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Making the complex simple

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4.Dec, 2016 0

“A” Is For Acceleration

We’ve all heard the expression “cheaper, better, faster.” Let’s focus on the “faster” aspect. “Faster” is critical as nothing gets better with additional time. “Faster” means: Costs are lower Processes are built with speed of execution in mind Information to support critical processes is readily available–the need to track down subject matter experts is a rarity rather than the norm Capacity increases as a function of acceleration–you can do more with the same staffing level, factory floor space, etc. Here are some questions you should be asking: Where are there bottlenecks in your processes or supply chain that negatively impact…

20.Nov, 2016 0

Adding Value By Making The Complex Simple

A few weeks ago, I got this note from a client I had 16 years ago: “You know I didn’t realize it until we were talking; software is constantly being updated, I get a new computer each year, all to keep up with technology. What’s amazing is that the processes that you implemented remain constant and thriving!!!!!” This made me blush. Here’s my mindset when I embark on a project: There is no “one-size-fits-all” set of processes–you have to create enduring processes that have a long life and accommodate product needs that aren’t known today. The information technology needs underlying…

18.Jun, 2016 0

Product Customization And Personalization

Customization and personalization are drivers of growth for brands. As brands seek to connect with their retailers and their retailers’ customers (what I refer to as B2B2C), brands are going to want more and more customization and personalization and it will be driven by a elements outside the brand. How can a brand most powerfully connect with consumers this week, this month in specific stores? I think of this as a “Country, State/Province, City, Neighborhood” strategy. For example, this past Memorial Day Weekend, I was given a bottle of Deja Blue Purified Drinking Water at a retailer where I was…

12.Jun, 2016 0

People, Systems and Processes

ERP can assist your company with business execution but not by itself Microsoft Word can help you write a sales letter but not by itself CRM can help your company track and manage a sales pipeline but not by itself Systems, by themselves, contribute nothing. They are a platform or a tool but little more. A golf professional will get a much different result than a rank amateur like me using the same set of clubs. What’s missing? People and processes that drive the systems. What is one of weakest links in ERP? The sales forecast–the starting point. While this…

21.Feb, 2016 0

Making The Complex Simple

This week’s focus: making the complex simple Making the complex simple is a broad statement describing the outcome of and how I make a difference for my clients. For example, I often: help with systems design and/or implementation maintaining the perspective that we are providing a system that needs to support real work that needs to get done help people work more effectively, either as an individual or in teams simplify business processes that, like shrubs, need to pruned from time-to-time help clients communicate the value they bring to the marketplace–find and develop the story resolve big enterprise issues around…

25.Jan, 2016 0

Enabling Yes Part 2

I was very impressed with a firm I met with in Montreal this past week: They are seen as a partner with their customers, not merely a vendor They see pressures to drive down their costs as an opportunity to innovate and increase their ability to compete The owners are fully-engaged and passionate about their business They are flexible and agile in overcoming supply chain problems for their customers going the extra mile as they pick up the slack at the end of the process They have a great in-house I.T. function that is pragmatic and helpful in meeting business…

21.Dec, 2015 0

Thinking About Next Year

Today, the Winter Solstice occurs at 8:49 pm PST, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. We begin the march back to the longest day of the year over the next 6 months. This is the time of the year we spend time with family and friends and contemplate what we want to be different in the coming year. Think about the following areas that I write about most often during the year: business execution: where can you improve how you get things done customer service: it’s everyone’s job to ultimately take care of the customer customer…

30.Nov, 2015 0

Victor or Victim?

The difference between the victors and victims, winners and losers, the magnificent and the mediocre is their ability to conduct business differently from the competition. What do I mean by “conduct business differently?” It means to: leverage the results for every investment you make, activity you support and opportunity you pursue optimize every customer touch point on behalf of the customer to reduce or eliminate friction in the relationship For example, let’s consider customer service. I never fret about calling Verizon Wireless or American Express. I can’t say that about the cable companies. Verizon and American Express are there to…

19.Oct, 2015 0

Killing A Company Slowly

“If we get orders and we don’t supply it and satisfy our customers, we’re going to fail as a company.” -John McCranor, vice president of warehouse operations, Lifetime Brands Inc., in the Wall Street Journal I had a client that seemingly loved post-order crisis management: Orders were shipped incomplete The wrong parts were shipped On-time delivery wasn’t even in their vocabulary There were technical issues with the products that did ship The client had a customer that represented 80% of their revenues. The COO said this problem was killing their business yet, for the troops on the frontline, this was…

12.Oct, 2015 0

What Is “Making The Complex Simple?”

How often do you find yourself asking the question, “Why does it have to be so hard? “ For example, why is it so hard to: • Determine which product or service is right for me? • Place an order? • Get assistance when something isn’t quite right? • Return a product that is defective? • Respond to what should be a routine customer inquiry? • Get a quote? • Pay a bill? • Navigate a website? • Get a specific use case accomplished via an enterprise application such as ERP, CRM, PLM, etc.? • Use a business process that…