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    Supply Chain Advances and Inadequacies

    Over the past 10 years a great number of businesses ranging from SME’s to Blue Chips have been rolling out or updating their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP) and Advanced Supply Chain Planning solutions (APS). There are a variety of reasons for this intense activity, ranging from the need to consolidate IT following an acquisition, through to the desire to improve the IT capability in order to implement a particular supply chain strategy.

    When the dust settles after the implementation many businesses, having spent a lot of time and money, are left with a very inflexible IT solution whose core planning principles are routed in the thinking of the late 60’s, and not compatible with the agile, flexible, supply chain processes required to be competitive today.

    It seems that our understanding of what is required to build a competitive supply chain has evolved considerably over the past 40 years, however the range of IT solutions available to support our ambitions has not.

    The problem with Forecasts

    Fundamentally, most ERP/DRP systems provide a very robust operational platform, on which the majority of a business processes are supported, from Finance to HR. Where they are weak however, is in the provision of planning tools. Most come equipped with a basic MRP (Material Requirements Planning) engine, and the more advanced ones may supplement this with predictive safety stock planning or re-order point logic, usually under the guise of an Advanced Planning Systems (APS) module. Or to put it another way, your multi-million dollar IT super-car has a tractor engine lurking under the bonnet. The fundamental flaw with all of these MRP variants is that the starting point for all calculations is a Forecast.

    Most planners know that the best Forecasts are 70% accurate at best. APS systems may buy a few percentage points of improvement in exchange for a hugely disproportionate monetary investment, but have categorically failed to deliver the advertised benefits. The real problem is that MRP then compounds the situation by using this imperfect forecast to precisely raise planned orders and set predictive levels of safety stock. What this does is push wildly unplanned and unpredictable levels of inventory, effort and cost into our supply chain.

     

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    The Advantages Of Lean Manufacturing

    Lean manufacturing is the processes, techniques, strategies and initiatives being implemented by companies around the world that aim to reduce unnecessary and unproductive tasks, activities and behaviors in the work environment.

    Because the times have really gone hard, demanding and intense due to political and turbulent concerns affecting all nations, firms are currently facing challenges to be able to keep their profitability and efficiency.

    Lean manufacturing not only reduces operational costs but also targets to boost, restore and significantly raise the competitiveness of a company.

    There are seven identified ‘forms of waste’ within the work environment and systems that lean manufacturing principally aims to alleviate, if not totally eliminate. These are over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects.

    Several advantages of adopting lean manufacturing principles

    The first advantage identified by experts from implementing lean manufacturing techniques and strategies is the reduction of manufacturing time.

    When the manufacturing lead time is significantly lowered, it follows that the operational costs incurred from the use of energy, utilities and wages from laborers’ time will also be significantly reduced.

    Thus, lean manufacturing helps companies retain, maintain and significantly increase their earnings, widen their margins and help them generate savings from lower costs.

    Space is another area where lean manufacturing advantages are clearly and effectively exhibited. Working space, it is understood, is one of the primary and basic factors that keep operations of businesses going.

    Labor and human resource experts estimate that adoption of good and effective lean manufacturing techniques and strategies will likely help companies reduce their physical floor space requirements by as much as 5% to 30%.

    The figures involved could be small and miniscule for your eyes, but, actually, that will significantly contribute to much more efficiency and savings. That would be an advantage almost all businesses will surely look after.

    The advantage in productivity

    It is found that in general, companies implementing and adhering to lean manufacturing practices significantly boost and increase their manufacturing productivity by as much as 75% to 125%.

    It is because time and efforts are principally targeted by lean manufacturing processes. Thus, elimination of wastes, practices, behaviors and unnecessary and disturbing objects in the work place will surely and practically help workers get on to their tasks with much smooth pacing and comfort.

    You know how it is when workers work without any distractions and interruptions. Productivity is very much maximized. Thus, lean manufacturing becomes a necessity for companies to be able to achieve that goal.

    The advantages in terms of waste to profit relationships

    It follows that elimination and reduction of wastes will gradually and efficiently help boost and raise up earnings and profits in companies.

    Thus, elimination of wastes and unproductive activities, objects, tasks and behaviors in the work place will surely help the company and its personnel focus on the requirements and demands of the customer.

    The advantage of that, above all is that, when customer satisfaction is achieved, sales will surely rise. The best way to establish a good relationship with customers is to improve the products and services offered to them.

    Lean manufacturing would be of great help to achieve a good customer or client relations.

    Another advantage brought about by lean manufacturing techniques among various companies and firms adopting it worldwide is streamlined, rationalized or lean structuring of the organization.

    You should know that elimination of excess and unnecessary job positions and tasks in a company is a sure way to help that firm reduce labor costs and eventually lead to generate savings.

    Lean manufacturing without a doubt brings that advantage of leanness upon organizations and companies practicing and adopting it.

    Advantage on culture improvement

    Various companies around the world are practicing and implementing different cultures. It is usually a cause of problems, conflicts and issues around and within the organization.

    In lean manufacturing, the cultures are standardized, thus, unfavorable practices and behaviors of both the employees and the management are reduced, if not eliminated.

    The greatest advantage of lean manufacturing in terms of cultures adopted by companies is that lean manufacturing makes the differences between management and personnel reach to a verging point.

    Lean manufacturing principles should really be implemented by companies. It is high time to reap its advantages.

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    The Philosophy of Lean Manufacturing

    In the field of management, there are various approaches that principally aim to accelerate and boost corporate firms’ revenues and operational efficiencies.

    Progressive companies from around the world have been coming up with different strategies for corporate improvement. Some of these schemes have been so effective that other firms have recognized and even adopted them. One of these efficiency-focused philosophies is what is termed ‘lean manufacturing.’

    What is lean manufacturing?

    Lean manufacturing is a holistic and strategic approach that aims to enable businesses and companies to improve and boost competitiveness and profitability. Leaning–at least in part these days on IoT and Artificial intelligence, lean manufacturing aims to set in desired improvements through identification and elimination of wasteful or unproductive behavior and practices among employees and management.

    Lean manufacturing is a program or methodology that could prove to be fitting and appropriate for all types of businesses or organizations. Lean manufacturing would be effective whether adopted by companies in the manufacturing, service, trading or other sectors.

    Lean manufacturing is focused at helping companies get the right things, to the right and appropriate places, at the perfect or right time and in the right amount or quantity while at the same time, reducing waste and promoting productivity and flexibility among workers.

    Lean manufacturing and waste

    It does not take a successful manager to assert that businesses and companies carry unnecessary and unlikely burden of wastes.

    Lean manufacturing as a philosophy focuses on reducing the seven wastes commonly identified among global firms. Lean manufacturing attempts to help companies eliminate these unnecessary wastes to improve output quality, to maximize production and the time needed for it and mostly, to significantly save on costs.

    The seven wastes lean manufacturing aims to slash and eliminate in the workplace are the following:

    1. Over production
    2. Over processing
    3. Transportation
    4. Motion
    5. Inventory
    6. Waiting
    7. Scrap and defects

    Over production, over processing and inventory

    While some companies view over production in the positive way, most, especially those in the service and manufacturing sectors, take it as a manufacturing liability.

    Over production will create a piling of inventory that would eventually create a problem in distribution because most warehouses have capacity limits.

    What is worse is that over production and piling of inventories are the usual causes of price drops, which are deemed bad for the business by most firms.

    The fundamental law of supply and demand will attest that if supplies are exceeding or too much, then demand tries to settle down or decline. Demands going down will mean prices rolling back or dropping as well.

    Over production is unnecessary because it takes away productive time from employees and managers. There are many disadvantage of over processing and most of them seem pretty obvious to you. Over processing increases cost.

    Transportation, motion and waiting

    Because time is an important element of productivity, lean manufacturing values it the most. Thus, lean manufacturing philosophy aims to boost efficiency.

    Transportation is an essential element of manufacturing because through it commodities and merchandise are distributed to retailers, down to the consumers.

    However, lean manufacturing mandates that firms maximize the use of transportation especially nowadays when oil prices are high.

    Because energy prices are rising, and energy is what keeps companies rolling, motion should be controlled. Lean manufacturing will have companies slash procrastination and unproductive hours among employees so as to increase and meet sufficient production targets.

    If motion is made efficient, then waiting could be reduced if not eliminated. In lean manufacturing, waiting makes people idle and it kills time that should have been used in more productive endeavors and activities.

    Scrap and defects

    Lean manufacturing have it that if employees are efficient and if they are motivated, the quality of production would be greatly boosted. That means, the company will not have to spend costs on wages, energies and other capital just to produce defective items that would eventually be rejected upon distribution.

    While scraps and defects in production items are inevitable, companies adhering to lean manufacturing principles could always do something about it. Basic management principles have it that motivation is the most effective incentive to get workers doing the right and proper procedures in the work place.

    All the seven wastes that are targeted by lean manufacturing strategies are interconnected with the elimination of one leading to the elimination of the others.

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    Working With a Search Firm

    When it comes to searching for great talent for your business, these days it takes more than Google. In order to promote and to grow your business, many companies realize that they need an expert in the search field to get the best results.

    Executive search firms are not a new entity. They have been used for years by the top companies. Big business knows the value of a good search firm. These days, small to mid-sized companies are learning that as well.

    The recent economic issues meant that the search companies lost about 30 percent of their revenue. In 2008 executive search was an 11 billion dollar industry. In 2009 that had dropped to less than 7.5 billion dollars. In 2010 business began to pick up again and many sectors were hiring. Now, in 2018, it’s a candidate’s market. According to Peter Felix, Association of Executive Search Consultants President, ‘When you engage and retain an executive search firm, it is not a matter of just putting the ad in the paper and seeing who the best person is that applies. At the senior executive level, it’s very crucial to find the best person you can.”

    Why Work With an Executive Search Firm?

    Working with an executive search firm opens up a whole new realm of candidates. They are generally able to bring you, candidates, that are not available in the general sector and who will not typically fill out a job application.

    In addition, an executive search firm can help you to determine the kind of qualifications that you need for the job at hand and may be able to help you to write a job description that is both appealing and accurate and will help to deliver a broader pool of candidates.

    There are three types of search firms. These are:

    Container firms. These firms are paid a specific amount, up front and then spent a specific portion of the yearly salary of the candidate once they are in place.

    Contingency Firms-These firms are paid only if you hire a candidate that they send to you. They usually are paid based on the salary of the candidate.

    Retained Firms. Retained firms typically work exclusively with a single employer and are hired for a specific time span to place a particular job opening. They are paid a percentage of the first year salary/compensation even if the candidate they present isn’t hired. Timothy J. Augustine, of Atwell LLC ‘Retained search firms are often more focused on a consultative relationship, and invest the appropriate time to learn about your company, the details of the position and the characteristics of the right candidate, and provide a research team with various resources to assist you with the search.’

     

    Once you sort out what kind of search firm you want to work with the next order of business will be determining which firm is right for you.

    Get someone who knows your arena. Choosing a company that has experience in your field or experience placing candidates in your industry or field is imperative.

    Ethics Count. Finding a company that has a reputation for being ethical and honest is also an essential part of the selection since they are going to be representing you and your company in this employee search.

    Check References. Reach out to a few companies as well as candidates who have worked with this firm or recruiter. Get a look at their work through the eyes of the recruiter as well as the company.

    Once you have chosen the right recruiting firm, here are some tips for working with them more effectively:

    Get it in writing. Make sure that your recruiter understands precisely what you need and that he or she understands precisely the level of expertise and the kind of experience that you need in a candidate as well as the soft skills necessary. Get that in writing.

    Different recruiters use different metrics. Find out what theirs are ( time to fill, average salary and retention percentage) and how they’ve done with them in the past in filling a like position.

    Make sure that the executive search firm that you retain knows your vetting or screening process so that they can use one that is like your own. Some aspects that you and they will need to consider include:

    Where the firm locates and sources their candidates

    How they screen the candidate

    Interviewing process

    Evaluation of the candidate

    Rudimentary background checks

    Closing/onboarding strategy.

    Your work with an executive search firm should be founded on excellent communication. It should also involve a measure of trust from both sides. You will need to build a healthy relationship with your executive search firm to get the best out of them. The upside is that while it may take some time, once you’ve built that healthy relationship, you will be able to attract and hire the most talented people in your industry

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    Talent Spotting for 2018 and Beyond

    Claudio Fernández-Aráoz –a regulatory recruiter with more than 30 years of experience tells a story about looking for a CEO for a small company. While working with the outgoing CEO he learned a great deal and believed that the man he had helped to hire had all the right stuff.

    He was a well thought of professional with the right schools and the right background. What’s more, he had worked for all the right companies. He’d scored remarkably well in every avenue. In spite of all of those things, he simply did not adjust well to the massive changes going on in regulatory and after three years of sub-par performance, he was asked to leave the company.

    Why did he do so poorly? He lacked one thing that simply couldn’t be tested—the ability to adapt to new and changing situations. He did not have that ability and as such was unable to fulfill the role for which the company had hired him and for which they needed him so badly.

    The recruiters who have spent the most time tracking and finding the best executives in marketing, in regulatory and in food manufacturing agree on one thing—nothing is quite as important today as the potential and adaptability of the candidate. It is the harbinger of success at nearly every level, from the most junior executive to the C-suite and beyond.

    Learning how to identify that potential and use it to find the right person for the job is imperative to your success as a recruiter. It is a new era of talent spotting. Intelligence, experience and performance in the past are only a part of the equation.

    Potential is a fair amount of it but it’s also the part that may be the most difficult to ascertain and to discern than how competent they are. Not only is it hard to find but you’re looking for it in a marketplace that is the most difficult in the past ten years.

    Senior talent is scarcer than ever before due to the vast changes in the marketplace in the past few years. Due to globalization, to age demographics and to the companies who are not properly developing a pipeline of future company leaders, it is more difficult than ever before for companies to have the leadership they need when they need it.

    This problem is not confined to small companies or to large ones but seems to be universal. In 2014, Price Waterhouse did a survey of CEOs. The survey encompassed more than 65 countries and over 60 percent of those companies said that they were “concerned about the future availability of key skills at all levels.” In addition, The Boston Consulting Group cited research that showed that more than 56% of executives can see where they have critical problems in their ability to fill senior roles in the years ahead.

     

    That makes recognizing potential more important than ever before. How then, do you accomplish that? What is the best way to recognize the potential for a given job and to take the new method of talent spotting into account when you evaluate candidates?

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    Evaluating Top Potential in your Candidates

    In many companies, we’re seeing that more than half of the senior leadership in that company will be eligible for retirement in the next five years. Too many of those people don’t have a leader ready to take hold for them.  They are not yet feeling the pinch of that but they are going to be shortly because there is no new generation of leaders ready to take over.

    The problem is finding the leadership that has some measure of proven competency and talent but also which leadership has that measure of potential that we’ve been discussing.

    It’s a given that with so many baby boomers retiring or getting set to retire, that the three factors we discussed, demographics, globalization and the pipeline lack are going to further stress the need and demand for good talent in the regulatory and manufacturing arenas as well as many others.

    For the people who can effectively learn to spot the person with the most potential, then encourage it and nurture it and help their best people get even better, they will have a vast advantage over all of their competition.

    Better hiring is the key to the whole thing, but the question is, how to you evaluate a candidate for the job so that you’re taking their potential into account?

    Evaluating potential isn’t something that is going to be the same across the board in every company because there is no real empirical data or real program set up to help us to evaluate potential, but a few indications of it may include:

    Proper motivation for the job—In nearly every job you will find people who seem to be compelled by something inside them to do the best job that they can. That may be in spite of the fact that they have things working against them. These people demonstrate one of the biggest indicators of real potential. They aren’t driven by something that is more selfish but instead, by the desire to do the job as well as they can for that reason alone. Motivation is, according to the experts, usually stable and usually doesn’t change.

    There are several other indicators of a high potential that include:

    A desire to learn and an inherent curiosity. This means that the candidate  seems to seek out  new knowledge and to try to learn new skills as well as to search for real feedback about the job they are doing in order to get better at it.

    The person with real potential will also be engaged in their work and will communicate and connect with others on a deeper level.

    They will also demonstrate real insight into the job they are doing and will be able to more readily and rapidly gather information and make sense of it and be able to explain it to others.

    Each of these things shows that the candidate has potential and will be a good hire for the company and a good fit for the position. That doesn’t mean that you neglect other things such as former positions or previous experience or even intelligence and aptitude. What is means is that there are other things that must be taken into account these days in order to ensure the best fit for your clients.

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    Machine learning Essentials

    While most of us work with machine learning or Artificial Intelligence on some level, we only have the vaguest idea of how it really works. While, there are plenty of people out there that haven’t even heard of it, most people think that machine learning is a type of software. They couldn’t be more wrong. Machine learning is a set of algorithms that allow an application to collect and interpret data so that it can accurately predict certain outcomes. The process is akin to data mining or predictive modeling. If you have ever ordered something off line, then you know that you start getting ads based on what was bought, this is machine learning. While most of us know machine learning in retrospect to things like this, it is also used to build news feeds, fraud detection, network security, spam filtering, and do predictive maintenance.

    Below are the steps used in the machine learning process:

     

    • Identification of datasets
    • Preparing relevant data sets for analysis
    • Selection of the proper machine learning algorithm
    • Analytical model construction based on selected algorithm
    • Use test data sets to train the local model
    • Revised as necessary
    • Make sure there is movement of the models process score and other results

    Some of the known applications for machine learning in business are BI (business intelligence), HR (human resource) systems, and CRM (customer relationship management). Self-driving vehicles also utilize this process to identify objects that they encounter. It is used to determine the proper course of action so that they can maneuver the vehicles. Machine learning has always been a major part of vendors such as IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Googles as they race against one another to sign up clients for their machine base platforms. What we need to do as artificial intelligence is incorporated more into multiple enterprises is to continue to use the platform as it becomes more proficient.

     

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    How to Say NO to Your Boss

    A YES-employee is never good. If you are this kind of person, it is so difficult for you to say no to your superiors. You often get stuck with impossible tasks, more work, and fewer breaks. You even find yourself working during the weekends. How can you decline without losing your job?

    Remember that good bosses admire and appreciate employees who can say no with confidence. They are willing to listen to good suggestions and find the right solution. You, as an employee, should just phrase and frame your words properly. Below are some of the ways you can say NO to your superior:

    • Time it correctly. It is better to say NO when your boss had just recently praised your performance. This provides more leeway for you.
    • Do not compete for power. Keep in mind that you are still a subordinate. You should not speak as if you are a partner in the company. It is not about who should be right, but what should be right. Say what you need to say but do it in a tone that does not make your boss feel disrespected. Consider your present work and your future in the company.
    • Remember that you and your boss have the same goals. In business, both the employee and the boss have the same goal—the company’s growth. Once you understand this, it is easier for you to share your views with your boss. Honor your boss’ idea then tell yours.
    • Learn how to empathize. If you take the time to understand where your boss stands, it is easier for your boss to be open to disagreement. Listen to the concerns and arguments of your superior before you start giving your own.
    • Share the facts that you know. Always take note that you and your boss have different views. Recognize the things that you know to be factual and tell your superior how your facts caused you to reach your conclusion. You can ask your boss how he or she came to his or her own conclusion. This way, you and your boss can discuss conclusions and not dwell on facts.
    • Set your boundaries from the beginning. Rules should be established early on during the discussion. Make it clear to your superior that you cannot be on call during holidays or weekends. This makes it clear for both of you.

    Saying NO to your boss is not a bad thing. This just helps foster a good channel of communication between you and your superior if done properly. Say NO to your boss the right way so that you can look forward to a more comfortable working environment and more fruitful tasks.

     

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    Five Must Do Things Before the Interview

    A job interview is not much different from public speaking. Here, you also need to be prepared and confident in answering the questions that your interviewer has in store. When you do your homework, you are more confident during that crucial talk with the HR manager. It’s all right to be nervous, but never forget that you should always keep your eyes on the prize, which is the job opening. Here are five things to consider before the anticipated job interview:

    • Be one with your CV/Resume. Know every detail of your CV/Resume. Know every single detail such as the projects you had, the companies that hired you, the schools you attended, and the posts you made. Memorize them, so that you can answer each question correctly.
    • Know the job completely. Assimilate the job description. Make it your constant guide and best friend. Study every aspect of it, so you have a better grasp of the skills that the manager wants. Ponder the skills you have developed through your professional years and know how they can be valuable in the workplace.
    • Body language should be positive. Your actions should always reflect your enthusiasm and interest in the job opening. Your attitude and your body language say a lot about you as a person and as a professional. You can practice this in front of a mirror or in front of a friend.
    • Understand the company. Do some of your own investigation about the company, even if you will be learning a lot about it during the job interview. Be familiar with the company’s culture, mission, and vision through social media and through their website. Interacting with your future employer online is a perfect way to demonstrate your interest in the company.
    • Do not be afraid to prepare questions for your interviewer. An interview should be a comfortable conversation and not an interrogation. When your interviewer asks you to describe yourself, answer properly and then be ready to ask your questions. You can ask about the company, the hiring manager’s experience in the c

    ompany, and your potential responsibilities.
    • Look for more contacts. Take the time to contact your school’s alumni with significant experience in your field. It also helps if you know someone in the new company. You may be able to set up an informal meeting with that person as they might put it a good word about you if the meeting goes well.
    Anxieties before an interview will always be there. You won’t get rid of them entirely, but they can be reduced significantly if you prepare well. The more you ready yourself, the more you are in control. The confidence that emanates from you reaches everyone in the interview room, the moment you walk through the door.

    If you’re looking for the right manufacturing team, you have to start with the right recruiting team. Let WH Meanor put our experience to work for you. Register now for a free ten minute assessment of your search efforts by clicking the link https://whmeanorassociates.as.me/

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    Five Things You Must Do After the Interview

    You got the interview for the job of your dreams at a coveted manufacturing facility. This is the high tech IoT manufacturing company you wanted to work for. Eyes on the prize. Whether you feel it went well or not, the process of landing the job is not quite finished. Too often, people overlook the follow up in their job search strategies, which could be a huge mistake.

    Here are five things you should always do after an interview.

    As the interview ends, it is important to find out what the interviewer expects when it comes to follow up. Some hiring managers prefer email, others may ask you to call back in two weeks. Make sure you have these instructions as well as the corresponding contact information.

    Walk Away

    Immediately after the interview, you may want to linger in the area or get right to follow up, but you should definitely get away from both the physical location and the mental space for just a little while. Take a short walk or drive, stop for coffee and let your adrenaline settle. This will give you time to relax and then reflect on the interview.

    Assess

    How did you do in the interview? Was there a question you could have answered better? Did you freeze up at any point? What question caught you off guard the most? These are just a few questions you should be contemplating as they will help you frame further communications between you and the desired company with the added bonus of better preparing you for the next interview. Take the time to write this information down, especially if you didn’t take notes during the interview.

    Touch Base with References

    Spend a little time discussing your job search and interview with your references, perhaps even sending them a copy of your resume. You want them to be ready with answers when the hiring manager makes contact.

    Thank You

    Last, but certainly not least is the thank you. All recruiters and professionals agree that a thank you after the interview should be your top priority. This can be in form of email or physical thank you card, depending on the company. This is your opportunity to keep your information at the top of the pile and correct any mistakes you feel you made during the interview. That being said, keep it short and on point, recap your qualifications and thank them for their time.

    Final Thoughts

    Job searches can be exciting and more than a little frustrating, but if you take the time to adequately prepare for your interview and after interview process you will stand out in the crowd. Don’t overlook key online options such as Linkedin during your hunt for your dream manufacturing position.

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