Tag Archive: improvement

LA Metro & Innovative Transportation

May 4th, 2018


L.A. Metro & Innovative Transportation

I was able to hear Joshua Schank, Director of Innovation of L.A. Metro talk at a ProVisors meeting last week.  So, it seemed appropriate to share the complexity of L.A.’s transportation network and some of the innovations starting to gain momentum.

The single largest innovation he discussed is the ability for L.A. Metro to receive unsolicited proposals for ideas. Since they implemented this idea in 2016, they’ve received over 100. Many of these are gaining momentum – and getting implemented in a private/ public partnership QUICKER than ever before and under budget.  







They also have submitted a strategic plan for approval that goes beyond on-time arrival to improving mobility.  He told us an interesting statistic – in the recent past, 2.3 million people were added to the L.A. area and 2.1 million cars were added during the same time period.  It will require innovation to bring L.A. Metro from last resort transportation to attractive to its potential customer base!

One tip to implement this week:
Interesting that even with one of the areas not typically seen as modern (a governmental agency related to transportation), innovation is seen as a priority – so much so that they have a position dedicated to it.

The Amazonian marketplace has even made its way to transportation as I heard him say customer focus and quicker delivery of projects multiple times. He said projects used to typically finish far later than the delivery date and significantly over budget.  Now, many are delivered early and under budget. If an governmental agency can increase speed, why can’t you?

Of course, it isn’t as simple as dictating quicker delivery.  Put some thought into what it would take to come up with innovative ideas.  In their case, they allowed for unsolicited proposals. That was probably seen as radical.  

Are you merely content with continuous improvement or are you taking the stance of L.A. Metro to look at dramatic change?  What would you need to do to encourage your employees, customers, suppliers and others to tell you about their ideas for positive innovations?  

Put thought into how you could encourage that – there’s no time to delay if you plan on  remaining competitive!


The Significant Value of Processes

November 19th, 2013
Following business processes that are known to work is the cornerstone of a successful supply chain business.

Following business processes that are known to work is the cornerstone of a successful supply chain business.

Processes are often overlooked in terms of their value. Every supply chain manager knows you should have them, document them and even follow them, but few understand their power. Here are 5 keys to tapping the power of process:

1. Process review – One of my most successful approaches in my consulting toolkit is process review. It is simply amazing how much can be learned by observing processes in action. Almost every time I review processes, low hanging fruit is uncovered.

2. Questioning – Asking the right questions at the right time is a key to uncovering process potential. It seems so obvious that it is frequently undervalued. Asking the whys associated with processes can yield substantial results.

3. Systems approach – A systems approach to processes is the only way to go. This doesn’t mean to be rigid and inflexible (as many think when bringing this topic up). Instead, it means to think and design your process in a systems-wide manner.

4. Documentation – Of course, don’t overlook documentation. There’s no need to get crazy but core processes should be documented. Make sure folks have the ability to reference documentation for key functions.

5. Simplify – I thought about using process improvement as the key point and decided that simplification is of upmost importance. Simplifying processes can be one of the most challenging pursuits but it’s well worth the effort – and is an improvement to boot.

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