Tag Archive: Sales

Manufacturing Expert, Lisa Anderson, Announces LMA Consulting Advocate and Futurist Awards

September 23rd, 2020

CLAREMONT, CALIFORNIA – September 23, 2020 –  Manufacturing and Supply Chain Expert,  Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, president of LMA Consulting Group Inc., has announced the 2020 LMA Advocate and Futurist Awards. LMA Consulting Group works with manufacturers and distributors on strategy and end-to-end supply chain transformation to maximize the customer experience and enable profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth.

Advocates, partners and centers of influence are key to LMA Consulting’s continued growth and success.
“This year marks 15 years since founding the firm. I have learned that adding value to a client project is more than simply providing advice and guidance. It means collaboration and sharing insights, experience and resources. The supply chain touches every part of an organization. The value that I bring includes providing resources and specialists in areas that are adjacent to my work. I work hard at building relationships with experts in other fields, so that I can provide the ultimate in a customer experience for my clients. It’s important to recognize the colleagues who have contributed to my success,” commented Ms. Anderson.

The 2020 LMA Advocate award recipient is Shannon Reininger. Shannon has been both a client and a colleague.  “I have worked with and alongside Shannon for several years. We have worked together on SIOP (Sales, Inventory, Operations, Planning) and supply chain management initiatives. I have experienced first-hand, the power of her ability to work collaboratively through the dynamics of both turnaround and growth situations. Her reputation for credibility, value creation and team building are second to none.  She has been a huge supporter of the Supply Chain industry and ASCM/APICS, our industry association, taking on the role of educator and advocate,” Ms. Anderson explained.

2020 has been a year like none other. Manufacturing operations and extended supply chains have experienced unprecedented disruption and volatility. Companies that had plans in place and were agile enough to quickly address these supply chain disruptions and those that pivoted quickly to changing customer needs have been rewarded. “So many companies tend to be reactionary. Companies that are consciously interested in achieving excellence, focusing on continuous improvement, innovation and looking ahead tend to be ahead of the curve and in growth mode. This year, I have added ‘The Futurist’ award to recognize a client company that is always working to achieve excellence, resilience and to shape the future to enhance the customer experience. Corona Clipper, Ltd seems to have a crystal ball as they plan for the near-term and long-term, think strategically and design their products, services and end-to-end supply chain with evolving customer needs in mind. Steve Erickson, President, challenges his team to look for new and different ways to continuously improve the customer experience, ultimately improving the supply chain. It was only fitting that we awarded Steve and his team, the first LMA Futurist crystal ball” Ms. Anderson said.

Ms. Anderson recently released an eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19. It provides readers with insights, advice and experiential value for creating the ultimate in customer experience.

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.  She focuses on maximizing the customer experience and enabling profitable, scalable, dramatic business growth. Ms. Anderson is a recognized Supply Chain thought leader by SelectHub, named a Top 40 B2B Tech Influencer by arketi group, 50 ERP Influencer by Washington-Frank, a 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, 101 strategies for creating bold customer promises and profits. A regular content contributor on topics including a superior customer experience with SIOP, advancing innovation and making the supply chain resilient, 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.                                       

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



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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The Value of Alignment: Sales, Operations & Finance

May 30th, 2019

Alignment might sound like a fluffy concept, but it delivers bottom line results. Our most successful clients have achieved the most substantial results from alignment. Although SIOP (Sales, Inventory, Operations Planning) gets a wrap as a technical topic, in our experience, it is the alignment portion of SIOP that delivers the bacon!

For example, in one client project, the Sales Leader was concerned about service levels. He knew that service was the differentiator in the marketplace, and if they didn’t have quick lead times and responsive customer service, it would negatively impact his ability to grow the business. On the other hand, planning knew that sales tended to come in dramatic spikes which were hard to predict in advance and so strategic inventory could make sense. Operations wasn’t too keen on inventory since they had a lean mentality with the view that inventory was ‘bad’, and they were concerned about capacity and staffing. Accounting set rules on overhead rates as a percentage of sales on a monthly basis which caused HR and Operations to hire and fire temps continually (and sometimes full-time resources). Overtime wasn’t used as a rule of thumb and was seen as costly by management, In fact, it was the only client we’ve ever worked with that didn’t use at least some percentage of overtime on a continual basis. And, of course, R&D created new products and had no idea about the volume and the impact on capacity and staffing. In essence, no one was on the same page!

We created a demand plan based on historical forecasts with sales input, confirmed the capacity and staffing levels required to meet that forecast and determined that if we level loaded the forecast over a quarter, we could create a win-win: improved service during the sales spikes with improved margins (lower temp turnover, improved efficiencies etc.). But it didn’t matter if we didn’t align the team. That was the 80/20 to creating success (and is ALWAYS the hardest part). Fast-forward 3-6 months down-the-road: We shortened service dips from the sales spikes, increased the service levels and reduced costs.

These types of client results are commonplace with alignment no matter your position in the supply chain or the world. Have you considered whether your teams are saying they are aligned or whether they are truly using the same playbook? It often will make the difference between a happy customer and a disgruntled one (which isn’t something anyone wants in today’s on-line era), let alone the profit impacts. If you are interested in an alignment assessment, please contact us.

 

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Forecasting: How Far Should You Look into the Future?

July 3rd, 2017
SIOP S&OP

Setting strategy or designing a sales, inventory and operations planning (SIOP) process requires forecasting. How far into the future do you look and why?

Whether setting strategy or designing a SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) process, one of the most important questions to consider in forecasting is how far into the future will you look? And why?

As we think about whether the answer should be 1 month, 1 quarter or 1 year, check your thinking. When assessing the future it is important to think through the elements that may impact your forecast.

10 Questions to Ask When Forecasting and Designing SIOP

1. Do you have customer contracts in your business/ industry? If so, how far out do they go?

2. Regardless of the commitment level, how far out do you have information that is somewhat reliable? If it changes substantially from month-to-month, is it of any value?

3. How reliable is your forecast by product or customer grouping? Forget about items and sku-level forecasts. How about product category forecasts?

4. Do you have access to demand data into your supply chain?

5. Are you asking questions about what is coming down the pike? If not, why not?

6. How much cushion do you have? Do you have inventory or capacity availability?

7. How prepared is your supply chain? Can they handle volume spikes?

8. Are you willing to dedicate people to gain a view into the future? Why or why not?

9. Have you considered a strategic sprint? Why are you setting arbitrary time frames when customers don’t care what you do? They want what they need when they need it.

10. Are there downsides to looking too far into the future? What are they?

 

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SIOP is Not a Supply Chain Project

June 10th, 2016
SIOP is organization-wide

The full benefits of SIOP blossom when its treated like an organization-wide strategic initiative instead of a narrower supply chain project.

Although the supply chain and operations resources typically coordinate the SIOP process as their skills align best with the majority of the processes, the reason for its success is that it is an organizational priority. The two areas of sales, inventory and operations planning focus include:

  • Aligning demand with supply
  • Aligning the functions related to or impacted by demand and supply on the same page

Thus, the reason it cannot be successful as a supply chain resource project should be apparent. The participants include the following:

  • Resources related to demand – sales, marketing, customer service, R&D, new product development, customers, etc.
  • Resources related to supply – manufacturing operations, outside processing production processes, planning, procurement, logistics, quality, suppliers, etc.
  • Resources impacted by demand and supply – those interested in profit, cash flow, inventory levels, customer service, etc., such as Finance, executives, Boards, etc.

Who else is there? I cannot think of any! Now, imagine the challenge in aligning them on the same page with one plan – the “secret sauce” to SIOP success. If you are interested in learning more about partnering with us to use our proven method (4 EXCEL) for driving results, contact us.

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