Tag Archive: operations strategy

Which Business Best Practices Do Top Notch Trusted Advisors See?

October 5th, 2017

In my ProVisors ODAM (Ontario-hosted Distributors and Manufacturers group – don’t you love the play on words?) meeting this month, we discussed business best practices we’ve seen with our manufacturing and distribution clients. It was a fascinating discussion as our group is diverse and consists of the most respected attorneys, CPAs, commercial insurance, business financial advisers, and consultants from around Southern California. Yet, we agreed rather quickly on core best practices. Thanks to Ron Penland for making the meetings engaging and trend-worthy.

Best business practices, this way….

Here are some of the top themes surrounding best practices:

  • Start by understanding financial statements and cost – it’s interesting how often this arises with our clients.
  • Look for the value add.
  • Find ways to scale without increasing costs. There are many options such as leveraging technologies, best practices, trade associations and more.
  • Leadership equals profit improvement. End of story.
  • Don’t start planning your exit “too late”.
  • Consider process improvement techniques such as lean manufacturing, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning), etc.
  • Be aware of your indicators and metrics.

More Best Practices

Are you reliant on figuring everything out yourself? We hope not! The most successful people find groups, attend seminars and conferences, engage with trade associations and interact with others who are up-to-speed on the latest trends and timeless success traits. If you think you might need to go a step further, feel free to contact us and we’ll suggest a few strategies for you.

 

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

100 Best Practices, Tips to Elevate Business Performance in Manufacturing

 



What are the Best Referrals You’ve Received?

October 5th, 2017

I lead a group of trusted advisors for ProVisors in the Inland Empire, and we celebrated our five year anniversary in September. It was a fun celebration and interesting to see how many long-term members we have, who have gained significant benefit from participating in the group. I very much appreciate my executive committee as they helped create this amazing success. A BIG THANK YOU to Kathy McEntee, Gus Marantidis, James Valmonte, Jan Palmer, Dana Mitchellweiler, Steve Nosenchuck, John Tulac and Mike Kouyoumdjian.

Provisors members sharing their best referral stories

At the anniversary event, we talked about our best referrals, introductions, resources or assistance gained during our tenure in the group. What I thought was quite interesting is the common theme behind the stories – it is more about the intent behind the referral than the referral itself. You might think a referral that turned into $50,000 or $100,000 would be quite valuable (and it is!), however, many folks who have received big referrals talked about the more personally meaningful ones.

For example, one of the stars of our group is Brian Reider (partner with BB&K, a business attorney and outside general counsel) who clearly takes it the extra mile with his referrals. Several folks mentioned stories that relate to Brian, and although I didn’t bring it up (as there were too many great stories to fit into our short meeting), Brian saved the day once by helping my APICS Inland Empire chapter (a non-profit group of supply chain and operations professionals) with someone who signed up for our class who didn’t have the best intentions. We are not attorneys, we are operations gurus. So, we greatly appreciated Brian’s help in resolving the issue so that we didn’t have to make our regular members suffer because of one bad apple.

What stands out in your mind as the most valuable introduction, resource or help provided by your colleagues and contacts? I bet you’ll be surprised by what you come up with. Perhaps we should all give pause to what is truly meaningful to us.

 

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

Save



Even The Best System Will Fail Without Talent

September 8th, 2017

As an ERP expert, it is quite clear to me that even the best systems will fail miserably if they don’t possess talent. Don’t even bother to select and implement an ERP system if you don’t have the “right” people on the bus. Start with executive support and continue on down through every position – everything is a team effort.

Teamwork is everything

It’s paramount in business to have the “right” people at the table.

Since we’ve worked with many clients on ERP projects, it is crystal clear what impact people will have on your business’s success. Throw out the notion that ERP is a technical topic! Instead, start thinking of it as a transformation initiative of substantial importance to business success.

Talent Leads the Way to Success

There are countless ways in which talent will affect success. To name just a few:

  • The sales team at the ERP software provider. Let’s start with the people selling the system. If they aren’t geared to educate you on their system and its fit, you can be sold “a bill of goods”.
  • The implementation team at the ERP software provider – there is little as important as the particular resources you partner with to implement your system. Set it up sub-optimally and you’ll have enduring issues.
  • Your ERP team – since ERP can be such a time intensive process, the temptation is to assign non-integral people to the team since the day-to-day must carry on; however, this team is designing your future!
  • Your executive sponsors – these folks are in a critical position to understand the status, make critical decisions, consider the fit with strategy, supplement resources as required and much more. It is not for the faint of heart!

If you’d like to ensure success with your ERP system, you’ll START by considering the people.  Put more time and thought into your talent. As much as or more than you put into evaluating functionality and you’ll be grateful down-the-line.

 

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

Why ERP Success Has Little to Do with Systems

 



Why Executives Should Care About ERP Strategy

September 6th, 2017

Lately, we’ve been called in by several clients with ERP challenges that directly impact business growth and success. Do you desire profitable growth? If so, add ERP into your strategic discussions. Would you delegate a decision that could literally make or break your customer service, profit margins (or lack thereof) and ability to grow? I think not!

ERP Strategy Meeting

Incorporate ERP strategy discussions into executive meetings. It matters.

ERP Strategy Matters

There has been a widespread need to consider ERP as a strategic topic. For example, these scenarios have arisen in just the last month:

  1. In one manufacturing company, the ERP system was holding them back from growing. For a family-owned business, that is the equivalent of a noose around the neck.
  2. In another manufacturing and distribution business, they couldn’t figure out their costs – this issue certainly provides challenges for profitable growth.
  3. And in yet another situation, the ERP system wouldn’t support the business processes adequately and therefore would hold the owners back from getting away from the business (even for an extended vacation), let alone increasing the value of the business.
  4. A complex enterprise also struggled to further utilize their system for management decision-making due to data integrity obstacles and the lack of flexible reporting.

As I enjoy stating the obvious (one of my favorite clients used to say about me), none of these situations are desirable! Instead of ending up butting your head against the wall, start thinking about ERP as a strategic topic and include it in your executive meetings.

If you liked this article, check out:

Why ERP Success is a Strategic Topic 



A Tour of Skechers and Jaw Dropping Savings (and Innovations)

August 28th, 2017

Supply Chain Briefing

Recently, I went on a tour of Skechers with my ProVisors group. We’ve heard so much about the building and related innovations from the developer, Iddo Benzeevi, and were really excited to see it in action. There are truly jaw dropping savings from the total picture – $25 million a year reduction in operating costs. Who can argue with that? Certainly not environmentally-conscious people as it is also the largest LEED Gold Certified building of its kind to be awarded with this distinction by the U.S. Green Building Council. There is no air conditioning required due mainly to the innovative design. In comparison, discussing topics like solar seems boring! And, of course, it is the picture of warehouse automation. Are you thinking beyond impossible like these folks did?

Touring the Skechers Mega Facility Innovations

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

Innovations like these should definitely get us thinking. First of all, do you see roadblocks like environmental bottlenecks as insurmountable? Or, do you see them as nothing more than a challenge? Although most would have trouble envisioning the goal of saving $25 million a year, if you never think about it, it definitely won’t occur. Think BIG!

Certainly the impacts of this type of building can be seen as amazingly progressive – or problematic, depending on your point of view. Clearly, if we can build this type of innovation into our manufacturing and distribution businesses, we will be vastly more competitive – and more likely to stay in the U.S., and even California. On the other hand, Skechers has far fewer people operating this facility than the multiple facilities they operated previously. And, in order to operate this facility, a higher level of skills is required.   Higher skills can also be seen as “good” and “bad”. There is a lot of talk about the need for higher skilled jobs in the Inland Empire to retain our students with good opportunities, yet it can also be challenging to find these skills.

Either way, hiding your head in the sand will not solve the problem. Why not join the innovators? Get out to see new and interesting ideas. I learn something every day – from every client, every tour, and every interaction. Sometimes the ideas I have do not relate at all to what I’ve seen but it prompts thinking or brainstorming in different directions. Why not consider what you’d need to go down the path of innovation?

 

If you liked this article, read more about Supply Chain innovation .

Save

Save