Tag Archive: priority

The Latest Trends

January 26th, 2018

I spoke at APICS San Fernando Valley a few days ago on the latest trends and what’s in store for 2018.  We had a great discussion on topics ranging from people (or lack thereof) to technology.  

For manufacturers and distributors, a few of the highlights included:  

1) The Amazon Effect – the customer experience is the ultimate!  

2) Near-sourcing – I go beyond the mainstream and am boldly saying “Southern California is “the” place to be!  

3) The skills gap – if I could only convey how much trouble several clients are having finding the right fit for open positions…..!!!!!  

4) Technology (with lots of details behind this one!) and a few more.  

Have you thought about what trends are most likely to impact your business?

One tip to implement this week:
I also attended a Board meeting with a client a few days ago, and this topic is quite relevant.  Staying on top of what is likely to impact your business gives you the clarity of priority!  

Start by taking a few minutes with your top team to brainstorm.  Give a few customers a call to find out what’s happening with them.  Check in with a few of your key suppliers.  Drop in on your trusted advisors and attend a trade association and/or alumni networking meeting.  You’ll soon be well-versed to come up with what is trending AND relevant to you.

Once you have thought through the trends most likely to impact your business, it might make sense to think about how to transform these impacts into opportunities.

Profitable and scalable growth is the common thread among every single one of my clients – how can you leverage these opportunities to aid in creating scalable, profitable growth?   

Take a tip from the LEAN toolkit and involve your people.  You might be surprised how many opportunities will emerge if you put ALL the brain power in your company on thinking about how to do this.

Your Supply Chain Shortlist for 2018

January 3rd, 2018

supply chain strategy


As we head into a New Year, it makes sense to take stock and think about your supply chain shortlist.  To get you started, we’ve developed a list of questions to ponder:

  1.  Do you consider your supply chain from the holistic point-of-view?  From cradle to grave or product inception to customer reception?  If not, you are selling your business short!
  2.  If you were to draw your supply chain for a new hire, would you start with your customer, your supplier or somewhere in the middle?   Why?  Do you inherently see that as your priority?  
  3.  Have you thought about the power of high-tech AND high-touch in your supply chain?  Unless you are considering progressive technologies to deliver superior products and services at higher levels of profit, you’re sure to be left in the dust!  On the other hand, if you aren’t collaborating with your supply chain partners, you won’t even be in the game to start.
  4.  Have you considered the power of alignment (of demand and supply AND all your departments) while simultaneously considering the power of deliberate debate and misalignment? Find a way to constructively achieve both to maximize business value.
  5.  Have you considered why Southern California is the new center of manufacturing excellence for supply chains across the globe? Stay tuned for my new book, The Coming Power of Manufacturing to hear more about it.

Leadership during Busy Times

October 3rd, 2016
calm leadership

Work amounts fluctuate but busy times are guaranteed. Set the work tone with calm leadership so team members don’t panic during hectic periods.

Every week is busy, don’t you think? We always think next week will be better, but is it? Doubtful. Another corporate priority arises. A customer wants to tour your facility. An employee calls in sick. Month-end reports are due. We are bombarded with data. Who knows what else might happen! If this is the status quo, the key is how to lead effectively during these busy times.

We have found that it is most effective to go against the tide. Haven’t you found that the most successful person is zigging when everyone else is zagging? Certainly in almost every stock market crash, everyone was in a panic to buy while the market was hot. So, how do we go against the tide with leadership during busy times? Remain calm.

Our clients with the best leaders remain calm under the most pressing of circumstances. Of course, when it rains, it pours. Thus, customers will not spread their issues out evenly throughout your week. Your machines will all break down at once – on 2nd shift when your supervisor calls in sick. How can we encourage our teams to remain calm yet act aggressively and proactively to resolve issues and raise the bar? Have you thought about implementing standards and processes? However, they will fail miserably without consistent leadership to back them up. Build resilience and flexibility into them. Stay on top of what is happening. Monitor progress. Celebrate successes. Provide opportunities for your people to succeed. Most will rise to the occasion.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to Profit Through People:

Put Your Eagle Eye on What’s Key to Success-Leadership

10 Ways to Stay Focused on the Critical Path