Daily Archives: May 22, 2011

Lean from Toyota and Put Talent First

There’s a great article over on Industry Week on Staying True to the Toyota Way During the Recession which started off with a truism that every manager should remember:

Always remember that management should work for team members, instead of team members working for management. We should always show respect for every individual, and we need to make sound decisions locally because no one knows what’s best for your team members in your own culture better than you.

A productive team member is one that is respected, enabled, and free of distractions, disturbances and road-blocks. A good manager understands that the buck not only stops here, it starts here too. Employees should not waste any time on issues that need management resolutions — those issues should go straight to management. A manager does what she can to make sure her employees have the technologies and resources they need to do their job effectively. A good manager thinks of the success of her team before her own success — not the other way around.

Furthermore, a great company places a very high priority on long-term employment security for its employees as they are not “human resources” to be hired and fired on a whim. That’s why morale is approaching an all-time low and up to 90% of your employees are waiting for the job market to come back so they can high-tail it to a better job, or at least a different job.

And a great company gets creative and looks at its CSR and employment policies in a holistic way. When Toyota couldn’t make cash contributions to the charities it typically supported, and plants were idle, it offered manpower in the form of its engineers instead. And it used their brainpower in creative ways to cut overhead and operational costs to reduce the cost of keeping them onboard. And, most importantly, it retrained them so that, when the downturn started to reverse, they were ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

Put people first and you are more likely to succeed.

the doctor’s top 11 priorities for supply chain information technology

Industry Week recently ran an article of Tompkins Associates’ 11 priorities for supply chain information technology. It was pretty good. Here is the doctor‘s version.

1. Get a Talent Management Solution in Place Now (TA01)

The talent gap is widening by the day in supply chain despite unprecedented unmployment levels as a result of the ever increasing skill set required for success.

2. Define your on-site vs. off-site (SaaS / Cloud) needs (TA03)

Before selecting new solutions, understand what your options are.

3. Update your base Supply Chain transaction store (TA02)

Get all of your transactions into one place for effective and efficient management.

4. Make sure your spend analysis solution is world class. (TA08)

BI is key to right decisions, but good intelligence requires good data, and the starting point is always organizational spend.

5. Make sure your e-Negotiation solution contains decision optimization.

There are only 2 e-Sourcing solutions that consistently deliver average returns in the double digits: spend analysis and decision optimization.

6. Make sure your e-Procurement/P2P solution contains m-way match against Purchase Orders and/or Contract terms.

Otherwise, somewhere between 30% and 50% of your negotiated savings will leak away due to maverick spend, misbillings, and overpayments.

7. Put a Global Trade Management Solution in place. (TA10)

With many transactions requiring dozens of documents, and significant delays resulting from any missteps, an appropriate global trade automation solution is a must.

8. Have automated solutions for regulatory compliance. (TA07)

Regulations like REACH, WEEE, and RoHS are springing up not only in Europe, but around the globe.

9. Get a solution that enables stronger SRM. (TA11)

Your success is dependent upon your suppliers’ success.

10. Make sure your freight management solution can handle as many bids and cost models as you can throw at it. (TA05)

Due to the rising cost of fuel, and the impending driver shortage, freight is going to go up.

11. Get a NPD solution in place and take costs out from day one.

Once 80% of the costs are locked in, the opportunities for savings are minimal. Take costs out from the get-go.