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Anderson

462 posts

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According to the Southern California Logistics & Supply Chain Summit featuring executives from Amazon, UPS, the California Trucking Association and more, supply chain has a dramatic impact on the Southern California economy and the world. For example, UPS is the 9th largest airline, has 100,000 trucks, and delivers a mind-boggling 19 million packages a day. Amazon has added 8 million square feet in California in the last 5 years, and every 1 million in square feet turns into 3 million square feet of supporting buildings. Amazon is investing in robotics, solar panels, drones and more. The LA and Long Beach ports bring in 40% of all goods for the U.S. And the list goes on.... Have you thought about your supply chain network lately?

 

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

 

We definitely should NOT bury our head in the sand when it comes to supply chain! If you aren't constantly learning, watching trends, keeping up with regulations and requirements and thinking about your supply chain network next year and beyond, you won't be able to respond fast enough to the ever-changing nature of the supply chain. Therefore, attend events such as the upcoming APICS Inland Empire executive panel & networking symposium on "Disruptive Innovations in Supply Chain" and other events in your area, seek out mentors and advisers, and read the Wall Street Journal, trade magazines, on-line resources and research reports to keep up-to-date.

 

Also, take time to think about your company's strategy when it comes to supply chain. What should you be tracking to stay on top of what is important to your industry, your supply chain partners, and the countries and currencies where your customers and/or suppliers are located?  What type of products do you have? Lightweight but bulky products? Large, odd-shaped products? Perishable products with a short shelf-life? Where are your customers located and what type of service do they expect? Is that changing? And the list can get VERY long. Understand your situation, likely changes in the next year and your internal and external strengths and weaknesses. You'll have a place to start.

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The Inland Empire Chapter of APICS, the leading association for supply chain and operations professionals, will be hosting a meeting on global supply chain trends and strategies at its Disruptive Innovations in Logistics Spring Executive Panel & Networking Symposium on May 6, in Corona, CA. Expert panelists include Dr. Genevieve Giuliano, Director of the METRANS; Mark Hirzel, Customs Broker for A.N. Deringer, Inc.; Lupe Valdez, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad; Heidi Chance, Division Manager at Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA; and, Steven C. Finley, Vice President of Re-Transportation at Kuehne + Nagel Co. Attendees will gain insight into which logistical changes matter most and how to prepare the supply chain for these advancements. In addition to a focused conversation on innovations and the future of logistics, attendees will have time to network and benchmark with area companies and build contacts within the manufacturing and distribution community to help build their careers.

 

“We have an amazing panel of experts to help our attendees meet the challenges of disruptive change,” says Lisa Anderson, President of APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group.  “With their leadership and insights, manufacturing and logistics professionals will be able to anticipate and plan for the innovations they need to stay competitive and relevant in the future!”

 

Sponsors this year include Arbela Technologies, Brandman University, Manufacturing Executive Institute, andComplete Consulting Group. The APICS-IE Spring Symposium: Disruptive Innovations in Logistics will be held Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona, CA. Fees to attend the event from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM are $20 for members, $25 for non-members, and students are free. Breakfast buffet is included. Learn more and register online or cut and paste this link into your browser: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07edo6z6ik0657ae8c&oseq=&c=&ch=

 

 

disengaged employee.jpgEmployee engagement was a hot topic during the "Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage" panel at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum. Did you know that one of the most recent Gallup studies found that 67% of people are not engaged in the workplace? How horrifying is that?

Worse yet, what makes up the 67%? 51% are not engaged but 16% are actively disengaged. What? Can you imagine the obstacles to overcome to be successful in an environment where 16% of your team is working against you?

What can we do about employee engagement? 

1. Involvement - Involve your people in their work. It sounds obvious but rarely occurs. Can your employees have an impact on their work? Are they asked to participate in brainstorming sessions or kaizen events? Please, if you ask your team to participate, do not dictate the solution. You'll create active non-involvement!

 

2. Leadership - Ok, leadership can sound like motherhood and apple pie; however, have you thought about just one fact — employees do not leave companies; they leave leaders. Who is leaving your company?

 

3. Performance management - Talk about a topic few leaders excel at doing, it is performance management. I was fortunate to have an OD/HR mentor who taught me almost everything I know about this topic. It is actually quite simple. Be upfront with your people. Provide immediate positive and constructive feedback. Address poor performers. This single action will achieve wonders with your stars. Don't wait for once a year. Make time to meet one-on-one at least once a quarter.   

    

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

How to Effectively Engage Employees and Achieve Results

Do you Have Engaged Employees?

lisaanderson

Are Robots Good or Bad?

Posted by lisaanderson Apr 19, 2017

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According to the Material Handling & Logistics, robots are slashing U.S. wages and worsening pay inequality. That is certainly a provocative statement! According to new research by MIT's Daron Acemoglu and Boston University's Pascual Restrepo, one additional robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio from 0.18 percentage points to 0.34 percentage points and slashes wages from 0.25% to 0.5%. Regardless of the exact figures, it is certainly accurate that robots will replace certain types of jobs.

 

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Is this good or bad? It is for you to decide based on your circumstances. Technology and automation can keep you competitive and "save" higher skilled jobs since costs are reduced and so there is less incentive to move manufacturing away from the customer base to a lower cost location. On the other hand, robots will minimize the number of repetitive jobs needed. Are you continually building on your skills? And, are you supporting continual skills building in your workforce? 

 

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

We are hearing more and more about technology, automation and robots. Thus, if you aren't at least thinking about this strategy, you'll likely be left in the dust. With that said, we are the first to say — do not automate for the sake of automation. Does it support a key need of your business? Will it help you provide a better customer experience? Will it help you be more competitive to grow your business? Think carefully before jumping for the sake of following the popular trend.

 

If you don't have a high labor cost environment, will robots make sense? Perhaps not. Just like everyone and his brother jumped on the outsourcing craze several years ago and many later discovered it didn't make sense in their case (often by learning the hard way with unhappy customers), think before you leap. Stay on top of the latest technology and search for business needs where this tool "fits the bill" to drive business results but do not blindly follow any person or crowd. 

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I met with the Claremont McKenna team that puts together the Inland Empire economic forecast last week. They are well known in the Inland Empire for being on the forefront of the economics forecast and finding ways to bring unique insights into the process. Therefore, they were interested in what I see in terms of outsourcing, nearsourcing, insourcing and other key trends in manufacturing.

 

 

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Economic factors can have a significant impact on your business. I learned quite a lot about this from my Director of Purchasing when I was a VP of Operations many years ago. It was simply amazing — and impressive — all of the economic considerations he assessed on a daily basis to stay on top of supply base trends and potential trends. And, that was just one aspect of the end-to-end supply chain. It is worth taking a few moments to think about economics....

 

One tip to implement this week:

 

Since economics can have a dramatic impact on our business, it is worthwhile to pay attention — at a minimum. Attend sessions on economics trends, read economic updates, and dig into the key factors that are most likely to impact your business.  

 

Start by just identifying a few economic factors that are important to your business. Find sources to track progress of those factors — internet sites, trade associations, customers or suppliers, etc. Collaborate with your supply chain partners. Participate with local universities. The bottom line is to stay on top of the trends and be proactive as you see changes.

 

 

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…”

Drucker Supply Chain Forum3.jpgWhat are executives looking for in supply chain professionals? That was the topic of the panel I participated in at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum with executives from the Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. So, what is the consensus?

 

1. Broad knowledge - Supply chains are global and more complex in today's world. Thus, a broad and diverse set of skills is required to be successful in the field. If you have the opportunity to try a new area you wouldn't have requested, give it a shot. You might just enjoy it. Worst case, you'll have built skills that will come in handy as you move forward in the supply chain profession.

 

2. Technology - There is no doubt about it. Supply chain and technology skills must go hand-in-hand. If you aren't keeping up with what's needed to be effective in the current environment while also looking ahead, you'll be left in the dust. Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum. Cloud computing is the norm. Collaborating across your supply chain is becoming commonplace. Are you on top of these topics?

 

3. Communication & presentation skills - Unfortunately, no matter how smart your solutions and ideas, none will proceed if you cannot present them effectively. And, that is just one aspect. Consider how to collaborate across your supply chain without these skills. Not feasible.

 

4. Risk - Your supply chain cannot be effective without thinking about the impact of risk. There are countless types of risk around us - cyber, natural disasters, financial, political etc. Have you at least considered the most impactful and likely risks?

 

5. Sustainability - This topic continues to gain steam and popularity. Are you thinking about how to turn sustainability into a win-win-win?

 

 

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

 

What Supply Chains and Liberal Arts Have in Common

 

Sustainability – Who Knew That It’s Common Sense?

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I toured the Los Angeles Times last week and was impressed with the automation. Although newspapers seems like an old business, it was impressive in pure size and volume with minimal people. The business sprawls 2400 acres and is run with 200 people. There were robots to move huge rolls of paper through the facility. There was automated equipment that brought the papers from the machine to the next room over where it was compiled into stacks. We were fortunate to go inside a paper machine and see just how fast the paper ran by (although the example below was stopped at the time).

 

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Certainly, the LA Times invested in automation. However, when I asked that question, the answer was that most of this technology wasn't new. I find this is true with clients as well — it's interesting how often what can seem like 'old' technology can provide vast improvement to the status quo. Have you looked for opportunities lately?

 

One tip to implement this week:

 

As much as we love to talk about the latest and greatest technology such as artificial intelligence or drones, the majority of the time there is a vast opportunity to implement technology that might be less exciting and/or considered 'older' but one that will improve productivity, profitability and the like. Have you looked at your already-existing assets for new uses?

 

For example, I've implemented vendor managed inventory or collaborative inventory planning with customers many times throughout my career because it provides a win-win in HUGE proportions. It isn't new but it achieves significant results — shorter lead times, better service, lower costs, less inventory, etc. What can you do in your business that would achieve a similar result? Think about automation. Push the envelope in thinking. And, remember, some of the best ideas come from unlikely places and with unlikely tool sets. 

 

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…”

Drucker Supply Chain Forum2.jpgAt the Drucker Supply Chain Forum held recently, there was a panel of distribution executives from Amazon, Toyota, QVC and Komar discussing "Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage". I've found that if all of my clients (or my best clients) have something in common or emphasize the same point, I should pay attention. In this case, the themes noted by every successful executive included:

1. Core values - interestingly, we found that establishing and living by core values was integral to success when I was a VP of Operations for PaperPak. The executive panel agreed. Do you have values? Do your employees know them? Do they think you live by them? Don't even think about discussing values if you cannot live by them as you'll lose more ground that you ever thought possible. But, if you plan to live by them, values can be hugely successful.

 

2. Engagement - again, this warranted several pages in my upcoming book "I've Been Thinking: Strategies to Make and Keep Bold Customer Promises and Profits" as I've always found it crucial to success. It is simply amazing how much MORE engaged employees accomplish than the rest. And, isn't it a more exciting work environment to live in?

 

3. Employee Focus - I've yet to see a company with happy customers and unhappy employees. Have you? Every panelist brought up the importance of an employee focus. Amazon provides education to employees - whether or not the education relates to the job. QVC has created an intriguing environment for their employees to enjoy what could be seen as a typical warehousing job. Toyota follows the Toyota Production System tenet with employees on top. And, Komar focuses intense attention on employees — performance reviews, core values, etc.

 

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to strengthen your Eagle Eye:

 

What Supply Chain and Liberal Arts Have in Common

 

Are You Thankful for Your Employees?

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I participated on the panel, "Professional Pathways in Supply Chain" at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum last week. Interesting to note that the panel was all women — definitely not typical but nice to see! I was joined by executives from Walt Disney, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. It was a lot of fun, and I learned as much as I contributed.

 

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We had some engaging discussions about the future of supply chain and the types of professionals that will be needed. For details on these topics, please tune in to my recent Profit Through People newsletter. However, one of the keys I wanted to highlight here is the critical need for a broad set of skills in supply chain today. The end-to-end supply chain is a vast topic (from your suppliers' suppliers through manufacturing and distribution to your customers' customers). Are you continually learning to stay ahead of the curve?

 

One tip to implement this week:

 

There is much we can do to learn continually and increase the breadth of our skills. There are a few immediate steps we can take: 1) Look around you for a mentor and ask him/her to be your mentor or just simply ask for advice. It is one of the best ways to learn. I've had several mentors over the years, and they were instrumental in my success. 2) Put yourself in positions where you collaborate with colleagues around you. There are vast amounts you could learn by talking with your colleagues. 3) Join a trade association and/or find courses to supplement your knowledge. For example, I am the president of APICS Inland Empire, the premier professional association for supply chain management. We are continually offering programs such as our executive panel & networking symposium on "Disruptive Innovations in Supply Chain" and classes including the new certification CLTD (certified logistics, transportation and distribution). 

 

Which will you do this week?

 

 

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…”

MCIEbanner.jpgLisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, CLTD president of LMA Consulting Group and chair for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) Manufacturer’s Summit E=mc² Innovation Awards, a special award ceremony celebrating innovative businesses and students solving challenges in today’s manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce the four category winners; Process EfficiencyCAI, MarketingAdventure Cabins, Human Capital and TalentConnect Products and People and Innovation by StudentsHarvey Mudd College. Innovation Award candidates are judged on criteria based on which company or student demonstrates the most innovation and resulting benefits in improving resources or energy efficiency; employment and workforce issues; and effective marketing.

 

This year’s Innovation Awards Committee consisted of experienced members with a combination of 100 years in the industry (both manufacturing and education) and deeply rooted in manufacturing success in the Inland Empire. Committee members included former chair and founding officer of MCIE Wallace Brithinee, president of Brithinee Electric; Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering; and, Innovation Awards Chair Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group.

 

We had a number of exceptional entries this year really showcasing their innovative talents in talent management, process improvement, marketing and, for the first time this year, innovation by students,” shares Award Chair Lisa Anderson. “I’m always intrigued and proud of what innovation actually takes place here in the Inland Empire. This year did not disappoint, and I look forward to building on this success in the coming year.”

 

Taking on a cultural innovation was the 2017 Human Capital and Talent Innovation Award winner Connect Product and People. “Connect’s goals are to provide meaningful work for veterans and individuals with disabilities, equal pay for equal work, and to stop the exploitation of these tremendously talented individuals — require social responsibility,” states Connect Products and People president, Jonathon R. Mills. “We are honored to be leading this change in culture and want to thank you MCIE for its support."

 

CAI President Kusum Kavia focused her organization on making the best use of all of its resources and it paid off with CAI being awarded the Process Efficiency Innovation Award. Says Kavia, “It is special to us because it comes from fellow manufacturers in our region.”

 

Travis Saenz of Adventure Cabins expressed his appreciation for the Marketing Innovation Award, saying “Thank you to the MCIE Summit committee and members for presenting Adventure Cabins with the Marketing Innovation Award. Our company took on a new web-footprint and marketing strategy that is paying off.”

 

New this year was the Student Innovation Awards recognizing the Harvey Mudd College students’ contributions in partnering with Niagara Water to achieve significant results. “Students with no preconceived ideas of what works and what does not work can come up with great out-of-the-box solutions and innovations,” Explains Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering. “We’re excited that The Harvey Mudd clinic program, teaming up with industry, does 45 projects a year with a lot of innovation."

 

The 2018 Manufacturing Summit will be held next February. For more information, visit MCIE Website or cut and paste this link http://mfgcouncilie.com/homepage/.

lisaanderson

Reshoring Gains

Posted by lisaanderson Mar 30, 2017

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According to Industry Week and the Reshoring Initiative, after two decades of job losses, we have turned the corner. In 2014, we had a net gain of 10,000 reshored jobs. And, clearly, this is picking up steam especially as we are in the thick of 2017. 

 

According to the article, South Carolina is the top winner thus far, followed by Michigan and California (surprising; however, since Boeing is the 3rd largest reshoring company, it makes sense), Kentucky and Texas. Walmart and Ford were the top two reshoring companies. There is certainly a buzz with reshoring and near-sourcing.

 

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We've received calls from several potential clients who are evaluating and/or have decided to bring back manufacturing. And, according to my newly released outsourcing/near-sourcing/in-sourcing research study, 70% of executives expect near-sourcing to increase. Stay tuned for the executive summary of the results of this study. In the interim, are you evaluating what makes sense for your supply chain? And, are you preparing for growth in a flexible and agile way?

 

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

 

If you are interested in taking advantage of this rare opportunity, you must be prepared! Of course, we would not advocate hiring across-the-board in anticipation of potential new volume; however, do you know which of your customers are thinking of bringing manufacturing closer to customers? If so, will your business increase? If not, why not? What can you do to position yourself so that you reap the benefits? Do you know if this will have an impact on your mix? What is it? Start with your customer.

 

On the supply side, build flexibility and capabilities into your organization so that you can ramp up capacity rapidly to meet changing business conditions profitably. Get your team together and start thinking through these topics. And contact us if you'd like to gain the experience of a manufacturing business transformer who can partner with you to focus resources and attention on those priorities that will drive dramatic results.

effective leadership.jpgThe 80/20 of business success stems directly from leadership. The best leaders can make even the worst-performing teams excel and, unfortunately, the weakest leaders can drag down even the best of teams. A few questions to ponder include:

1.  Does your culture encourage empowerment? Regardless of what you say, do people believe they will be rewarded for empowering employees?

 

2.  Do your managers jump to answer questions or give their employees a chance to shine?

 

3.  Do you communicate empowerment but would get upset if your employee made an empowered decision that created a month-end shipping crisis? 

 

4.  Do your employees understand the guidelines within which they can make an empowered decision?

 

5.  Are you willing to live with and vocally support an empowered decision that doesn't align with how you would have handled the situation? 

 

 

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


Empower Your People to Grow

Develop a Talent Edge

winning students.jpgThe APICS Southwest District recently hosted 23 teams in San Diego from the Western United States, Hong Kong and Mexico in a student case competition to solve computer-simulated supply chain problems, provide analysis and present their recommendations. Undergraduate team Harvey Mudd College won the top spot representing the Southwest District in the national competition in San Antonio, Texas. These simulations challenged students, most with backgrounds in operations management, supply chain management, business management, industrial engineering, or MBA students, to create solutions to the problems posed and provide the rationale for their recommendations. Their work cumulated into judged presentations explaining their strategies and proposed outcomes.

 

“I am always impressed with how well the students perform, and this year was no exception – in fact, they raise the bar higher every year,” explains APICS West Coast Student Case Competition co-chair Lisa Anderson of LMA Consulting Group, Inc. “This is such an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their supply chain and business management problem-solving talents and presentation skills to their peers, professors and potential employers. I am especially thrilled because Harvey Mudd is an APICS Inland Empire Chapter student team.

 

Winning team member Katherine Shim of Harvey Mudd College was thrilled with the outcome, stating, “It was exciting to see the theories we learned at school working. It was a great opportunity to experience the power of teamwork and the effectiveness of a rigorous technical approach. Harvey Mudd College educates their students to become creative problem solvers who also effectively communicate with others as leaders.”

 

As in previous years, there were two separate divisions – a Graduate and an Undergraduate division. Ten teams competed in the graduate division, and 13 teams in the Undergraduate division. Arizona State University took first and second place in the Graduate division. Undergraduate division winner was Harvey Mudd College with second place awarded to San Diego State University. Harvey Mudd College received the highest overall score and will be invited to compete at a case competition at the APICS International Conference & Expo in San Antonio, TX in October, representing the Southwest District.

 

“The opportunity to apply supply chain principles has helped me achieve a deeper understanding and gain confidence in my skills,” shared Harvey Mudd student Joe Sinopoli. “I appreciate the resources that APICS provided to help us prepare. The environment of the competition was collegial, welcoming, and wonderful for networking. The shared knowledge and opportunity to hear ideas from students at other institutions has benefited my education.”

 

Saagar Anand, of Arizona State University, felt the competition provided valuable practical experience. "The simulation called for a deep understanding of what it takes to make a business profitable. We focused on getting to the root cause of the problem and used data analytics to make our decisions. The competition was one of the best I have attended as it simulated a real-world business situation by making us present to the Board of Directors. We had to explain the decisions we made and answer questions. It also fostered a good learning environment as one could see what other teams had done differently.”

Fellow ASU student, Moose Fritz, agreed, saying "The APICS West Coast student case competition was a tremendous experience which built upon the traditional analytical requirements of a simulation competition, demanding both teamwork and communication skills. This holistic learning system, combined with the chance to meet and network with professionals in the field, made this one of the most valuable experiences I have had at any level of education.”

 

Judging was provided by APICS professionals with extensive experience in supply chain and operations management with 50 percent of the final score focused on the return on investment results from their computer-simulated exercise and the other 50 percent graded on presentation effectiveness.

 

"Student case competition is about leadership, decision making, strategic thinking and communication. What a great experience for the students!” Prof. Kash Gokli, Professor of Manufacturing Practice at Harvey Mudd College.

 

The annual competition provides students with experience working as a team to solve supply chain issues that take place in companies today. Participants are able to showcase their talent for fellow students, professors and future employers. The event was coordinated and chaired by the APICS Southwest District Student Case Competitor Chairs APICS-IE and LMA Consulting Group president, Lisa Anderson and The ACA Group’s Ellen Kane.

 

For more information on the competition, visit the APICS Southwest District Webinsite.

 

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Recently, when I was in New York, I had the opportunity to walk down Times Square (pictured below). The people, the buzz and the lights are amazing — almost no matter what time you take a stroll. There is a certain appeal of the advertisements. TV shows that you didn't care about previously look more enticing as they flash by on nearby buildings. Store advertisements seem more appealing than they do in print, on-line or on TV. Do you wonder why? There is a marketing appeal to walking in Times Square. How can we create this with our companies?

 

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One tip to implement this week:

 

No matter our job, we are all in the marketing business. Who doesn't want their product, services, projects or even their own image to be attractive? It is why there are so many marketing resources working to help create the "right" image. It is also why services such as LinkedIn are so popular. What can you do to create the best image?

 

Start by getting clear on what benefits/outcomes your products, services, projects and people achieve. People do not care about what you want to convey; they care about what is in it for them — of course. So, how can you help them? Or how can you make them feel good? Times Square makes many people feel energized and excited. How can you create that sort of excitement about your product or service? Or, how can you make a potential employer or customer feel like they would be fortunate to do business with you? Simply start by getting clear on 1, 2 or 3 reasons. Then, you can move on to how to convey those reasons in a compelling manner.

 

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…”

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Earlier this week, I participated in the CEO Summit hosted by the University of La Verne. I moderated a session on leveraging the supply chain for growth and profitability (see one shot of us below), and I am a Board member for the College of Business and Public Management, and this is our key event of the year. The keynote speaker, Karen Caplan, CEO of Frieda's Specialty Produce started her speech off by noting the power of connections. She attributed her connections and networks as significant to her success. How does your network stack up?

 

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I can personally attest to the power of connections. When I started my business 12 years ago, I had few connections — high quality and vital but few in numbers. Thank goodness as they are the reason I'm here today — thank you Vicki, Sandi, Debra, Brenda, Mike, Dave, Paul, Liz, Keith, Bill, Jolene, Ann, Kathy and a few others. Beyond the first few years, I would have failed (as do the vast majority of small businesses) if I hadn't valued the power of connections. Fast forward 12 years later, and I have a vast network of high-quality people from several different affiliations, clients and colleagues that seems to grow every day. In looking at my webpage, I see I have a few more updates — the Drucker School and the University of La Verne. I can attest that my success is derived from these connections.

 

One tip to implement this week:

 

No matter how few or how many connections you have currently, you should ALWAYS be thinking about seeking out a few more high-quality connections. Even if you believe you have none, it isn't a problem. Find someone you think you could add value to from a business perspective and start a conversation. You might find that there are synergies there. 

 

It is NOT all about the numbers; quality is more important than quantity. Take your time to develop and maintain relationships with your high-quality connections. When I first started, there is NO way I could have succeeded even if I had 1,000 connections if they were not high quality. Look for quality. And, remember, it isn't all about you. What can you do for them?

 

Lastly, take time out of your day to focus on these relationships. They will not maintain themselves. I realize we are all "too busy" but we never can be "too busy" for our key relationships. Make it a priority.

 

 

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…”

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