Tag Archive: relationships

Is JIT Dead?

September 23rd, 2020

Several clients are wondering, “Is JIT Dead?”. Definitely not. But, if you are ordering just-in-time literally from China and expecting to not experience disruptions without strategic stockpiles, capacity or agility built into the picture is not smart. Listen to our video on JIT.

 

       

 

The bottom line is to utilize JIT concepts with an uncommon common sense approach. In essence, consider building relationships with your supply chain partners so that you can quickly manage changing conditions. Create a resilient supply chain, stay on top of changing customer demand patterns, build them into your replenishment process, develop backup sources of supply, and determine strategic inventory, capacity and/or resources to support your critical customers. Last but not least, design a SIOP (sales, inventory, operations planning) process to keep your demand and supply in alignment while improving your customer experience, profitability and cashflow.

If you are interested in an assessment of your demand planning, master scheduling, inventory replenishment and material requirements process to determine if a “smart” JIT approach would provide the win-win-win of improving the customer experience while increasing profit and cashflow, contact us.

Did you like this article?  Continue reading on this topic:

The Rise of E-Commerce & WMS Popularity During the Pandemic

The Strongest Link in Your Supply Chain



The Value of Diversity

July 5th, 2020

Diversity has always been core to success. Are you gaining different viewpoints? It has certainly been proven that deliberately bringing diverse viewpoints into projects and teams will lead to greater levels of success. Men will have different perspectives than women. People with different nationalities and backgrounds will bring different viewpoints into the mix. People of different ages will have differing priorities and opinions. Are you bringing diversity into the conversation?

I can definitely tell you it isn’t as easy as it sounds. I didn’t even realize I was the only woman (and also the youngest person) attending the Board of Directors meetings when I was VP of Product Supply until one of my team members brought it to my attention. You’d think it would be hard for me to miss! I also remember a time during my consulting career when I really enjoyed participating in a group. We had a good working relationship and were quite successful. A potential new member came onto the scene. My first thought was “NO!”; however, I agreed, and she turned out to add great diversity, and the group was better for it. Good thing I ignored my inner voice!

One Tip to Implement This Week:

Simply pay attention for opportunities to insert diversity into your projects, events etc. You’ll be surprised by what you miss while focusing on the task at hand. Again, during my career with APICS Inland Empire Chapter (Association for Supply Chain Management), I missed the lack of diversity on our panel. Our audience noticed and commented in our survey. In this case, it was an all male panel. Our chapter has held 15 executive panel and networking symposium events, and this panel was the ONLY panel without a woman. Of course, over time, we have improved upon this metric in addition to male/female (although that can sometimes be tough on its own!) with panelists from multiple countries, backgrounds, age groups, work backgrounds (in addition to manufacturing and distribution, we’ve added healthcare, technology and more), etc.
Start by simply paying attention and giving a diverse group a chance. Be open to the idea, and you might just gain significant value.
Stay safe & healthy.


Are You Developing Close Relationships with Your Customers?

May 17th, 2020

During turbulent times, relationships move faster than at any other time. Will they move in a positive direction or a negative one? That is the only question. In fact, customers will be reevaluating what they buy and when they buy it. Consumer behaviors are evolving and business buying behaviors are evolving. Are you in the loop with your customers as to what is top of mind? Listen to our conversation with an expert in creating customer loyalty on our Navigating Through Volatility webinar series on creating a Forever Transaction.

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

As a customer, I have less patience with slow response when I need it the most. Our customers are no different. On the other hand, a few suppliers stand out in my mind in making my life easier and being ahead of the curve. I will remember that as the pandemic winds down. Identify your top customers and make sure your relationships are moving rapidly in a positive direction. In fact, it is appropriate to drop low priority or unprofitable customers. Otherwise, your key customers might not gain the value they would otherwise.

Look for opportunities to provide value. Ask questions to understand your key customers’ current situation and what would help. Simply look for opportunities to help your customers be successful. If you can offer help and/or ideas, it can go a long way! Don’t worry about expanding business during your conversation. Provide value and your customers will be more successful. When your key customers are successful, you’ll be more successful as well. I’ve addressed this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes. Contact us and please join in our free webinar series and listen to our archives.



The Resilient Supply Chain: Are You Resilient?

December 31st, 2018

I was carpooling across town for an event tour (that had been postponed once) in rainy weather in rush hour in Southern California.  If this situation doesn’t call for resilience, I don’t know what does!  Of course, something is bound to go awry, starting with traffic jams galore.

We both had to be home at an early hour to get to key events that evening and we hadn’t had the best of days.  Not only did we miss key meetings to attend the postponed event, but the most important part of the day was cancelled due to delays, and several things weren’t coordinated too well.  Already a little frustrated, we headed home.

My carpool partner was already concerned about driving through large puddles with her small car because she didn’t want it to stall out.  Prior to the tour, we made several trips around the parking lot.  We decided to move to higher ground or we’d be up to our knees in water when we returned.  After the tour, while making our way to the exit, we had to drive through big puddles. On the last big puddle before exiting the lot, the car started making a loud noise.  Not good!

After we pushed through and pulled off to the side, it was apparent that the undercarriage cover came off.  Clearly the water didn’t make it fall off, but there must have been something in the water that caused it to separate.  We were at a male dominated facility with at least 4 guys at the exit. They came over but couldn’t define the problem.  My carpool partner was no expert at cars but saw that it was the undercarriage.  So we decided to back up so that we could see it and weren’t dragging it along.  She asked them for ideas or recommendations for a shop nearby. No one had any idea and just pointed out that the undercarriage was dragging below the car. My carpool partner was becoming frustrated.
After a few more minutes with no help from “the guys”, she decided we could tie the undercarriage up so that it would stay for the ride home – BUT, we needed rope.  Of course, no one had a clue. Luckily, she found rope in the backseat (which, I admit, would never be found in my backseat…until this experience). Next she tied it up herself as one or two of the bystanders watched.  We needed a scissors to tie it up. What do you think happened next? Of course – no one knew. I went over to the guard shack and borrowed a pair. She cut the rope and we drove back in the rain for about 2 hours in heavy traffic.

Since she is new to the area and didn’t want to leave the temporary rope option too long, it occurred to me that my mechanic is amazing at customer service and would probably help us out.  I texted him, told him the story and said we’d drop by in 20 minutes. When we showed up, he took us immediately, offered us coffee and conversation while they assessed the issue. He returned with a temporary solution and showed us why she would have to purchase a new undercarriage cover.  Less than 30 minutes later, we left with the car intact and safe to drive until the dealer could order a cover that he offered to put on for her. My mechanic didn’t charge us for this service and left us thanking him profusely. My carpool partner even left with a tip on how to buy a new truck for her husband who was moving out the next day.  Who doesn’t value relationships!?!

In this situation, we could have become seriously delayed (missing our evening events or taking Uber on a lengthy drive), stuck, angry and more.  Instead, my carpool partner took control of the situation, got us going and then we leveraged fabulous connections to ensure the temporary solution would “stick”.  Resilience and perseverance won out in the end!

What would you have done?

 

 



The Value of New Beginnings and the Old

May 24th, 2018

This weekend I was in North Carolina for the wedding reception of my Godson Alex and his bride, Grace. They were happy, planned the perfect day and it all went fabulously……such an impressive – and young (or maybe I’m just getting older) – couple! I spent lots of time in high school and college hanging out with my best friend Sandi and her family, and so it is always great to go back to spend time with family.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandi and I turn 50 in the next month and so we plan to do a few trips this year to commensurate the occasion.  It is great to have a friend that I’ve known most of my life. There is certainly value in the old as well as the new.  Are you appreciating your long-term customers who have been with you through thick and thin as well as your new, ideal customers?

One tip to implement this week:
Don’t we tend to take our long-term, valuable relationships for granted?  Admit it! Of course, it is easy to do so.

Perhaps we should think about valued customers, suppliers, employees and other partners.  Pick up the phone and give them a call or stop by for a visit. I find it is always good to catch up. There were several relationships from my first large client that got me started.  I wouldn’t be successful today if it weren’t for what I learned from them and/or the chance they took on a new consultant.

Although I started this by thinking of new beginnings, I am reminded that I fly back at a terribly early hour on Monday (as anyone who knows me would be horrified) because one of those key contacts from my first client is in town and we are going to our old haunt, Red Robin.  Should be fun! Later that day, I meet with some new contacts to start new beginnings. Nice to have a great mix.

Who will you be first on your list to connect with?