Tag Archive: projects

The Strategic Benefit of SIOP

June 26th, 2019

SIOP (Sales, Inventory, Operations Planning) should not be relegated to the Planning Department. Although the planning group is a key participant and might lead the process, SIOP touches upon several strategic issues while creating alignment with Sales, Operations, R&D/ New Product Development, Finance, Purchasing, and others. As a CEO, you must become interested!

We have worked on countless SIOP projects with clients across industries as diverse as building products, food and beverage, healthcare, and aerospace.  It has proven to be the most effective at achieving the win-win-win of enabling growth while maximizing service, cash flow (inventory) and profit. For example, at one aerospace client, we put the fundamentals in place to support SIOP (scheduling, planning systems MRP/MPS, forecasting) and then rolled out a SIOP process involving all key aspects of the organization. Although our objective was to bring service levels from the 60%’s to the high 90%s, we not only accomplished that metric but we also improved margins by 5% and increased morale and engagement. What’s not to like with these results!

Critical Aspects of SIOP
Let’s start with just those elements that are most important to achieving results:

  • Can you get executives involved? Of course, it is better to gain executive involvement upfront.  However, I have found that it is quite doable to gain the involvement over time as well. For example, in one client situation, a key executive was not on board at any level at the start.  So, as we rolled out a pilot process, we convinced him to give the process a try. Once he sat in on the executive SIOP meeting, he became more interested because strategic issues arise such as make vs. buy, changes in sourcing, impacts to sales strategies and more.
  • What do you have to do to get directionally-correct information for making decisions? By NO means do you need perfect information.  In fact, if you wait for perfect information, your decision will be long past. Yet directionally correct information is imperative so that you can make fact-based decisions and/or gain approval from corporate or your Board for what you know must be done to succeed. I cannot think of a client situation where I couldn’t gain access to at least directionally correct information after an assessment, no matter how ancient their ERP system.
  • Will you involve all relevant departments in the SIOP process? If you focus on data and not the people, you will not succeed. The 80/20 of success is to bring typically disparate groups together to align on 1 plan/ path forward. It is much easier to say than to accomplish, and so those clients that do this well have a far higher success rate than the rest. You should involve Planning, Purchasing, Operations, Logistics, Customer Service, Sales, Finance, New Product Development, and any key area of your operation.

SIOP is not a quick resolution.  However, you can make quick interim progress . Similar to safety, it must become part of your day-to-day culture. As business conditions change, roadblocks naturally arise through the process. We’ve found that they have a FAR higher chance of being averted or minimized when they arise as part of the process instead of related to one person or department who typically is seen as the “problem”. Strategic issues also arise naturally through the process so that they are proactively addressed instead of resulting in a reactionary panic.

You can start the SIOP journey with an assessment of readiness with recommendations for improvement. Several clients have started with this approach so that they knew which building blocks to put in place and whether the benefits would drive a substantial return on investment at this juncture. If you are interested in this type of assessment, contact us.

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Miniature Office Golf & a Pathway to Know, Like & Trust

September 14th, 2018

I attended a ProVisors social of miniature office golf last week.  We had great fun (thanks to James Valmonte and Kit Mac Nee for arranging such a great social).  As you’ll see, there was much creativity in setting up golf holes in an office setting.  I liked the hazards – especially the water holes! Although I can hang in there with scramble golf, I didn’t fare as well with mini office golf.  But who can complain about winning a  booby prize?

Regardless of golf skills, it was enjoyable.  It is also a great way to get to know colleagues better.  People do business, partner on projects and contribute to success of those they know, like and trust.  It happened while we were playing golf – a business referral transpired. When have you thought about getting to know, like and trust your colleagues, customers and /or suppliers?

One tip to implement this week:
You don’t have to be as creative as designing an indoor miniature golf event, but why not think about how to get to know, like and trust your colleagues, customers and suppliers better?  It is a progression. Clearly, you cannot like someone if you don’t know them.  And, you are unlikely to trust them if you don’t like them. Start at the beginning and think about ways you can really get to know your colleagues.  

Ask questions and listen.  Pay attention and take notes.  Have you noticed how you feel good when someone is taking notes on what you have to say?  

Next look for ways to create the situation such that you’ll develop a ‘like’ for your colleagues.  Miniature office golf is a silly activity that is entertaining.  Yet, it helps to facilitate the process of getting to know one another and ‘like’ each other.  There are also countless things you can do to improve your likeability. Start by thinking about the other person. Make it “all about them” and you are likely to be the star.  Brainstorm at least 3 ways and try one to start. See how it goes and modify as you go.

What do you plan on doing?  Let us know how it goes.

 



Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Presents 2018 LMA Advocate Award to Aerospace Executive, Kelly Ford

July 28th, 2018

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – July 27, 2018 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., presented the 2018 LMA Advocate Award to Aerospace/Defense executive, Kelly Ford.

“It is a pleasure to recognize Kelly Ford with our 2018 LMA Advocate Award.  We have worked on many projects together at three separate aerospace firms.  I appreciate the relationship we have built and the collaboration that has made our projects successful” Ms. Anderson commented. LMA Consulting Group works with clients on manufacturing strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation that maximizes the customer experience and enables profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth.

Kelly and I have achieved significant results together – improved customer service levels to support business growth, expanded capacity and efficiencies, and right-sized inventory levels to maximize the use of cash and capital. Most importantly, we engaged and valued the opinions of the most important asset of the firm – the people. It turns a project into a fascinating puzzle, making it fun” she continued.

Inspired by the outcomes of client projects, LMA Consulting solicits client feedback, ideas and trend information.  In turn, the firm adopts and incorporates key learnings, makes continuous improvements and expands service offerings to continually raise the bar in meeting evolving client needs. Advocates, partners and centers of influence are key to LMA Consulting’s continued growth and success, as they work together to advance manufacturing and the global supply chain.

“Over 13 years, I have learned that it takes more than hard work and intention to affect growth.  It takes focusing on innovation every day.  LMA Advocates help us do just that and more. I am so grateful to be able to call Kelly Ford one of our LMA Consulting Group trusted advisors” she concluded.

About LMA Consulting Group – Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD

Lisa Anderson is the founder and president of LMA Consulting Group, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in manufacturing strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation that maximizes the customer experience and enables profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth Ms. Anderson has been named a Top 40 B2B Tech Influencer by arketi group, a 50 ERP Influencer by Washington-Frank, ranked in the top 46 most influential in Supply Chain by SAP and named a top woman influencer by Solutions Review. She recently published, I’ve Been Thinking, an inspiring collection of 101 strategies for creating bold customer promises and profits. A regular content contributor on topics including supply chain, ERP and SIOP and innovation, Ms. Anderson is regularly interviewed and quoted by publications such as Industry Week, tED magazine and the Wall Street Journal.  For information, to sign up for her Profit Through PeopleTM Newsletter or for a copy of her book, visit LMA-ConsultingGroup.com.

Media Contact
Kathleen McEntee | Kathleen McEntee & Associates, Ltd. | p. (760) 262 – 4080 | KMcEntee@KMcEnteeAssoc.com



Best Practices in Project Teamwork

December 19th, 2016
project teamwork

Since projects lift bottom-line business results, companies depend on these initiatives for growth and profits. Cultivating a strong project team and handing them a clear goal are keys to success.

In working with clients ranging from small businesses to large, complex, global organizations across multiple industries, I’ve yet to run across a client that doesn’t rely heavily on project results to support customers, grow the business and increase profitability. What else could be more important to business success?

Since projects cannot succeed with a sole participant, project teams are essential to success. Therefore, discovering the best ways for project teams to work together will lead to results. After leading and participating in hundreds of major projects and many smaller projects over the last 25 years, I’ve compiled a short list of best practices for project teamwork.

1. Clarity of Goals

As with almost every team, the team will be far more successful if the individual teammates understand the goals. Start with the goal of the project. Why are we doing this? What does it accomplish? What are the expected results of the project? Answering these questions will provide clarity of the overarching goals.

Next, go over the critical path milestone. What is the goal of each milestone? Who needs to do what to make them happen? Following this exercise provides clarity of the project plan and project objectives. All team members are on the same page up front.

2. Resolve Goal Conflicts

Of course, gaining clarity on the goals and critical path alone won’t foster teamwork. The next step is to resolve goal conflicts. I’ve found that as teams go through this process, 80% of the time, some sort of conflict will arise. The main conflicts fall into two categories – resource availability and department conflicts.

In today’s Amazon-impacted world, speed is of the essence. Equally troubling, since the recession, organizations are running lean and so time is limited. Thus, conflicts related to resources are commonplace. For example, let’s assume there are 16 hours remaining this week, and one team member has to complete a project task on the critical path that would require 8 hours of time by the end of the week in order to keep the project on-track. Alone, this is not a problem. However, his/her line manager also has a priority task that requires 16 hours of time that must be complete by the end of the week. An inherent conflict exists. The sooner this problem is uncovered, the sooner it can be resolved.

Equally commonplace are inherent conflicts between departments. For example, if a project task requires Purchasing to get volume discounts while a different task requires Planning to reduce inventory which would require more frequent deliveries, even though both team members are available to complete their tasks, there is a conflict between the two. Again, the sooner this is uncovered, the sooner it can be resolved.

3. Reward Project Goals; Not Individual Goals

One of the most common issues that arise is when the individual is rewarded for doing what benefits them instead of the project team. Similar to aligning goals, rewards and recognition need to follow the team. If each person does their part to contribute to getting a milestone accomplished, the entire team should celebrate success. If one person can be rewarded for achieving an individual goal while the team doesn’t meet its goal, a miss-match will occur.

4. Metrics

I’ve found that one of the most important ways to align teams is to have a common set of metrics. What is measured will be achieved. Thus, if the team has a clear set of metrics, everyone will be tracking the same items. Thus, as conflicts arise, the metrics will provide initial direction. Also, the metrics focus teams on what is most important. In my experience, the simple act of selecting and tracking a few metrics can create significant teamwork. The team unites behind improving the metrics.

5. Celebrate Successes

Lastly, celebrating success is an important way to tie it all together. Teams unite when the individuals get to know one another. Celebrating success allows the team to connect in a different way and it creates momentum. Thus, celebrating small wins along the way (such as the achievement of critical path milestones) can go a long way to enhancing teamwork.

Teams with stronger levels of teamwork surpass the results of those with high individual contributors that do not work as effectively together. In my experience, even if the high individual contributors are the best of the best as compared to medium contributors that work well as a team, the team of medium contributors will win that race. Appreciate the value of teams and consider implementing a few of these strategies to accelerate success. Bottom line results will follow.

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

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Are You Ready for Year-End?

November 7th, 2013
Supply chain managers planning for 2014.

While wrapping up 2013, be proactive about making 2014 the best year ever.

As the year wraps up, successful executives are thinking about how to not only finish up the year on a strong foot but also, how to kick off the New Year with rapid progress.

So it makes sense to take a step back and think about a few year-end planning items:

1. Tax planning – have you thought about whether there is anything you can do proactively for this year or next year?

2. Projects – which projects will have the largest impact to your success?  Is there anything you can do to accelerate progress?  Divert resources to focus on them?  What roadblocks do you expect and what can you do to minimize the likelihood of occurrence?

3. Holiday preparation – anything you can do to ensure the business will run smoothly during the holidays?  Have you recognized your key relationships?  Employees?  Supply chain partners?

4. Thank you – what better time to take a step back and remember to say thank you.  A simple, heartfelt thank you goes much further than you’d expect.

5. Season of giving – instead of thinking about what you’ll receive or your wish list, spend that time thinking of how you can make a difference for your employees, peers, managers, families, friends etc.