Tag Archive: performance management

Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain

September 7th, 2017

There is an ever-increasing interest in emerging technologies for supply chain. When thinking of your end-to-end supply chain – from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing and distribution operations, to your customers’ customers – you must consider technology to have any hope of achieving success.

In today’s Amazon-impacted environment, rapid information and product flow must be accompanied with low-cost and efficient supply chains to maximize the customer experience, profitable growth and cash flow. Trending technologies to consider in your strategic discussions include the following:

  1. Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing – it is no longer just for R&D. The progressive distributors are printing to order for items that used to require vast inventory and lead time.
  2. Collaborative customer technologies – programs such as vendor managed inventory, collaborative planning and innovative logistics partnerships can drive tremendous value.
  3. The internet of things is certainly taking on a life of its own – how do you plan to utilize it in your supply chain?
  4. If you support retail (and even if you don’t) and don’t have e-commerce, you have missed the boat!
  5. Robotics – there are plenty of uses for robotics throughout manufacturing and supply chain. Have you considered what might add value for your business?  Robotics could give you a 24/7 flexibility…
Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies in supply chain from e-commerce to robotics are more important now than ever

What Emerging Technologies in Supply Chain Mean To You

Staying on top of emerging and/or trending supply chain technologies is imperative in order to succeed in today’s Amazon-impacted world. Don’t get carried away with the latest fads. Instead, take a step back and think strategically about what will support your business today, tomorrow and five years from now. Selectively integrate the appropriate technologies to accelerate your growth and success.

 

Did you like this article? Read on about tech in supply chain

Save



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 



Women in Supply Chain (and Why Men Should Care)

August 22nd, 2017

Supply Chain BriefingWhether you’re a man or woman, if you are in the end-to-end supply chain, you should be thinking about women in supply chain. We’re facing a serious skills gap in the next several years in manufacturing and supply chain circles. Although women make up 47% of the labor force, they compose only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Thus, logic dictates that if we can raise that percentage, we’ll cover much of our skills gap!

I spoke on “Women in Supply Chain” at the western district conference for APICS (#1 supply chain management association) this weekend. I also am a mentor for Women in Supply Chain at the Drucker School of Management. Since I have been the sole woman in a leadership role in manufacturing circles frequently throughout my career, I don’t even notice it. However, we should pay attention.

Women in Supply Chain

Talking about “Women in Supply Chain” at the Western District Conference for APICS

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

There is no doubt that we should be concerned about the impending skills gap.  Almost every client tells me that they do not have the skills  they need in certain areas of their manufacturing/ supply chain.  And, this issue is not improving – as baby boomers retire, knowledge leaves with them.  Technologies are constantly improving, requiring higher skill levels in every respect – which is also driving the skills gap.  We are in process of researching the current skills gap.  Please provide your feedback with this short survey.

The great news is that there are many people thinking about this topic.  The Drucker School and Toyota created the Women in Supply Chain mentoring program.  APICS, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte created STEP Ahead.  Harvey Mudd College, the #1 school for engineering attracts an enrollment of at least 50% women.  The attendees at my speech last weekend for the western district of APICS was 50% women.  And the list goes on.

So, what can we do?  Mentor young women in supply chain.  Find ways to volunteer your time, educate and be involved with the women in your company.  Perhaps think about how you see them and make a conscious effort to encourage them to grow, invite their colleagues and friends to join the supply chain field.  And, by all means, do NOT ignore the men.  We need to grow our skills base dramatically to meet the demands of the next century.



SIOP – How Collaboration & Judgment Can Achieve Wonders

August 18th, 2017

I've Been Thinking

Earlier this week, I spoke to APICS Ventura County on the topic of SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning). It was a great conversation because it was really interactive, with probing questions on not just the theory and concepts but how to “make it work.” Talking more about the secret recipe to achieving results. What became apparent during the discussion is that what we do truly boils down to much, much more than aligning demand with supply or any of the technical aspects of SIOP. Success results from collaboration and common sense with a dash of judgment thrown in at the right time.

Then, later this week, I was with a client who pondered something similar about a completely different topic – how do we “make this happen”? Again, technical concepts are important to start on the right page and to think through the best design or solution. But without collaboration, common sense and judgment, nothing happens!

One tip to implement this week: 

Try hard not to get buried in technical concepts. Do you know anyone that hides behind massive spreadsheets or complex processes? Or, do you find yourself getting carried away with a cool new technology (regardless of the importance to results)? Admit it – we all do!

Instead, success comes by remembering common sense. What do you really need to do to get everyone in the loop? As issues and potential roadblocks arise, think about what makes sense. Forget about the complex formulas and overload of data analysis. Collaborate with your colleagues (not one single person can achieve as much two or more people collaborating and trading ideas) and apply a healthy dose of judgment. Results will follow.

 

 

Save

Save



Who Should You Follow? A Guide to Good Mentoring Relationships

August 18th, 2017
Mentoring offers benefits to everyone involved

My own consulting mentor says: “follow someone who has been there and done that”. Experience counts.

We recently took on one of our first consulting mentoring projects. Since our focus is on delivering growth and profitability for manufacturing and distribution companies, we work mainly with business-to-business. With that said, every consulting project involves some level of coaching – mentoring – to people working on those businesses to deliver results.

And since we consider results to be the 80/20 of our business, we put a lot of attention on coaching the appropriate employees (from line supervision to the executive team) to achieve a desired outcome. So when a consulting mentorship opportunity arose with a mentee who was serious about achieving results, we jumped on it. And, we are so glad we did!

How to form the best mentoring relationship

The mentoring situation brings up the idea of knowing who to follow. It seems like an obvious topic to consider yet I often find my clients following “undesirable” role models with the expected (and unfortunate) results. My own consulting mentor says “follow someone who has been there and done that” – not someone who can talk about what to do but has never done it before. He uses the example of a ski instructor. Would you follow a ski instructor’s advice if they could talk a good game but didn’t know how to navigate the black diamond hills? I wouldn’t either! It’s similar to looking for a cheap heart surgeon. Who would do that?

Search for mentors and coaches who can help you navigate the most complex issues that arise because they have experienced it before – or something similar that they can draw from.

Bottom line: Choose your mentoring relationship carefully. Look for professionals who talk the talk and walk the walk, people who deserve to be viewed as true mentors.

Like this article? Continue reading about how mentoring and teaching can help you in your own career.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save