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?

Continue reading “A “Don’t Touch” Strategy will Dramatically Lean out your Supply Chain!”

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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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Change Leadership (Part 5) – Unleash Your Employees’ Ideas to Truly Change the Game!

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Organizations that are either considered high performing or who aspire to become high performing understand that their employees are their greatest asset.  A company can only achieve its overall objectives if their employees are aligned, on board and driving toward those goals.

At its core your employees understand how well or how poorly the day-to-day processes in your company run better than anyone else.  They also have tremendous ideas on how to improve those processes, how to improve your metrics, and how to achieve your objectives.

So how do you tap in to that intellect, unleash those ideas, and empower your employees in an organized and efficient manner?  How do you get your finger on the pulse of what is on your employee’s minds?

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9 Characteristics of a Barrier Busting Culture!

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When you embark on driving any kind of Game Changing Transformation you will most likely also need to change the Culture.  As the saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results”.  So in order to get different results you may have to break through barriers and drive different behaviours from what are inherent in your current Culture.

Your organization is an ecosystem of policies, practices, processes and procedures that are the result of decisions, beliefs and  behaviours.  Over time much of this generally gets accepted as the way it’s always been done and is not open to challenge or to change.  Therein sacred cows, whether real or perceived, can become obstacles to making the changes needed to derive different results from the status quo.

So how do you change your Culture to achieve Game Changing results?

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CEO Insights on Value Realization from Customer Success!

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The following blog post was created by Kia Puhm, CEO at K!A CX.  Kia’s site is  http://kiacx.com

The Toronto Customer Success Executive Breakfast is a forum whereby local industry leaders get together over breakfast to discuss the still young and rapidly evolving field of Customer Success.

Co-hosted by Natasha Narayan and myself, and Sponsored by Gainsight, senior executives in the field of Customer Success are invited to share their knowledge and expertise amongst their peer group in an intimate and highly interactive setting.

The breakfast is an opportunity for these leaders in Customer Success to convene, exchange ideas and further define industry best practices

This past week Toronto executives were treated to a visit by Omer Rabin, Gainsight’s Head of Industry Evangelism, to review recent research findings presented by McKinsey & Companyin partnership with Gainsight.

The research, conducted through in-depth interviews with 300 enterprise CEO’s, identified their key insights on how to get value from Customer Success.

The overall findings were boiled down to eight key metrics; four of which identified where CEO’s believe the money is in Customer Success, the other four focusing on what it takes to execute.

 

Where is the money in CS?

Overwhelmingly, 95% of C-level executives believe there is a strong correlation between an integrated Customer Experience and financial value.

Very specifically, these CEO’s expect to see an average of 20% lift in retention, usage and customer satisfaction as a result of their customer success efforts.

They also believe they will see a bigger impact by focusing holistically on accounts versus individual users.

Interestingly, the CEO’s are still unclear as to whether or not Customer Success will bring any potential cost savings to the organization, presuming only a 10% savings.

The question on the table is no longer whether customer experience matters but rather how does an organization functionally align itself to execute and deliver this integrated experience.

What does it take to execute?

With the question of how to execute firmly on their minds, CEO’s believe the following four elements are key for executing and realizing value from Customer Success:

Centralized accountability and governance drives a big lift (2.5x) in value.

That is, someone within the organization needs to own Customer Success and drive it organizationally to ensure an integrated Customer Experience strategy is executed.

[Note: I wonder what the research found, if anything, about the concept of Customer Experience needing to be a cross-functional endeavour across the organization to be fully effective?  That is, while CS should be managed centrally, I still strongly believe that the alignment of efforts across the entire organization is required to holistically drive customer success.]

Customer onboarding of the product and the product experience itself are hands-down the top two most important factors in contributing to the customer’s success.

And 85% of the CEO’s interviewed felt that there needed to be stronger KPI’s (key performance indicators) and link to value in order to effectively measure the impact of Customer Success.

The most interesting element that CEO’s believe, in executing Customer Success to drive value, is that they expect to realize it from their CS efforts within less than 6-12 months.

Which has interesting implications for those running, or operating within, Customer Success.

Your CEO’s strongly believe they will realize value from Customer Success, that you are primarily responsible for achieving the results, and that you have potentially less than 6 months to do so (less than a full, annual renewal cycle).

Needless to say, this precipitated a very lively discussion amongst the group!

In addition to the cathartic benefits of group empathizing, folks were able to share their experiences and best practices in handling the expectations of their CEO’s.

All in all, an interesting insight into what CEO’s are thinking and what we, as Customer Success professionals, can do to continue contributing value to the business and, while doing so, how best to manage expectations in order to effectively execute.

Check out   It’s Time to Welcome The Supply Chain CEO!

#CEO #Business

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Cash Is King! (Part 1) … Creating a Culture Focused on Money Management

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“We have to make a decision.  We only have enough cash to either pay our employees or our suppliers next week, but not both.”

Wow!  This was what my Controller just told me.  We had just acquired another company.  The decision was made to operate it at arm’s length from the parent company.  And this meant that we had to fund the operation with our own cash, which was at a dangerously low level.

Neither option that the Controller just mentioned was palatable.  We needed a strategy to tackle the immediate cash shortfall and to then create a strong cash position moving forward.

We had the Call to Action!  This would prove to be my first real lesson in Cash Management which could not have been made more intense and immediate!

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Global Process Excellence (Part 1) … A Journey From Disarray To Best In Class!

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My first Management job was on the Manufacturing floor on 3rd shift.  It was company policy … anyone’s first Management job was in Manufacturing.  The principle was sound: to really understand how the business operated you needed to be at the very core of what it did, which in this case was Manufacturing.  Only then could you really learn the business and how to work with people.

So as I started a new job further along in my career, with responsibility for Distribution Centres around the world, I knew that I was not going to learn what I needed to know from behind a desk looking at Powerpoint slides with pictures and statistics.  I needed to go to each and every facility and learn about the operation right from the floor.

I spent the next 2-3 months on the road.  For my direct reports this pace was unprecedented and I went to locations that no other Executive had been to.  While at the facilities I didn’t want to do the “Tourist” tour.  I wanted to spend time doing an in depth tour of the entire facility, literally walking through every operation, meeting the people and understanding each process, the metrics, the organization, the products and the customers.

Only then would I have the basic understanding and credibility necessary to define the strategy we needed going forward.  This was the start of what we soon named “Global Process Excellence”.

Continue reading “Global Process Excellence (Part 1) … A Journey From Disarray To Best In Class!”