Tag Archive: innovate

Inaugural LMA Futurist Award 2020: Corona Clipper

September 29th, 2020

Since our 10 year anniversary in 2015, we have been recognizing people who have contributed to our success with our LMA Advocate award. In the last few years, we have been thinking about starting a corporate award of excellence.  We wanted to make sure it was special and positioned with our most successful and proactive clients in mind. When COVID hit, it inspired the synthesis of these thoughts into our inaugural LMA Futurist award.

The LMA Futurist is to recognize the organization and leaders who go above and beyond “excellence”. Although excellence is certainly desirable, it is no longer enough. We must achieve excellence, resilience and see into the future in order to be proactive and strategic instead of reactive and playing catch up in the marketplace.  The LMA Futurist embodies these qualities, recognizing organizational leaders who think beyond current circumstances, prepare their organization for changing conditions and, of course, strive for efficiency and effectiveness in running the business. For our inaugural LMA Futurist award, I’m excited to recognize Corona Clipper and president, Steve Erickson.

Steve Erickson and the Corona Clipper team epitomize the LMA Futurist. It goes without saying that there is a constant persistence to strive for excellence – grow sales, increase profitability, accelerate cash flow, create customer engagement, lower costs and much more. And, they do not stop there. For example, early in the e-commerce world, Steve and the team were exploring options to expand their business and grow in this area. They took tangible, parallel tangible steps forward with research and explored options to grow Corona.com, as well as their business with Amazon, Home Depot and others. When COVID-19 hit, they were prepared to pivot with e-commerce.

In addition, they constantly reevaluate supply options in Asia, Mexico and other countries. So when the tariffs hit, they were already in transition in moving some volume to Vietnam. Thinking strategically never stops. How to successfully achieve customer responsiveness in product innovation and customer service while managing costs remains top of mind. I’m thrilled to recognize Corona Clipper and Steve Erickson with the LMA Futurist.

One Tip to Implement This Week:
Follow the lead of Corona Clipper. Here are a few insights into their success:

  1. Think multiple chess moves ahead of the competition: Easier said than done.  Yet, with education, examples, trials, practice and persistence, it is achievable.
  2. Innovate, innovate, innovate: The most successful organizations and leaders post-COVID will be those that innovate.
  3. Collaborate with the best: Surround yourself with experts and expertise.
  4. Remember that people are your #1 asset: We follow and prefer to do business with people, not companies. Your employees, customers, suppliers, trusted advisors….
  5. Stay current: Don’t follow fads.  Understand trends, capabilities, options and opportunities.

Consider these strategies if you are interested in achieving profitable growth and making an impact. Read more about these types of ideas to navigate and successfully emerge post COVID-19 in my free eBook Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Please send your feedback and stories. I will incorporate them into an upcoming article, video or interview.

Stay safe & healthy.



What’s Going on in Supply Chain: Shark Bite Biz Video

September 8th, 2020

David Strausser, podcast host of Shark Bite Biz, and I talk about what’s going on in supply chain. We talk e-commerce, customers’ customers, suppliers’ suppliers, what our most successful clients are doing currently, the pareto principle and more. Listen to our episode (after a short advertisement).

 

       

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Although there are many steps every manufacturer or distributor should take during these unprecedented times, there are a few critical and common steps everyone should pursue. At a minimum, immediately address the following:

  1. Your customers’ customers – Understand your demand, changing buying behaviors, changing product and service needs, etc.
  2. Your suppliers’ suppliers – Understand your supply capabilities, your suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers cash positions, risks, ability to innovate, etc.
  3. Don’t forget your internal operations – The equivalent of your customers’ customers’ view of your operations, capacity, staffing flexibility, skills, etc.
  4. Frequent touch points – Demand and supply (SIOP), employees, customers and suppliers
  5. Sync up with your strategy – Are you still going in the “right’ direction? Think about rapid and agile strategy.
  6. Innovate – Only those that innovate thrive. During these unprecedented times, successful companies will pull away from the pack by innovating.

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive long-term. If you are interested in doing an assessment and rapid roadmap tailored to your company, please contact us about this new service offering.

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.



Is Digitization Hype?

March 8th, 2017

Well, let’s start with a definition of digitization. According to CIO.com, McKinsey defines it as technologies that virtualize and automate products, services and supply chains. We certainly hear about digitization in the news frequently; however, according to McKinsey, even though CIOs embrace it, digitization is a slow-moving process.

On the other hand, don’t see this as an opportunity to take a break. According to McKinsey, 49% of the leading companies are investing in digital more than their counterparts do, compared with only 5% of digital laggards. Perhaps it is an opportunity to leapfrog the competition?

technology

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

Digitization isn’t going to take over our day-to-day operations anytime soon; however, if we want to lead in our industry and provide exceptional service to our customers, we better get ahead of this curve, no matter how slow-moving at the moment. If Amazon has proved anything, it is that everything can change in a heartbeat. Thus, we should get our strategy going and think about what digitization would make sense in our industry. What would help us provide a superior customer experience? I find that is always a good place to start to spur thinking.

It also makes sense to research the best practices in digitization (regardless of industry). After all, if it is a slow-moving process, we cannot rely on our competition and colleagues to be on the leading edge to push us to innovate. Instead, we need to explore what’s working for completely different industries and think about how it could apply these ideas to our industry. With that said, be selective and smart. Do your due diligence but don’t get overly excited about digital technology that won’t provide a competitive advantage or significant value for your organization. Empower your people to open their minds and ideas will flow. You’ll find a gem out there somewhere.

 



Innovation

January 30th, 2017

I am the Chair of the Innovation Awards of the Manufacturers’ Summit for the Inland Empire, and we have been quite busy preparing for this Friday’s summit (see below). It is important to encourage innovation for the obvious reason that if we do not innovate, we will stand still. And, if we are standing still, we end up moving backwards while our competition passes us. What have you innovated lately?

One tip to implement this week:

Innovation is certainly not something to accomplish in a week; however, it is definitely something to start this week. My best clients innovate by inspiring and rewarding creativity. The executives provide a vision of the future and encourage employees and partners to innovate. As my consulting mentor says, innovation is applied creativity. I bet you have a LOT more innovators (or potential innovators) at your company than you realize.

Are you creating a culture of innovation in your company, department or just with your colleagues? Start by encouraging thinking and testing of ideas. Find areas where you’ve already innovated and apply for next year’s awards. Make sure your employees and colleagues are recognized for their successes!

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…”