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Showing posts from May, 2012

How's the health of your company?

What is the state of your business?  If I were to ask you how are your operations faring, would you hesitate?  What about the trends?  Has operations been reducing no-trouble found/ cannot-duplicate rates?  Is your call center not asking the right questions when triaging customer complaints thereby letting through costly non-warrantable devices?  Has your days of stock inventory levels been trending positively or negatively?  Are you hitting your targets?
Successful companies know how operations are running daily.  Not just the leaders of the company but from the ground-level up.  Paramount to understanding the state of your business is relevant, actionable reporting.  Call them KPIs – that’s Key Performance Indicators for those of you who don’t know. 

In today’s business, analysts, managers, and executives alike are inundated with loads of data.  However, it’s not always a sure thing that stakeholders know not only what to look for but how.  I’ve been lucky enough to have consulted at…

To be an effective consultant (part 2)

I wanted to continue my first post on being an effective consultant with this -- the sequel.  What I mentioned before greatly hinges on the ability to quickly learn but adaptation and becoming a SC Ninja is more than learning.  Another attribute and key ingredient to being an effective consultant is blending in, too.  I mentioned "blending in" earlier but want to touch on this a bit more.

Clients and stakeholders typically aren't likely to care much for your fancy clothes, fancy cars, whatever.  In fact, fancy clothing and fancy cars (rental or otherwise) can actually be a strong turn off and even lead clients to believe they're paying too much.  The Great Recession has reignited the need for clients to cut costs.  Sometimes, clients need consultants to help identify those costs, but they aren't willing to net zero when the costs for consultants are so much more.  So when entering any project, be sure to know what the dress code is like at the client site.  Don…

To be an effective consultant

To be an effective consultant, supply chain or otherwise, you have to be able to adapt.  As a Supply Chain Ninja, I have to be a chameleon... to be able to blend into my surroundings and new engagements.  Otherwise, you end up sticking out like a sore thumb and you don't pick up new projects quickly.  You must be able to adapt and to learn on-the-fly.  This... this is the key to being an effective Supply Chain Ninja.

One example of this: 
I had one project with a Major Steel Tube Producer and Manufacturer.  The client was looking for operational and systemic improvements in the warehouse co-located within its steel mill.  However, I had limited experience in the steel industry.  As a project team, we were completely transparent with the Client's Executive Team in our relative limited experience in the steel industry; however, we had a plethora of experience and qualifications in warehouse operations.  

To be effective and deliver exceptional results, we utilized our past experien…