6 Reasons Sales Reps Need a Sales App!

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Your sales reps do a lot more than just selling stuff. They have meetings to attend, reports to write, customer queries to resolve, leads to convince, rude and angry customers to pacify, and a myriad of non-revenue generating tasks that are imperative for smooth business operations.

Since sales reps wear multiple hats, it only makes sense to lend them a hand. Offering sales apps is how you do it.

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Spreadsheets – A History and a Future!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Most of us create, use, present and work with at least one spreadsheet each and every day.  Spreadsheets have proven invaluable.  And many businesses even observe, and complain, that they are run on spreadsheets.

Yet there was a time not that long ago when most people didn’t even know what a spreadsheet was.  In the early 1980s I was given one the first IBM Personal Computers to use, along with the spreadsheet software Visicalc.  Spreadsheets forever transformed my productivity and skill set.

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Featuring Our 12 Best Change Management Articles!

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Nothing can be accomplished and no vision can be realized without leadership. But even the best leaders know that any goal that they are trying to achieve will inevitably mean some level of change. They need Change Management.

This change may manifest itself in changing business processes, changing job responsibilities and roles, changing organizations, changing infrastructure, changing products and services or even completely changing direction.

While change is inevitable change usually does not come easy. There is no end to the number of challenges, hurdles and barriers that will be put in front of you.

This all requires Change Management, or as we prefer to say, Change Leadership. In this “Featuring” series article we present our best articles on the matter of Change Management and Change Leadership!

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The Elegance of the Costco Supply Chain!

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To begin I must admit that Costco is one of my favourite stores. I started thinking about the Costco Supply Chain.

Stereotypically I almost always buy more than I intended given the unique things that you find in their aisles. And the standard items are invariably great deals, even if the quantities are larger than you will find in other stores.

When you consider the physical layout of the store you are really walking through a warehouse. High ceilings, rows and rows of pallet racking, and concrete floors.

At its core the Costco business structure is a great example of a lot of Supply Chain principles implemented with great efficiency.

What is it that makes Costco’s Supply Chain so effective?

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5 Ways to Manage Supply Chain Documents!

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Supply Chain documents article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman.

With globalization came the increase in the shipment of goods from one country to another. This made the world more interconnected and gave more opportunities for businesses. These goods come in and out of warehouses and stores with a paper trail, so it’s easier to know where they are.

As such, supply chain documents should be treated with the utmost care. As your business grows, the more supply chain documents you will handle. It’s important to note that supply chain documentation doesn’t only take place at the trading level. There are steps to be taken before goods can be traded in order to ensure the success of a business. 

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Enable Spend Aggregation in Procurement!

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Aggregating your procurement spend for the purpose of delivering greater value is a sound objective.  Theoretically you should be able to generate better service, better terms and conditions, and better cost.  Therefore you should enable spend aggregation.

Yet there can be many obstacles in your way to achieving this seemingly simple goal.  Loss of control, fear of job loss, questionable benefits, and a perceived loss of margin are some of the obstacles you may run across.  We discussed these in greater detail in our post Procurement (Part 1!) – The Spend Aggregation Obstacle Course!

You may be trying to aggregate spend within your company or across companies, or you are trying to outsource this to a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO).  To overcome the Spend Aggregation obstacles there are a series of enablers you need to enact to make this successful.

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What is Product (or Master) Data Management?

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I had just inherited a new department into my organization, the Product Data Management (PDM) team.

Shortly thereafter I started getting calls from the CEO. We were missing customer deliveries due to problems in getting the correct, and complete data, into the systems which enabled us to manage bills of material and manufacture products.

While Product Data Management seemed to have been a rather basic function I quickly learned that their role and responsibilities were not understood, were undervalued, and yet were absolutely pivotal and essential to the ability of the entire company to operate.

This was one of many lessons I learned about this critical part of any organization.

What then exactly is Product, or Master, Data Management?

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Ground Rules for Creating a High Performance Organization (HPO)!

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A High Performance Organization is one in which there is tremendous alignment among and commitment by the team members. And as a result this motivated team is able to achieve superior results. The level of collaboration and innovation they demonstrate is remarkable.  But what are the ground rules?

There are many characteristics of the culture which allows such teams to be high performing. And when they set out to drive change and make improvements it is those cultural characteristics which allow them to succeed.

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Screen Time! Is That Enough To Be Good In Supply Chain?

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How many screens do you have?  And is your screen time?

You likely have a Cell phone or a Smart phone.  You may have a Desktop computer monitor or a Laptop, or both, between your home and your place of work.  You may have a wearable device like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.    You may have an iPad or other type of tablet.  And your TV may even have Internet connectivity.

We are surrounded by screens and the amount of time that we spend on them is truly  remarkable.

But for those who are learning about Supply Chain, or any other profession for that matter,  is it best to acquire that learning and gain that experience just by watching screens?  Or is it better in Supply Chain to learn based on actual physical experiences and interactions?

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On Time Delivery – Get that right First!

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No matter what industry you are in and no matter what channels you are serving your Customers expect delivery of their goods on time.

You may have different pressures, to increase profits for instance, but you must take care of the basic expectation of on time delivery first.

If you don’t have on time delivery all your other pressures will not matter.   Your customers will go elsewhere and your business will fail.  Even if you have a unique product that no one else in the world has (for now) you must deliver on time to your customers.  If not there will always come a time when your customers will be able to go elsewhere.

Providing on time delivery may seem basic.  But it is the foundation on which the rest of your business must be built.

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A Formula For Achieving Game Changing Results!

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Many projects often fade away over time and fall well short of their original goals.  People face many very real challenges in leading these projects.  So how do you avoid having your project become another program-of-the-month and disappear from view?  Is there a formula?

As we have discussed in other blog posts we have tackled Inventory Turnover several times, amongst many other challenges.  We have doubled turnover and achieved industry leading results in very short periods of time.

Your challenge may be trying to improve Inventory performance or trying  to create a transformational improvement in some other area.  We have found that there is a formula and a set of key principles that are critical to driving the game changing results you are looking for.

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Why don’t you have a TMS (Transportation Management System) Solution yet?

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Why have so few companies adopted a TMS (Transportation Management System) solution?  There are tremendous benefits but there are obstacles, real or perceived, that get in the way. I believe that the benefits far outweigh the obstacles but the obstacles often do not have anything to do with the benefits.

Many years ago I started a Supply Chain Services business as a new service within the company. The fundamental premise was that we had great Supply Chain expertise, tools, systems and processes which we could easily offer to customers.

One of the services that was very compelling was our Freight Management service. We had a tremendous amount of spend leverage globally, a seasoned team, great supplier relationships, very strong processes, and an excellent Transportation Management System (TMS). With all of that we went to market!

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Sales Forecasting Unchecked – A Supply Chain Nightmare!

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Great Sales people have wonderful characteristics and personality traits. They can light up a room, command your attention, bring big ideas to the table, and close deals with customers, all with unbridled enthusiasm. And this can be reflected in Sales forecasting.

Bringing these ideas to life and delivering on commitments made to customers most often requires different but just as impressive skills and effort from the Supply Chain and Operations teams within an organization.

But what happens if your Sales team is left unchecked, goes rogue and makes commitments that can’t be met at any cost?

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The Agile Supply Chain! Why Agility is Trumping Lean!

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Agile Supply Chain article originally published by Veridian and permission to publish provided by Jason Rosing.

The modern supply chain grows increasingly complex with each passing day. The digitization, focusing on fundamentals and change, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and many other factors are transforming how the supply chain functions.

Once, the lean supply chain was considered to be the most effective form of manufacturing and supply chain management. However, a new concept in supply chain processes, the agile supply chain, is quickly growing to replace the often overused term.

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4 Challenges in Starting and Sustaining a SIOP (S&OP) Business Process!

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A Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning (SIOP) business process is an essential element for running a successful business.  SIOP will allow you to improve your forecasting, capacity and resource planning, cash flow, and inventory levels.

Yet there are many challenges with getting a proper, functioning SIOP process in place.  If the benefits are so clear why is it so difficult to get SIOP going and then to sustain it?

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