Tag Archive: training

Where Our Best People Are Going

September 1st, 2020

In the last month, almost every client has had some sort of challenge with talent. Most clients and contacts have lost a high-quality person. All have experienced a lack of talent or the appropriate skills to meet customer demand. For example, finding temporary resources has proven quite the challenge. Watch our video on what we’re seeing in the market. Are you paying attention?

 

       

One Tip to Implement This Week:
Since people are on the move, there is NO DOUBT that we must get on top of our human resources. We cannot prevent people leaving because they want to change careers or industries, but we can prevent those who are leaving due to leadership. After all, people don’t leave companies, they leave people!

The good news is that you can improve this situation immediately.

Focus on your people.

  1. Have you clearly communicated where you are headed?
  2. Have your leaders talked with each direct report individually about how he/she fits into the future?
  3. Do you have a performance check-in process quarterly, at minimum?
  4. Are you providing career advancement? Ex. promotions, additional responsibility, training and/or mentoring, etc.
  5. Are you upfront with your people? Communicate what you are able to communicate. Tell them what you cannot communicate but make sure they know you will tell them immediately as you are able. Anytime leaders keep things from employees, employees make up FAR worse stories. Good people exist. Weak people stay and become disgruntled.
  6. How effective are your leaders?
  7. Of course, this assumes you are taking care of the basics such as safety, quality, COVID, etc.

Read more about navigating and successfully emerging post COVID-19 in my free eBook Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Please send your feedback and stories. I will incorporate them in an article, video or interview.



Do You Treat Your People as Critical Assets to Your Success?

June 24th, 2019

As several CEOs lament continually and as Steve Erickson, president of Corona Clipper, Inc. and UK Business Unit Group, said in our 2019 predictions document, talent is a hot topic in today’s tight labor market. Perhaps it is time to put a bit more thought into our talent.

As a consultant who works with organizations from a few million in annual revenue to multi-billion dollar conglomerates, it is quite clear that talent is an issue across-the-board. It doesn’t matter the industry, the size, or the ownership (private equity, publicly traded or closely-held). Talent is an issue that is top of mind of every executive interested in growth and innovation. The trick is whether you just think about talent or are willing to invest in talent. Which are you?

Certainly, those who invest are far more likely to retain top talent and develop new talent. In zero unemployment markets, there is something to be said about creating your own talent. If you aren’t focused on this topic, it is quite likely the competition will steal your talent away.

There are many ways to invest in talent:

  1. Provide mentor opportunities – If your organization looks for ways to support the growth of employees with mentors, you are bound to be more successful than the norm. In our experience, the best companies realize that people need to learn through practical application and mentoring provides this opportunity.
  2. Invest in leaders to encourage continuous coaching – aAyearly review is quite useless. Who can remember what happened that long ago and understand how to improve or build on a strength? Instead, I found that 90 day one-on-one performance conversations with a limited number of objectives do the trick. Continuous feedback and investment of time can go a long way. But let’s not expect leaders to know how to conduct these sessions if we haven’t invested in them. Remember, it trickles down hill.
  3. Provide training opportunities – Search for training topics that will supplement what your employees should understand. For example, any employee in operations and supply chain should take APICS courses to understand the fundamentals of supply chain and operations management and related principles. If nothing else, it will provide the body of knowledge and associated language.
  4. Provide experiences – In larger companies, there might be job rotations or overseas assignments.  No matter the size, there are cross-training opportunities as well as enabling visits and collaborations with customers, suppliers, systems and technology providers, consultants/experts and other partners.
  5. Allow the freedom for experimentation – To encourage new ideas and innovation, it is important to design programs that educate employees as well as provide a framework to try out new ideas. In our consulting travels, we find that employees who are allowed to test new ideas in a safe zone feel invested in.
  6. Address poor performers – Instead of ignoring your poor performers because it is an unpleasant task or you are worried about repercussions, proactively address them. Work with them to turn them around or move them out of the organization, and you’ll unleash your top talent.

Why not merely increase your engagement by investing in your already-existing talent? According to all the surveys, engagement is at horrific levels in the vast majority of organizations yet engagement is key to driving performance. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out investing in your people is not only common sense but it can do more good for your bottom line than almost anything else. The key is to not treat investment as throwing money at an issue but instead seeing it as a priority. Let us know what ideas you have to engage your most critical assets.

 

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

Are You Retaining Top Talent?

Profit Through People

 



Harvey Mudd Student Projects & Innovations Related to Cancer

February 22nd, 2018

Earlier this week, I attended some clinic presentations at Harvey Mudd (student projects with companies / partners), and the value of innovation hit home!  

For example, there are students working on innovations to improve on the success rate of breast cancer surgeries – talk about relevant!  There are many tangible and impactful projects the students work on throughout the year in a wide variety of industries.  Marrying up practical experience with book knowledge can go far in preparing students to be successful in careers after college.  Do you provide well-rounded education and experiences?

One tip to implement this week:
What type of education and experiences do you provide for your employees and team members?  I see a distinctive difference between training and education whereas education is a much broader concept so that your employees will be able to interpret and carry forward.  Do you explain the whys?  Do you provide practical examples?  Do you allow your team members to try new things?  Even if they fail?

Although education can be quite valuable, it might not be enough.  Do you find a way to provide an experience?  A kaizen might do the trick …or at least get the process started.  Or, have you put together a cross-training program?  Shouldn’t a planner or logistics resource understand the trials and tribulations of talking with customers on a daily basis?  Dealing with an angry customer can do wonders for opening your eyes.  And how about vice-versa?  Are your customer service resources committing to whatever the customer requests regardless of whether you can deliver it?  Why not give a more comprehensive experience approach a go?

Regardless, continuous education is critical today as everything seems to change in a nanosecond!

 



Deloitte Survey Says Talent Gap Jeopardizes Success

February 22nd, 2017

According to the 2017 Deloitte Global CPO Survey, 85% of those surveyed felt that talent was the largest factor in driving procurement performance yet 60% think they have a skills gap to deliver on their procurement objectives. My clients are experiencing this same phenomenon, no matter the role within manufacturing and supply chain. What are you doing to find, retain and develop your talent?

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

We are in a volatile business environment – global trade is evolving, risks abound, regulations are changing, supply chains are complex and significant change has become the norm. Instead of complaining or burying our head in the sand, we must find a way to get ahead of the curve. This starts with TALENT.

I am constantly asked to help clients, trade association contacts and alliance colleagues find, retain and train talent. No matter the technical topic, it will not succeed without talent. Thus, we better pay attention. Due to this continual feedback, I have dusted off my Skills Gap research from late 2013 and am refreshing it. I’d appreciate your feedback and insights for my research. I’ll keep you in the loop on the results.

In the interim, start thinking about the skills gap. What will you need a year down-the-line? Are you positioned to not only succeed short-term but to leverage opportunities as they arise over the next 12-24 months? If not, you have a skills gap. Put off spending cash in other areas but do not skimp on your talent.

Think about your objectives and back into your plan. Should you hire employees or fill expertise gaps with consultants? Will top talent WANT to work with you and in your company culture? Don’t assume the answer is yes — think about it and find out. What should you do to attract and retain top talent? That might also lead you to the third option which you should pursue regardless — developing talent. What training, education and mentoring programs do you offer?

 



APICS-IE Recognizes Contributions in Manufacturing

May 31st, 2016
APICS-IE Spring Symposium

APICS-IE’s Symposiums recognize supply chain innovators who develop industry innovations and add value to the manufacturing, distribution and transportation communities.

The Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium focused on emerging supply chain trends and acknowledged those emergent leaders contributing to manufacturers, supply chain professionals and distributors to improve their education, lead times, forecasting, data analysis and supplier relationships.

The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS,  the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, motivated attendees with its expert panel presentation and discussion on investigating and predicting supply chain trends at its Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium: Emerging Supply Chain Trends held April 30, in Corona, Calif. In addition to expert presentations, stimulating dialogue, and industry networking; APICS-IE also recognized individuals and companies for their contributions to the association and improving members’ knowledge base. Six awards were given in appreciation of outstanding leadership and partnership — outstanding board leaders, Tony Martinez and Parizad Sethna; outstanding partner, Monster Energy Company; outstanding APICS partner, APICS San Fernando Valley; outstanding instructor, Susan Franks; and business leader advocate, Kusum Kavia.

While the Spring Symposium’s focus was on recognizing industry innovators, achievers and those who have contributed to APICS-IE’s success in providing value to the manufacturing, distribution and transportation communities; it also challenged attendees to think more strategically about their supply chain.

Award recipients recognized the importance APICS-IE plays in helping area companies stay current, getting access to education and developing human resources. “Riverside County is known for its large manufacturing hub and having the resources that APICS-IE offers is very valuable to our region,” explained business leader advocate award winner Kusum Kavia of Combustion Associates, Inc. “Not only can talent be obtained through APICS-IE, but manufacturers, such as my company CAI, can send their employees for training to this organization. APICS provides value-added supply chain support including research and educational tools that is critical to all manufacturers.”

At the core of APICS-IE principles is education and training of its members to help them better perform on the job for career and company success. Through its support of Student Case competitionswebinars and training, APICS-IE continues to be the destination for skills development, certification and training. Acknowledged as outstanding instructor HourGlass Consulting’s Susan Franks, CPIM, CSCP, Instructor Training, and AIS Master Instructor stated,  “It is always great to be asked to work with this dynamic chapter and be a part of a strong instructor team. This symposium was one of the best-focused on key issues facing today’s global supply chains with great speakers, on target with their comments, and very informative.”

VP Special Projects for APICS-IE Tony Martinez, CPIM, CIRM, was valued for all the contributions he makes as a board member. “This was unexpected, but I want to thank you for the opportunity to work with such a great group of people. The combination of teaching aspiring operations/supply chain practitioners through CPIM and Principles classes, and supporting students in Operations/Logistics majors at local colleges through scholarships, and the Student Case Competition, is a very satisfying use of my operations/supply chain experience.”

Partnerships are extremely important and many of the APICS chapters work together to leverage resources and provide expanded opportunities to its membership base. Thornburg Consulting’s Michael Thornburg, MBA, CPIM President, APICS San Fernando Valley Chapter, accepted the outstanding APICS partner award on behalf of his chapter. “I am honored to receive this award on behalf of APICS-San Fernando Valley. This award is an outstanding example of what we strive for, namely Developing Professionals. Being recognized by the professional community is an unexpected and greatly appreciated surprise for all of us at APICS-San Fernando Valley. I am looking forward to future partnering opportunities with APICS-Inland Empire.”

Expert panelists included Dr. Chris Gopal, Senior Fellow at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Executive Director of the Drucker Center for Supply Chain & Logistics; Brian Reed, VP of Transportation & Customer Service Niagara Bottling; Roy Paulson, President, Paulson Manufacturing; and C.J. Nord, ISM Committee Chairperson for the Port of Long Beach Working Groups, and Supply Chain Manager at California Faucets shared data and trends and explained why companies should be forward thinking and respond to slow moving stock, supplier reliability, lead times and forecasting.

Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions, network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to also help them build their career.

Looking ahead to the APICS-IE Fall Symposium — the theme will be Navigating Global Supply Chain and will be held Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, Calif. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM are $15 for members, $25 for non-members and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included.

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