Tag Archive: results

LMA’s 2018 Advocate Award and Recognition

August 25th, 2018

On the 10 year anniversary of my business, I recognized 10 people for 10 years as LMA Advocates – people who have gone over and beyond, resulting in LMA Consulting’s growth and success.  I truly appreciate their support, expertise, ideas and feedback. I would not be here today without them – and certainly not leading a growing and leading edge consulting practice that partners with manufacturers and supply chain organizations to create BOLD customer promises and profits.  

Ever since my 10-year bash, I’ve recognized one person each year on the anniversary of LMA Consulting.  Recently, on my 13-year anniversary, I announced Kelly Ford as our 2018 LMA Advocate.


Kelly Ford and I have worked together at three separate aerospace organizations and at least double or triple that in terms of projects. We 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), and, most importantly, she orchestrated it so that we achieved these results while valuing and engaging people.

I find Kelly a pleasure.  It is not often that I find a client who is interested in continual improvement, is willing to try new ideas and stick with them as the inevitable obstacles arise and is so well-respected by her team. (So much so, that everyone pulls together to “make it happen” and has fun during the process.)  

One tip to implement this week:
Are you recognizing people who have been instrumental in your company’s growth and success?  Don’t think about this only in terms of direct relationships. For example, don’t just recognize the sales person who bagged the elephant. Instead, think about each person’s contribution to growth and success. Is there someone who is invisible working in the background (perhaps taken for granted) who makes it happen on a daily basis?

Also, don’t just think about sales and revenue growth. Although revenue is clearly relevant, expand your viewpoint – is there someone who “passes the ball” to your sales team?  Most likely – yes! Who has the best pass percentages? Since I went to UNC Chapel Hill (Tar Heels), I have become accustomed to winning at basketball. Solid players that pass are invaluable to the team.

Find the gems in your organization and recognize them.  Thank them in front of their peers. Tailor their ‘award’ to what is meaningful to them.  Perhaps your winner wants to be on a special project team or attend a training session. Why not make it meaningful and demonstrate your appreciation for the contribution to success?

And, Thank You, Kelly Ford!

The Value of Strategy Discussions in Fiji

November 13th, 2017

I've Been Thinking

I just wrapped up strategy discussions with my global, growth-focused group (of top-notch consultants) in Fiji.  Since we are a group spanning multiple countries from the US to Australia and Japan, we meet in interesting locations throughout the Pacific Rim and western North America.  Interestingly, we all felt as though this was our best meeting to date.  Although there are several reasons, a contributing factor is certainly the location.  We were all “on” in such a beautiful setting.  This was our view from dinner one evening.  Do you think you would come up with more powerful insights in a setting like this?

One tip to implement this week: Settings, Creative Ideas, Strategic Insights, Successful Outcomes

I’m not suggesting everyone hop a plane to Fiji………although it might be fun.  At the minimum, think about what settings are conducive to creative ideas, strategic insights and successful outcomes.  What do you think?

In my experience, it is rarely the same ideal setting for each person.  If not, what would be the value without diversity?  We have a good diversity of people, professional focus areas, cultures and more in our group.  Thus, we also have preferences as to ideal locations; however, we found one that would raise the bar for the collective group.  Why not think about doing the same for your work team?  What settings surround you?  

I’ve seen some of my clients decorate inside their offices and stimulate new thought.  That is certainly doable, inexpensive and can be great fun.  Other clients go to a historic hotel such as the Mission Inn in Riverside for a special meeting.  And, others go to an ideal setting such as the beach (regardless of the hotel or conference room).  Perhaps you can suggest that your customers or suppliers use a conference room next to an interesting restaurant or setting.  Think outside the box and you’ll find that strategic insights follow.  

For example, I remember one situation of a particularly exciting work group in 1994 where we drove success in the most mundane of locations.  We were motivated, came up with new ideas and achieved dramatic results – working from the kitchen of a colleague.  

Remember, it can sometimes be the subject, the team, the learning opportunity and more.

Whole Foods CEO and Conscious Capitalism

November 9th, 2017

Whole Foods and Amazon
John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, was a keynote speaker at APICS 2017.   Of course, we were all interested because of the recent acquisition by Amazon and what it means for the grocery business.  What is telling is that John Mackey still works at Whole Foods and thought it made sense to partner with Amazon.   He stopped taking a salary more than $1 in 2006 and sold his business earlier this year, and so he certainly doesn’t have to work! 

Conscious Capitalism
John is passionate about conscious capitalism which also happens to be the title of his book – Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business .  He argues that both business and capitalism are inherently good and used some examples such as Southwest Airlines.  He said that business is about the real lives of real people. 

A few of the tenants of conscious capitalism include:

  1. Instead of profit maximization, purpose maximization – Thinking about higher purpose can yield interesting results.
  2. Stakeholder integration – Focusing the extended team on purpose maximization.
  3. Conscious leaders – It all starts with leadership!
  4. Conscious culture – Since culture is the set of beliefs that governs behavior, a conscious culture is the bedrock to ensuring success.

Creating Strong Business for the Greater Good
John is interested in creating strong businesses, moving capitalism closer to its higher potential and fostering a positive environment for all….a noble purpose.  Perhaps we should pay attention and consider themes that might be valuable.  After all, he grew Whole Foods from scratch to $16 billion!

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Vision Backed by BIG Goals and Leadership 

Results Follow People

June 30th, 2016
growth, results

Results follow people who put together strategies and successfully implement them. Great tools help, but people are critical to improving your bottom line.

Results don’t occur with the latest fads – even with good fads such as lean manufacturing or SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) programs. Results don’t occur with cool system functionality – certainly, it makes life easier if you have great tools but results won’t occur due to a system. Instead, results follow people. LMA Consulting Group has been in business for over 11 years, and prior to that I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain for an absorbent products manufacturer. I’ve yet to see an example of results that didn’t follow the people.

For example, in working with an aerospace manufacturer a few years ago, we had to rapidly improve service levels for our customers. After a quick assessment, we started implementing a plan to resolve the bottleneck operation. In two months, what had not been resolved in a year was dramatically improved with the rollout of our plan. However, the plan wasn’t the 80%; the reason for success went back to the people. Management supported the plan and was involved on a daily basis in the rollout. The executive in charge visibly supported the plan even when inconvenient.  The team met daily to review progress, discuss issues and ensure success.

Down-the-line, the management team changed. The executives left. The emphasis changed to different topics. And service levels fell. Certainly the new process and plan would still work. Results followed the people – out the door. Then, as one would expect, things changed again. People re-focused, and business started improving.

We all fight fires and hopefully put together and execute strategies; however, we must keep in mind that getting distracted on reports, the latest fads 5P Accelerator for results, growth and profitsand the like are useless unless accompanied with leadership. If you are interested in ensuring results follow people, contact us on leveraging our proprietary process, the 5P Accelerator to fast track growth and profits.

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

4 Excel for SIOP Success

Why Are Communications So Difficult?


Overloaded Project Manager? Here are 8 Simple Tips to Help!

September 26th, 2013
Successful project management needs to start with an objective, get the right team in place and aggressively anticipate and manage roadblocks.

Successful project management needs to start with an objective, get the right team in place and aggressively anticipate and manage roadblocks.

Do you sit in project meetings? Develop strategic supply chain project management plans? Report to executives or board members? Track results? I’d bet if I tracked the time of 10 supply chain managers on any day of the week, at least 8 of the 10 would have some sort of involvement in a project for at least part of the day. For most of my business consulting clients, it would be 9 out of 10.

So, as an overloaded manager, why not think about a few tips to stand out from the crowd?

1. Start with the objective: Before getting bogged down in the full details of a project, take a step back and think about the objective. Does it make sense? Does it align with the organization’s objectives? If not, why waste time? Can you clearly articulate the objective to the project team? If not, find out more. Don’t start down a path without fully understanding where you’re going or why.

2. Who do you have on your project team? There is no point in jumping into timelines and task details if you have the “wrong people on the bus.” Do you have the best project team members? If the best team members are too busy, how do their priorities stack up against the project’s objective and its importance to the company? Have you thought about who will help achieve the project objectives quickest? Most effectively? How can you best build your team?

3. Dedicate time to kicking off on the right foot: What could be a bigger waste of time than wandering around aimlessly at the beginning of a key project? Often times, it is essential to kick the project off with the “right” people, the “right” communication and with the “right” clarity. For example, I’ve been working with a key client who has been through significant organizational change. The quickest way to ensure zero results is to kick off a project amidst chaos without clearly articulating why this project will be different – and in a way that will resonate with the project team.

4. Develop critical path timelines: Don’t waste all sorts of time on complex, detailed project plans that no one can figure out how to follow or track. Instead, strive for simplicity – which tasks are key to success? What order should they go in? Is one step required before another can start? Which require critical resources? Focus exclusively on the critical path timeline, and the rest will follow.

5. Begin: Often, what should be the easiest becomes the roadblock. Find a way to begin quickly. Don’t let potential roadblocks and issues hold you up from a key project. Find a way to start to make progress. Once you’ve started, the pieces will start to fall into place as the project gains momentum.

6. Aggressively work roadblocks: As project manager, one of the keys to success is to aggressively remove roadblocks. It might not be the most pleasant task; however, it is what will make the difference between success and failure. In today’s new normal business environment, time is of the essence. No one has time to wait for results. Instead, those who are a day quicker in lead time or a few hours faster in returning key customer calls will leave the competition in the dust. You’ll stand out in the crowd by focusing attention on what the others prefer to avoid – roadblocks.

7. Track progress: Do you know if your project is on schedule? Do you know what you can do to accelerate the pace of progress? Do you know which critical path tasks are coming up? Are the task owners ready? Find out! Publish and publicize.

8. Celebrate successes and address issues: Those who focus on the basic building blocks of success will thrive in today’s environment. Often, I find my clients are tempted to get lost in complexity. Instead, go back to the basics. If you see a task owner struggling, go talk with them immediately. Offer support. Provide constructive feedback. Hold them accountable. Bring in additional resources. Don’t wait until you have an issue. Be on top of potential issues. And, just as quickly as you address potential issues, be even faster to celebrate successes. Recognize progress. Appreciate a team member for taking action.

Delivering project results is vital to company success in today’s new normal business environment. Follow these essential tips to make sure you are one of the few to consistently deliver bottom line results.