Tag Archive: speed

Do You Have a Resilient Supply Chain?

August 11th, 2019

supply chain strategyThere is extreme volatility in today’s end-to-end supply chain.  Are you keeping up with all the changes?  For example, think about the following:

  • Tariffs & trade impacts
  • Data & security breaches
  • The Amazon Effect
  • New technologies such as 3D printing
  • Natural disasters, port strikes and more

The Resilient Supply Chain
Instead of allowing each of these incidents to impact you, we must create a resilient supply chain.  Are you proactively thinking about these topics?

  1. Agility– Instead of seeing agile as an IT or project management concept, we should be thinking about how to incorporate agility into every step / every piece of our end-to-end supply chain.  If a customer changes his mind, are we flexible enough to handle it?
  2. Speed – Is your supply chain set up for speed?  Customers are unwilling to wait.  I’ve found that I’m unwilling to wait anymore.  If I wait for a trusted advisor, service provider, subcontractor or even a client, it delays LMA Consulting. For us to be on the leading edge with clients, we must be ahead of the curve; not waiting for something that will be obsolete before we get it!  That is one thing we appreciate about our webmaster; he is speedy and understands priorities which is how we are able to announce a major content upgrade (thanks Scott).
  3. Predictive – In today’s complex world, we must also be predictive so that we are prepared from an 80/20 standpoint for the most likely unexpected events, trends and bumps in the road.  Thinking three steps ahead can go a long way in creating resilience.
  4. Collaborative – One of key components to creating a resilient supply chain with multiple partners is to collaborate.  There is no time to establish relationships and find ways to navigate volatility together if you haven’t already set a collaborative tone.
  5. Adaptive team – No doubt; the core to resilience is having an adaptive team where each members understands where he/she is headed and feels empowered to handle obstacles as they arise.

Have you thought about each interrelated partner, piece or parameter in your end-to-end supply chain?  How can you set it up to be resilient?



Are You Able to be Resilient in Your Decision Making?

November 12th, 2018

 

As we kick off our new series “The Resilient Supply Chain”, we are thinking about all the aspects of resiliency.  It is overwhelming as to the volatility of almost every aspect of the end-to-end supply chain. Just in the last month, there have been many events/ factors that have created disruption:

  • U.S. and Mexico reaching a trade agreement
  • U.S. and Canada still at an impasse with respect to trade negotiations
  • U.S. and China still imposing tariffs on each other
    • Ford cancelled plans to produce a small car in China based on these tariffs.
  • Fires have and are plaguing California – the worst in history
  • The Big Island in Hawaii is just starting to pick up the pieces after the volcano
    • We’ve heard about severe impacts on the businesses and customers in that areAnd earlier this week, although not serious (thank goodness), there was an earthquake in the next town over from our office

The Resilient Supply Chain
Instead of panicking as each of these events or disruptors occur, creating a resilient supply chain can provide a proactive approach to this current state market condition.  One of critical aspects of taking a proactive approach instead of a reactive one is to think about whether you are able to be resilient in your decision making.

Here are some considerations:
1.  People – Good decisions stem from good people.  Thus, it always makes sense to start there.  Do you have people in leadership positions and other key roles that you would want to make decisions in your absence?  (Just this past week, a potential client was killed by a drunk driver while he was on a motorcycle. We would certainly rather be prepared for winning the lottery but the question remains:  Are your people ready to make decisions?)

2.  Data – Although good people can make up for a lot, you also need the “right” information and relevant background to make key decisions.  Do your systems allow you to retrieve meaningful data for decision making? Every single ERP selection client prioritizes business intelligence/dashboard reporting tools as high on their list of priorities for good reason!

3.  Input – Although this can be considered part of people and data, it’s worth calling out on its own.  Do you gain input from trusted sources (colleagues, customers, suppliers, trade association colleagues, industry groups and more)?  Recently, our APICS-IE instructors had an issue arise with updated learning materials – in essence, they were not set up for learning to occur.  Clearly a BIG issue for an education and value-focused organization! Fortunately, after 3 or 4 calls, we had several ideas on how to dramatically improve the process and overcome the obstacle.  In another example that occurred recently for a client project, we had a significant challenge in explaining a complex concept that was critical to success. If we didn’t get past that barrier, results would NOT follow.  It took 5 or 6 calls with excellent input from all as well as testing out ideas before we came up with the ideal way to convey the concept, and it “worked”!

4.  Speed – Slow decision making is worse than no decision making.  In today’s Amazonian marketplace, your customers will be LONG gone if you are slow to make decisions.  I’ve noticed that I am a LOT less tolerant of slow responsiveness even in my own business (and for things I would have been fine with a year ago).  I have to be to remain viable, and so do you! Thus, as it relates to having the ‘right’ people with the ‘right’ data and ‘right’ input, you must also have them at the ‘right’ time.

Have you put thought into your decision-making process before decisions must occur?  Ponder these critical elements, put them in place and you’ll be prepared to successfully navigate the volatility of today’s business decisions.    

 



Lisa Anderson Presents “The Increased Need for More Control, Speed and Profit”

October 27th, 2016
webinar

Join LMA Consulting Group President, Lisa Anderson, as she hosts an interactive discussion on how supply chain leaders can make their businesses thrive when they’re up against shorter lead times, increasing risks and labor rates.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, president of LMA Consulting Group and a sought after manufacturing, distribution and supply chain consultant, speaker and writer who works with manufacturers and distributors in aerospace, building products and food is presenting “The Increased Need for More Control, Speed and Profit: How to Thrive in the Environment” in a TalentStream webinar on Wed, November 2, 2016, at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT. As the recession is long over and manufacturing has been reigniting, executives are re-evaluating their end-to-end supply chains in response to the critical importance of short lead times, increasing labor rates in low cost countries, concerns about “too much” money tied up in inventory due to lengthy lead times and worries about the increased level of risk. This presentation will feature an interactive discussion on how supply chain and operations leaders can re-configure their supply chain and re-focus their efforts to not only remain competitive but to thrive in this environment.

“In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, customers expect rapid deliveries and 24/7 accessibility at low prices. Executives are turning previous notions about offshoring upside down,” explains Anderson. “And although there are key challenges, customers don’t want to hear about our obstacles, they just want their orders faster. If we ignore these demands, we risk our customers going to our competitors who can get them what they need when they need it at the right price and level of service.”

“Since service has risen to a level of critical importance, I’m starting to see my clients and colleagues consider what it will take to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and/or to nearby countries. I’m conducting a research study to dig into this topic in more detail so that my clients can stay ahead of the curve. Success will not follow those late to the party. Customers will go to those who have the right product at the right price at the right location at the right time. Join us for the webinar to find out how supply chain management is becoming strategic to business growth and success.”

Capitalizing on her over 25 years of experience advising manufacturers and distributors on supply chain, operations, ERP and SIOP, Anderson continually provides data that helps manufacturers and distributors focus in on which people, process and system improvements are essential to preparing their supply chains to create a sustainable advantage.

TalentStream, a recruiting company that helps emerging technology companies secure the right people, the most critical piece of the puzzle to build and grow a successful business, is hosting the complimentary webinar. Registration is required.

 



The Importance of Controlled Speed

June 24th, 2016

supply chain

Last week I was in New Zealand, and I went on a wild ride on the Dart River (see below). We went at 100 kph with just 4 inches of water. It was a thrilling ride with amazing scenery in the background, and it got me thinking about the critical importance of speed in today’s workplace. EVERY single one of my clients must grow, improve service levels, reduce lead time, maximize margins, and improve efficiencies — YESTERDAY. Speed of results is of the essence. It has been the focus of my clients since the recession (as cash was the focus during the recession) — in today’s Amazon-impacted workplace, speed will make or break success.

However, if you are going at 100 kph in an uncontrolled fashion, you will end up smashed directly into a boulder in the Dart River. In business, it is no different — you must maintain CONTROL while moving rapidly or success will not follow. This is one of the tenets of my proprietary process for driving supply chain performance TST. Having speed and torque with no traction leads to spinning your wheels. It is often the reason I’m called into a client.

speed

 

One tip to implement this week:

I’ve found the first step is to understand and create urgency around your priorities. Most likely you are doing a task because you want to serve a customer as almost everything we do at work can be traced back to serving customers; no matter the task — if you don’t think what you are doing ties to a customer, contact me. I bet we can tie it to a customer or drop it from your priority list. These customer-centric tasks are critical. This doesn’t mean you have to serve customers blindly but to serve them well while achieving a win-win profit and business growth requires you to work with controlled speed.

Start by finding the why behind your tasks this week. If there isn’t a compelling why, remove the item from your list. Focus only on those with an important why. Explain the why to your team or your manager. Create urgency. Think about the last service you received that not only provided great service but was speedy — wouldn’t you like to repeat that for your customers?

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”

 



TST to Drive Supply Chain Performance

April 12th, 2016
torque, speed, traction

LMA Consulting Group proprietary process TST combines torques, speed and traction to drive supply chain performance.

Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners?

They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How?

Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and thinking into the development of my proprietary processes:

  • Best practices across industries (ranging from aerospace to building products to food & beverage to distribution) and company-sizes (from small, family-owned businesses to facilities and divisions of multi-billion-dollar, global enterprises).
  • Expert advice from our collaborations and alliances of clients and colleagues inclusive of top-notch trusted advisors, communities of executives and business owners, and trade association experts and professionals.
  • And, most importantly, we’ve bounced these against “what works” and is immediately pragmatic.

TST(SM) is our proprietary process that combines torque, speed and traction to drive supply chain performance.  

My consulting mentor helped me come up with TST(SM) a few years ago after listening to my strengths and results in supply chain management; however, I didn’t fully realize its brilliance until I purchased my new car in 2015 — an Audi A5 convertible. Suddenly, the “right” combination of torque, speed and traction made a lot of sense for not only driving on the road but for my clients’ success as well.

speed, torque and traction

When applying it to our clients, we’ve found that the optimal combination of these factors will make the difference between success and failure:

  • Torque – getting out of the blocks quickly. Quick wins create momentum!
  • Speed – the need for speed permeates all successful clients. Just think of leaving your competition in the dust…
  • Traction – certainly, maintaining “control” over your strategic advantage, critical success factors and profit drivers is essential to steering your organization towards sustainable success.

If you are not focused on that sweet spot, you are left with sub-optimal performance:

  • If you have torque and speed but not traction, you are spinning your wheels. How many of us feel this way?!?
  • If you have speed and traction but not torque, you will have a slow start. There is no excitement in that!
  • If you have torque and traction but not speed, you will lag behind.

Thus, the only winning combination is to be in the sweet spot of torque, speed and traction to lead the pack.

Please refer to our webpage to learn more and contact us if you are interested in leveraging TST(SM) at your organization.

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

Is Your Supply Chain Ready for Growth?

Is Your Inventory System Working?