Tag Archive: performance management

I’ve Been Thinking about Competition – Or Are They?

October 6th, 2017

I've Been Thinking

Last week, Kash Gokli (Professor of Manufacturing Practice and Director of the Engineering Clinic at Harvey Mudd) and I led our most recent Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable on the topic of competition. We created these roundtables to bring Southern California executives together to network and discuss timely topics for organization success. We had a fascinating discussion about two general themes: How to develop a strategy to make you stand out from the crowd so you have no competition AND how to collaborate with your competition for win-win success. In today’s Amazon-impacted, competitive world, it is wise to be thinking about your closest business challengers unless you want to be left in the dust.

Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable Attendees

One tip to implement this week:

Let’s start by making sure you know your competition. Certainly, as an executive, you’ll be aware of your competitors. The key question is most likely: Could your teams identify the key players? Which competitors are most prevalent in your industry? Now for the clincher – how well can you and your organization describe how you stack up vs. your competition? Start here and really drill down to the details.

Next, let’s move on beyond understanding the competition. Do you understand your vision and whether you are fighting it out on a weekly basis? Or do you have a strategy for how to distinguish yourselves from other businesses such that for all intents and purposes, you have no competition? It’s easier said than done but definitely worth considering.

And let’s not forget collaboration. Almost every attendee could come up with an example of how they were collaborating with a competitor for the “right” situation at the “right” time. Can you find ways to collaborate for win-win success? It might just pay to remember that your relationship network is one of your most valuable assets.

If you liked this article, read more about the importance of cultivating business relationships.

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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.

 

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Styx and the Power of Positivity and Enjoying Your Career

September 27th, 2017

I've Been Thinking

Last week, I attended a Styx concert at the L.A. Fair – what a powerful event! The band has been around for 45 years and still enjoys singing together! It was totally apparent watching the concert. They really took the positive spin on their commentary and truly enjoyed singing their classics such as my favorite, “Come Sail Away”. Since I started on a quest to see some of the “greats” while they were still singing over the last few years, I have some performances to compare. Thus, it is obvious that although all of the classics sang their greatest hits, Styx stood out in enjoying their greatest hits. What a difference loving your job can make! Take a look at the grand finale…

Styx in Concert at the L.A. Fair

Styx in Concert at the L.A. Fair – the grand finale!

One tip to implement this week: 

Why not take a positive attitude to your job or career – after all, you probably spend more time doing that than anything else! Try putting a positive spin on whatever happens this week at work and see what happens. You might find that it is a lot more enjoyable. You also might find that there are some interesting people you hadn’t really noticed before. Take a genuine interest and let me know how it goes. If it still happens to be miserable, perhaps you should get out. No job is worth misery!

One way to seek out positivity: “catching your colleagues doing something right”. Recognize them. Beyond your colleagues, perhaps look for where your manager or boss or a board member has gone out of his/her way to make a situation better. Appreciate it. Now for the hardest of all – look for where your most annoying team members (no matter their position) are doing something right. I wouldn’t be surprised if 80% of us have a much better week this week after this exercise! Let me know in the comments.

Read more about promoting a positive work culture…

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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.

 

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Why ERP Success Has Little to Do with Systems