Cost Cutting! The Brute Force Approach or An Inspiring Program?

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How many times have you been asked to cut costs?  How many times have you been asked to cut costs so deeply that it is beyond your comprehension?

In those situations you can always use the Brute Force method.  Hacking and slashing resources and expenses in this way often compromises the very capabilities, skills, morale and services that are keeping your company afloat in  the first place.  But it can be quick.

But if you have the chance to deploy a proper Change Management program to drive the cost reductions or other improvements that you are looking for then you may have many more constructive opportunities in front of you.

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10 Signs You Should Reboot Your Lean Program!

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How many people make a New Year’s resolution to “Lean” yourself out only to abandon it shortly thereafter?

One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to start exercising. In January the local gyms are filled. But by February those gyms are much emptier and many of those well meaning people are still at home.

What do you do when your Lean program at work suffers the same fate? How do you know when your improvement program needs to be improved?

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Supply Chain Collaboration – The New Way to Drive Value!

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Blog post provided by Milan Vyas

 

Supply chain collaboration is a hot topic today and no wonder: companies that collaborate effectively across the supply chain have enjoyed dramatic reductions in inventories and costs, together with improvements in speed, service levels, and customer satisfaction.

Supplier chain collaboration itself isn’t new. What’s new is that it’s taken on a much greater urgency and importance.

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A Tale of Two Companies: Different Quality Management Starting Points!

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Company 1

The CEO came in to my office carrying a product and said, “The label is off centre on this item.  It has a quality defect.”  I responded, “Is that actually a quality defect?  Quality is a measure of conformance to a standard, and we have no standards.”  The CEO didn’t quite understand the distinction.  Certainly the item was mis-labelled.  But there was absolutely no Quality management process in the company.

Company 2

I toured all of the company’s facilities around the globe.  It seemed like we had a tremendous amount of resource working on quality.  But they were spending 100% of their time on inspection.  A report subsequently  confirmed my concerns.  Over 10% of our entire direct workforce was spending the vast majority of their time doing 100% inspection.   We had a Quality management system but it’s only principle was to inspect in quality.

Whichever the situation was, proper Quality management objectives required something to change in both cases!

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Inventory Turnover – 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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A “Don’t Touch” Strategy will Dramatically Lean out your Supply Chain!

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The box I was looking at in the Pick-To-Light (PTL)  lane was full of at least 1-2 dozen different skus with as many as one to twenty of each sku in the box.  It looked like the insides of a piñata in there.  Although a piñata is used in celebrations I was quite sure that when the retail store opened the box they wouldn’t be celebrating.

All along the PTL conveyor every box looked like an explosion of different skus in different quantities.  At every station an employee was following the lights and picking a different quantity of each sku from one set of boxes and putting them in the “piñata” box.

I knew that this was the way it had historically been done, and the company had just spent millions and millions of dollars automating this historic process, but from a Lean perspective the whole approach was wasteful, slow, and expensive.

Was it really necessary to touch every single piece of every single sku multiple times?

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International Expansion in Retail (Infographic)

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Infographic provided by Patrick Thuot at http://storetraffic.com

 

“We are going to expand in to the U.S.!”

I heard this refrain many, many times.  The growth and success that a Retailer experiences as they expand in their original, domestic market inspires a level of confidence in the company’s ability to expand beyond it’s geographic borders.

But is it that easy? The road to international expansion in Retail has been successfully travelled but it is also lined with a lot of accidents and failures.

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