help bridge the gap to a profitable career, we went for it. We continue to evolve as we go but it has allowed us to make a difference in a way we would never had pursued or been involved with previously. Are you taking a leap of faith?



People & Robots Can Co-Exist Successfully

May 23rd, 2019

We held an engaging executive panel discussion at our APICS Inland Empire spring symposium on the topic: “The Talent Transformation: People or Robots? There is quite a lot of hoopla in Inland Southern California as this geography is larger than all but 24 states (and soon will take over Lousiana) with a strong manufacturing and logistics base.  Yet, the threat and opportunity of automation is close at hand. According to a University of Redlands study, most large metropolitan areas are subject to losing 55% of their current jobs due to automation. In Inland Southern CA, that number expands to 62%. What will this mean? Disaster or opportunity?

According to a robotics expert with a background in industry, Carnegie Mellon and Harvey Mudd, the CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP), a Director at Honeywell and a recruiter and practice lead at Aerotek, we can rest assured that people and robots can co-exist successfully. Of course, this assumes we are proactive in thinking about automation, retraining and educating our workforce and providing the insights and collaboration opportunities such as the executive panel event.

We had some probing questions from the manufacturing and distribution professionals in the audience, but it was unanimous that a solution exists. We also talked about Middle Harbor which is a high-tech area of the ports. This has proven more challenging as negotiations have put some people out of a job yet still getting paid for it. With that said, there were many examples of success with business growing 3-fold while the company doubled the workforce and more. Hiding under a rock is definitely not the route to success. Instead, be a part of the collaborative effort.

As a Board member of IEEP and a supply chain expert, I am helping to lead a consortium for advanced manufacturing and logistics success to address just this topic (resulting from the Brookings study research). If you are interested in staying in the loop with updates, please email me. I’ve created a special interest list for this topic.

The students from Harvey Mudd presented some exciting robotics research they are conducting with industry on how to successfully navigate cluttered workspaces (as most manufacturing and distribution clients require). Much progress is being made.  And, robots aren’t going away. There are many positives in terms of consistency of quality, replacing competitive motion tasks, reducing workers compensation and labor risks in addition to cost savings. With that said, there are also some challenges to overcome such as what happens when technology goes wrong (like with the Boeing 737 Max). There is always risks to mitigate and people who are overlooked. The panel discussed the Challenger disaster and the employee who warned ahead of time to the technical glitch.

What are you doing to evaluate technology from a strategic standpoint? Will you be left in the dust? Grocery stores might have been a bit complacent before Amazon bought Whole Foods. Are you complacent? On the other hand, please don’t follow fads. When everyone thought outsourcing was great and Boards insisted on following the trend no matter the total impact, several companies outsourced and were sorry later when service went down and costs weren’t saved. If you’d like an assessment, contact us.

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

Profit Through People

The Talent Transformation: People or Robots?

The Resilient Supply Chain: Do You Have Resilient Employees?



UPS, the Rise of e-Commerce & Peak Season Multiples!

November 16th, 2018

Recently, I went on a tour of UPS’s Ontario hub with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership‘s Regional Leadership Academy.  It was a blast seeing their 2nd largest hub!  The numbers are staggering as to the impact of e-commerce and therefore the holiday season peak.  One supervisor said he went from a daily throughput of 4 planes a day to 26 or 32 (now I forgot which but either is a massive difference!) during peak season.  Now that’s seasonality!

 

 

 

 

 

UPS Ontario has a great retention rate.  If you add that with the HUGE seasonality peak, you know people must like working there!  Interesting how it always seems to go back to people, similar to our thinking with our original brand and newsletter, Profit through People!  

UPS handles 299 million packages per year!  The average package is handled 5.6 times, and here’s a shocking statistic: if you can save a tenth of a package handle, it is $25 million in savings.  That certainly puts efficiency gains in a new light!

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

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that again and again, our most successful clients and the most successful and profitable companies put their attention on people.  

Have you thought about your people lately? Would they stay if the competition offered them a raise? Remember, people leave people; not companies.  So, if you are in the same salary range, you better start thinking more about your people.  If you aren’t in the ballpark, you better start paying attention to your marketplace.

For the peak season, UPS has to hire a HUGE amount of temps and ensure efficiencies aren’t harmed in the process, given the serious impact to the bottom line.  If that situation doesn’t require resiliency, I don’t know what does! It is quite similar to one of our clients, QC Manufacturing/ Quietcool.  They have a HUGE summer season, and I’ve always thought their success can be traced back to their attention to people and innovation.



California Steel Industries and Whether Progress Follows Passion

November 10th, 2018

Recently, I went on a tour of California Steel Industries (CSI), the leading producer of steel in the western United States.  We walked through the steel mill and the pipe mill.  You’ll see a video of the steel manufacturing process below.

It is quite an interesting process.  However, as amazing as it is to see, what is even more impressive is the dedication and passion of the employees who took us on the tour.  What I thought was most impressive is how the team members enjoyed the culture.

 

 

CSI has never had a layoff although they have used their employees to not just fill temporary roles but also to perform all services during tough years.  This dedication shines through.  For example, the pipe mill supervisor had a lot of pride as he told us about his story and the fact that it is the newest pipe mill in the world yet it is housed in the oldest building at CSI.  Perhaps progress follows passion in CSI’s case….

One tip to implement this week:
Culture seems to be popping up at every turn lately (tours, Harvey Mudd executive roundtables, successful CEO feedback) as key to success.

Have you thought about your culture and the impact on your employees and progress?  For example, on a tour, would your employees talk to the process and leave it at that?  Or would they talk about how much they enjoy working there?  Perhaps we should all “take a tour” of our facilities and find out.

If culture is simply as my consulting mentor Alan Weiss defines it (that set of beliefs that govern behavior), it is quite simple.  The issue is that it isn’t easy to build.

How might we create that set of beliefs that govern behavior?  Perhaps we start by deciding what we are willing to stand up for – and not waver from when the “going gets tough”.

If your influencers start believing in your culture, it will spread.  The trick is the only way I’ve ever seen influencers believe is by gaining their trust and respect and showing them (not telling them) what your new culture supports.

Why not start by simply thinking about what beliefs you support currently (whether intentional or unintentional)?  Can you see the impact of these beliefs in your culture?  The first step to any progress is to fully understand where you are now.

 



My 5-City Cross-Country Trip & the Value of Collecting Good People

November 4th, 2018

 

When I was young, I had a doll collection of the nationalities of my family.  I no longer collect dolls, cats or mystery novels but I have upgraded to collecting “good people”.  Luckily, I have always appreciated “good people” and I’ve stayed in touch.

Over the years, I was amazed and thrilled how many benefits came from this way of looking at life and career.  Last week, I was on an 8-night, 5-stop, cross-country journey where I interacted with some of these “good people” and it made me think…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started in:
1) Arizona to see my Mom and family
2) Chicago for the Association for Supply Chain Management where I collaborated with
LMA Associates, clients, APICS Inland Empire global student case competition finalists from Harvey Mudd, a CSUSB professor and contingent of transportation-related business owners from China and met several new colleagues
3) New York to lead the
Society for Advancement of Consulting annual meeting with my business partner, Linda Popky
4) Atlanta to meet with Georgia Tech and
IEEP colleagues
5) Palm Springs to meet with Renaissance Executive Forums CEOs  

Although exhausted, it did make me think about this concept of “collecting good people”.  Do you collect good people?

One tip to implement this week:
FAR more important than collecting industry trends, company history, technical skills and anything else, GOOD PEOPLE are the most valuable.  You meet people in all walks of life from college to colleagues at a job to customers and suppliers you might interact with along the way to industry and trade groups you participate with and much more.  I’ve found that there are “good people” all along the way. Sometimes, it just takes recognizing them. As life changes, keep in touch. It is easier today than ever before with social media.

When I first started on Linked In, I found the daughter of my first boss from Coca-Cola in order to re-connect with my first boss as well as her daughter (as we worked together briefly near the end).  I am really glad I did as they are definitely in the “good people” category. Other “good people” have become LMA Associates. Others have become clients.  And, others have become trusted colleagues and so on.  

No matter what happens in the future, wouldn’t you rather keep in touch with the “good people” throughout your life? It certainly makes it richer!