Made in the USA

The push to increase manufacturing in the US is continuing to garner headlines, with Wal-Mart taking positive steps to increase the number of US-made products in its stores and new government programs to bolster manufacturing and train people to fill the jobs being created.

A Sound Plan

As supply chain and operations management professionals, our focus always must be on the customer. Our job is to deliver what customers want and do it better than the competition. In the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) and Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) programs, it is emphasized that operations strategy must be aimed at delivering value. Lean manufacturing and improvement methodologies emphasize the removal of waste or anything that adds no value to the product. And because this value is determined by the customer, it’s necessary to really understand what is desired.

The Games We (Should) Play

Advice and Assistance for Manufacturers.
October 2013.
For a subject as vital as Supply Chain Management, it is not enough to tell people what needs to be done. They must experience it. The Fresh Connection is a different way of learning that puts participants at the heart of a lifelike simulation so they can experience the impact of every decision they make. Having just completed certification as a facilitator for The Fresh Connection supply chain simulation “game” Dave and his team solved challenges facing a fictional but realistic company.

Communication must precede promotions

You find a coupon in your local newspaper offering something you are very interested in at an attractive price. You go out of your way to go to the store to buy it, only to find to your great disappointment that the store is sold out. They also report that there are none in the distribution warehouse and they can’t tell you when (or even if) they will be able to get more.

Working together

August 2013.
Advice and Assistance for Manufacturers.
Operations folks are focused on resources and schedules, as they should be, while sales folks are focused on, well, sales. But each side can make life more difficult for the other. How do you tie your sales team to production and vice versa?

When it comes to measuring, context is important

Managers and executives are obsessed with measurements — and that’s as it should be. There’s an old saying that “you can’t manage what you can’t (or don’t) measure.” Measurements are just about the only way that managers can see what’s going on and figure out if things are going in the right direction.

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