Tag Archive: ProVisor

The Importance of Being Top of Mind

July 30th, 2018

 

Last week, I led my Ontario ProVisors group meeting.  It is a top notch group of trusted advisors that I’m thrilled to lead – not only is it a great group of people (professional, smart and funny) but they also provide my clients with “just what they need when they need it”.  It is surprising (and exciting) how often a client will ask for a specific (oftentimes obscure) resource or question, and I can help him/her because I know the best person to answer his question or fill his need.  If you have a need, please feel free to contact me.

Last week, we were brainstorming the best ways to be visible so that clients can find us and the idea of being “top of mind” came up.  I have certainly found being top of mind important as clients need to remember you when the issue arises.

It is quite surprising how visibility plays into success.  I had a few core group members I thought I would NEVER forget because they were awesome, integral to the success of the group and helpful to me personally.  Both moved away/took a different job of sorts.  Fastforward two years later: when I was asked for a referral, they didn’t pop to mind first.  Hard to believe when I realized how true it was!

Later that night, I went to another ProVisors meeting.  One person mentioned that although he sees me on LinkedIn, when he saw me in person, he remembered he had clients that needed my expertise.  Glad I was top of mind!  Are you?

One tip to implement this week:
No matter your role, it is important to be top of mind for your customers, clients, Board members, peers, and more.  Do you purposefully find ways to be top of mind (in a positive way of course)?

For example, do you check in on your key customers every month, week or whatever time frame is appropriate?  Do you send your key supplier a card for an important occasion?  Do you find a way to remember key dates related to your employees, peers etc.?

CRM isn’t required.  Use Outlook.  Write it down on a piece of paper.  Pick up the phone.  The great thing about being top of mind is that it doesn’t require money and resources.  Instead, it requires a little effort!  Do you appreciate the effort others take when you are top of mind to them?  Return the favor.

 



Will Robots Pay Back?

January 13th, 2018

Supply Chain Briefing

I attended a compelling ProVisors presentation for manufacturers and distributors on the latest trends in technology for manufacturing.  Our presenter, Craig Young, discussed the latest advances in technology and what manufacturers should be thinking about to succeed in the New Year.  Robots were front and center in the discussion.

Robots in the workplace

Automation Advancements
Fully automated packaging lines should be quite popular with a typical 1-2 year payback – and that is prior to thinking about a vast array of non-financial advantages.  

Next up on the robots front is automatic storage and retrieval systems – although a longer payback of typically 5 years, they can bring a host of advantages and increase competitiveness.  

And, last but not least, we discussed laser guided vehicles with a typical 10-20 year payback with different advantages.   

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Clearly, throwing robots at every problem is like Maslow’s hammer and the nail quote (if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail).  Don’t do it!!  However, obviously, from the opposite perspective, there is something quite compelling about robots to achieve manufacturing objectives – profitable and scalable growth.  

Robots aren’t new.  I clearly remember a colleague at one of my jobs from 25 years ago when I was in planning/ purchasing/ inventory at Santa Fe Plastics (a plastic injection molding operation that produced consumer products like the jars for face cream) who spent 70% of his time working on a robot.  There were clear cut advantages, even way back then!   

Although a lot of executives think about robots from an automation and cost savings perspective, there are more important advantages such as keeping up with growth, replacing people as they retire (since it is a tough market to find good manufacturing resources), 24/7 focus and more.  

One of my current clients designed a robot that works around-the-clock.  Since putting the robot in place, they are able to keep up with customer requirements, have precise quality control and have maintained their long-term, high-skilled resources on first shift.  A definite win!  Others have brought manufacturing back to the U.S. – and even to California.

Everything in Perspective
Remember, robots shouldn’t be viewed as a hammer.  Think about what you need to accomplish and evaluate robots as one tool/solution to a business issue.  We are in the age of the customer experience.  Will robots help or hurt you with this endeavor?  Depending on your specific situation, it could go either way.  Think before jumping.