Tag Archive: Manufacturing Summit

Resiliency & Innovation Go Hand-in-Hand

February 22nd, 2019

With the high level of volatility and disruption that is commonplace in today’s business environment, creating resiliency has become a must. What we’re seeing is that creating resiliency and an innovative culture go hand-in-hand. If we find a resilient team, they are also innovative, and if we find one that is fixed in nature, it is very unlikely to be resilient. Do you have an innovative culture?

Innovation is very misunderstood. It doesn’t require “new” in most cases.  It is rare to find something completely new unless you are in certain industries such as the pharmaceutical industry.  Even Apple didn’t create the original idea behind the iPod which has now been incorporated into the iPhone.  It actually came from the Sony Walkman (remember those?). At that time, no one knew they needed to walk around with music. We have come a long way, and Apple has made that easy!

Since the Innovation Awards at the Manufacturing Summit provide a good example of different areas of innovation, I thought it would be beneficial to list them below to spur thinking:

Take a quick look at the video as well which talks to the innovation awards.  Of course, these are just those recognized at the Manufacturing Summit currently (and we are always interested in feedback and ideas).  There are many more categories. Perhaps it will stimulate a few ideas though.

innovation for project successInnovation doesn’t have to be complicated and complex.  What unexpected successes have you had?  Can you find ideas in those?  I just returned from a global consulting strategy group meeting, and one of our members did exactly that to spur one of his companies forward from struggling with intense competition and no way to stand out from them to rapid and significantly more profitable growth.  I am confident that this same type of success can be found in almost every client. Are you looking?

We can help you with that. Contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

 



The Resilient Supply Chain: Top Requests from Clients on Technology

January 11th, 2019

Next in our supply chain resiliency value series, we are sharing a short video on the relevance of ERP and e-commerce systems from the Manufacturing Summit’s panel “Amazon Effect: Pass or Play – the New Sales & Distribution Game and How it Affects Manufacturing”.

I’m responding to a question on what manufacturers and distributors need when it comes to systems and technology.  Every client in the last few years has requested a project objective that goes back to the overarching goal of scalable, profitable growth.  The trick is how to achieve BOTH a superior customer experience (with increasing pressure from disruptors such as Amazon and Uber) AND profitable growth. Of course, there is no easy answer, and it depends on a multitude of factors. With that said, there is an ever increasing need to scale with technology inclusive of ERP, e-commerce and more.

ERP has become much more of a strategic topic. It isn’t about blocking and tackling and using ERP to achieve tactics.  Instead, it is about whether a business has the technology and systems to scale in a scalable, profitable way.

Do your systems support your customers’ needs?  If not, you had better jump into the fray or the next disruptor will eat your lunch.  If your answer was, ‘yes but I have to do x, y and z to make it work,’ our next question is will this process be repeatable, reliable and profitable?  If not, perhaps you better think twice. It is likely your competitor will answer yes.  Lastly, have you thought about your customers’ needs a year into the future?  If you aren’t prepared to handle them currently, you are getting behind.

Our most successful clients don’t wait so long that they lag behind. Is it time for an upgrade?  You are most welcome to our free resources to determine whether it is  the ‘right’ time. As you debate the benefits vs. costs, keep in mind that as hard as it is to take the leap, the most successful executives are willing to take on prudent risk to make leaps forward.  Are you?

If you would like an expert to assess your situation to determine whether you should further leverage your current software, put the effort into upgrading or simply focus on people and process improvement opportunities, contact us.

 



Supply Resiliency: Video Interview on Disruption in Logistics

December 4th, 2018

Next in our supply chain resiliency value series, we are excited to share an interview with BJ Patterson, President of Pacific Mountain Logistics.  Thanks to B.J. for sharing his expertise on the Manufacturing Summit’s panel “Amazon Effect: Pass or Play – the New Sales & Distribution Game and How it Affects Manufacturing”.   

B.J. is responding to a question related to supply chain resiliency on disruptions in logistics.  In essence, the key question is: How to maintain margins throughout the supply chain when:

1) We ship a single item vs. a pallet of items in terms of warehousing/material handling inefficiencies

2) Customers’ orders require many more truck trips than ever before

3) Truck space is at a premium and we are shipping a lot of air since Amazon-like shipments often have 1 item in a large box on a truck.  

Certainly, there are no easy answers.  However, we must be thinking about how we’ll create supply chain resiliency so we can thrive with these changing market conditions.

 


With an increasing frequency, supply chain partners are pulling together to find solutions to these types of challenges.  Moreover, the strategic use of data is at a premium. If you can better coordinate all of these ever-changing market conditions to gain visibility and efficiencies within your extended supply chain, you just might take the lead in your industry.  

Our most successful clients don’t wait for these disruptors to crush them.  Instead, they are always looking for potential disruptors and searching for solutions.  They take proactive approaches to take the lead position instead of disappointing customers in an era where the customer experience is of paramount importance.  

What are you doing to navigate these logistics disruptors? We are always interested in feedback and ideas to share.

 



Have You Thought of Crossing Borders Lately?

March 15th, 2018

There was an export panel at the Manufacturers’  Council of the Inland Empire 7th Annual Summit, and it brings to light the vast opportunity of export.  Additionally, I had a lunch with a top international attorney and an international research expert recently, and it opened my eyes further on the topic of export.  Why do we always think about import but forget to export?

Less than 1% of America’s 30 million companies export and less than 39% of US manufacturers export.  Of those that export, 58% export to only 1 country. Why? What is going on? In the same breath, the statistics show that  Made in the USA is a compelling proposition and there is VAST opportunity to sell products in other countries. You don’t even have to go far with Canada and Mexico at our borders.  

According to a study published by the Institute for International Economics, U.S. companies that export not only grow faster, but are nearly 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business than non-exporting companies. Are we not interested in profit????  This panel has found success in export.

 

 

For example, Kusum Kavia, president of Combustion Associates discussed the success her company has had in exporting to Africa as well as many other countries.  They were featured in the cover story in Global Trade Magazine as well as recognized by President Obama at a US-Africa Leaders Summit. She credits many collaboration partners in this success such as the Export-Import Bank and trade specialists at the US Department of Commerce.

Another Inland Empire manufacturer and APICS-IE supporter, Roy Paulson, president of Paulson Manufacturing has achieved great success with exports.  They have grown rapidly and significantly through export, and he has served on the president’s export council.  Why not get a boost to your sales revenues while providing value in other countries?

There is also far-reaching support for global logistics, banking and exchange rates and much more.  Why not look into whether your products might be of interest to other global markets? You might just discover a goldmine!

 

 



Innovation & the Manufacturing Summit

January 20th, 2018

I attended the Manufacturing Summit advisory committee recently since I chair the Innovation Awards, so innovation is top of mind. Is innovation top of mind for you everyday?  

In today’s Amazon-impacted, highly competitive world, the secret to success is innovation.  Although daily problems must be solved, it just gets us back to our typical performance levels.  That is NOT enough.  

Innovation allows us to leap to an entirely new level of performance.  For example, wouldn’t your customers love an innovation in customer experience that delivers what they didn’t even know they wanted before they knew they wanted it?  Think it might be worthwhile to keep an eye to innovation?

One tip to implement this week:
Innovation can come in many shapes and sizes.  You do NOT have to invent something totally new.  After all, that doesn’t come along very often; not even Apple does that. The ipod was a derivative of the Sony Walkman.  That’s why we recognize manufacturers for innovations in several categories – resource and process efficiency, product development, human capital and talent, marketing, and students.  If you or anyone you know has accomplished improvements in these areas, please submit an application.

If you are just starting your journey into innovation, think about attending the Summit as you’ll gain some valuable ideas.  And, you can make some great headway (whether innovation is new or old hat) by taking time to focus on your culture.  

  • Does it support innovation?  
  • Do you give employees time to try new ideas?  
  • Do you give them freedom within reasonable guidelines?  
  • Do you celebrate failure?
    If you’d like to discuss how to instill a culture of innovation at a more detailed level, contact us.