Utilizing a Digital Modular Supply Chain to Respond to Change
The outlook for American consumer spending appears to us to be improving, with consumer confidence growing, and a labor market and wages trending higher. Consumers preferences are changing and the fast-paced customer-driven market has raised the bar for speed and quality for new products and customer service. So how can companies anticipate, adapt, and respond quickly to changes in consumer demand and trends? Gartner’s 2017 Supply Chain Top 25 identified digital-modular supply chain services as a key trend that is accelerating the ability of supply chains to adapt and respond quickly to different business needs and outcomes.
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Supply chain management transformed while you were sleeping. Are you prepared? Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shows some of the latest trends in supply chain management. Supply chain management is critical to every business at some level. This supply chain world amasses billions of goods and materials each day for sale to and purchase by the consumer. To some executives it may seem unnecessary to point out the importance of such an influential practice in business, but this article might be a wake-up call to some of you; you may be missing some freight. Every nine days, another S&P 500 company is taken off of the index because the previous blue chip company, companies that for 60+ years had dominated their market, lost their competitive edge due to Complacency. Zulanas uses Amazon, Apple and Walmart as case studies in successful supply chain processes.
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Greg Grindley, supply chain expert, shares how in 2001 the US military looked at long-term needs and risks in their supply chain to military forces in Afghanistan to completely transform their process. Delivering supplies to a land locked region was not without challenges including cost, delivery time, and limited routes. By assessing potential problems, the US military was able to plan ahead and prepare for a hypothetical situation that did materialize. Military leaders shifted supply routes and within a few months were able to deliver 85% of the fuel flowing into the region and a large portion of general cargo. By modeling “what if” scenarios, the military was able to look ahead and make contingency plans while minimizing risk and exposure.
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Companies attempt to tell their employees how to work in many different ways. These “company controls” inundate corporate culture by way of dress codes, nosiness into employees’ work, requiring employees to follow specific processes or rules, when they need to come in and when they can leave. Excessive management plagues more organizations than most people will admit, and often leaves imperceptible wakes of inefficiency and profit-loss.
The remedy to this excessive management might be a quick-fix; allow employees to create their own job titles. Employers that give their employees the freedom to create their own job titles see positive impacts to their employees’ health, stress levels, burn-out rate, job satisfaction, and salary outlook. Allowing employees to select their own job titles might even help their companies with higher overall earnings.
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One of the most influential methods a company can utilize to transform its organization is the Balanced Scorecard. According to Gartner, 50% of enterprise-level companies in the US have adopted this method and it was selected by Harvard Business Review editors as one of the most influential business ideas of the last 75 years. Yet, most mid-market companies are still working with KPI’s. It is time to make the leap.
The Balanced Scorecard is a management system that enables an organization to translate their vision and strategy into action. It transforms the academic exercise of strategic planning into a fully realized system. This article speaks about the Balanced Scorecard and its uses for chief executives to transform their organizations and its different tenets of Customer Understanding, Employee Learning and Growth, Business Processes Development, and Financial Data Expansion along with recommendations on implementation.
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Is it good enough to simply meet the needs of your customers, or do you want to find exciting ways to elevate the value you bring to the table?
Martin Bonadio, Management Consultant, explains the “Voice of the Customer” (VoC), a structured communication process that begins with non-leading, clarifying and probing questions, and progresses with active listening to acquire a comprehensive gathering of information directly from the customer. Bonadio helps businesses to see what the reason behind the customer’s needs so they can develop a better solution for their customers to revolutionize the industry they support. Bonadio walks each reader, step by step, through the process of how to elevate your business operates.
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In his second article focusing on decision fatigue, Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shares how decision fatigue, as a physical state, may be negatively impacting your business.
In an increasingly commoditized world, employees have more options than they can handle before they even get to work, let alone at work. Many people find themselves in a state of decision fatigue or paralysis, resulting in poor decisions in the workplace that could threaten a business’s success and profitability. This mental fatigue is compounded because a majority of people (employees or not) in the United States are sleep deprived. According to the Center for Disease Control, insufficient sleep is a public health problem because individuals lacking sufficient sleep are likely to commit occupational errors and also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.
How can companies lead transformation with so many sleep-deprived and decision fatigued employees? Make their decisions “no-brainers.”
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Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, writes about practical technological advances and automation in business.
Many people protest the use of robots and automation. With the increase in technological advancements, employees fear they will no longer have stable job security. At present, activities that are process-oriented can be automated using the latest technology to save time, eliminate defects and create a standardized result and quality. Advanced systems often can be made more efficient through automation as well. During the standard business day, systems can automatically churn out the latest data that is relevant to business needs and communicate it in terms of the bottom line. Charles explains the increased efficiencies in business marketing, manufacturing, transportation and office management as a result of automation.
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Every company pours a great deal of research, analysis, and resources into transforming their organization, asking themselves strategic questions: How can we accelerate our growth? How can we increase revenues XX%? How can we gain market share in our industry? Examine your operational support roles to ask: Are we getting the most out of our procurement organization?
John Wieser, MSS Business Transformation Advisory Sr. Consultant, details how the procurement function must fundamentally change with the growth of the organization to be either a decentralized, centralized, or blended procurement organization. Signals for change are easy to see. In decentralized organizations, a signal for change could include low workloads for the procurement function related individuals, while in centralized organizations, procurement processes are cumbersome and slow to operations and managers. John analyzes the different factors to determine the best type of procurement organization for your company strategy. Restructuring and transforming your organization to be as efficient as possible leads to dramatic benefits.
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