Archive | Lean Manufacturing

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Revenue Growth Vs. Cost Savings – Can’t They Co-Exist?

With the most recent economic downturn and slow recovery, we have all witnessed either personally or with companies we know well an abrupt transition from revenue growth and sales driven entities to lean and mean, cost cutting organizations and now possibly back again to revenue growth. This pendulum, depending on the market and economic conditions,  […]

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THE ART OF SELECTING THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB

Identifying and selecting the very best individual for a key role within the company can be the ultimate challenge .  When considering candidates for a critical position, I have always felt a little uncomfortable basing my decision solely on a resume and 45 minute interview.  As a manager over the years who has hired many […]

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6 Reasons Why Businesses Should Consider Procurement Outsourcing

With the customer and market demands associated with most industries changing rapidly, it is critical that an organization’s best people remain focused on the business at hand while preparing for future opportunities. Within the procurement area this is especially true. It is crucial that the purchasing staff ensure your company is receiving the best value, […]

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6 Reasons Why Businesses Should Consider Procurement Outsourcing – to be cont.

With the demands associated with most industries changing rapidly, it is critical that an organization’s best people remain focused on the business at hand while preparing for future opportunities.   Within the procurement area this is especially true.  It is crucial that the purchasing staff ensure your company is receiving the best value, service and products possible from every supplier in order to satisfy your clients’ current […]

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Rich Rafdahl

What Contributes to a Successful Negotiation? Part 2 of 2

When you are fully prepared and ready to negotiate put together a final list of your top 2 or 3 preferred suppliers. If possible, get to know the individuals you will be negotiating with.  What is their style, what are their likes and dislikes, what are their goals, what are their strengths and weaknesses, what […]

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Rich Rafdahl

What Contributes to a Successful Negotiation? Part 1 of 2

In business, I have found that your negotiation strategy and tactical approach may vary depending on project and final objective.  For example, negotiating a one-time purchase typically involves a more basic plan and set of skills while an opportunity that requires continuous reliable supplier performance, specific services and on-going quality – often requires a more […]

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Rich Rafdahl

As a New Manager – It is Important to Ask the Tough Questions Up Front

When assuming a new management role either as a new or existing employee, it is vital that you are absolutely clear as to the expectations and objectives for the position assumed.  Even though you may be well versed on what was described in the job description, this may not provide you the full story of […]

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8 Ways to Reduce Your Inventory Investment continued

6. Consider hiring an Expert:  If possible, consider hiring an experienced inventory professional who specializes in reducing carrying costs, increasing inventory turns and optimizing the service levels.   Companies that are carrying many months of unnecessary inventory are significantly impairing their productivity, space optimization, cash flow, profitability, competitiveness and potential success as a business.  I frequently engage […]

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8 Ways to Reduce Your Inventory Investment

One of the most challenging aspects of procurement and supply chain management is inventory control.  In larger companies these two responsibilities are often managed by separate staff.  The purchasing staff is responsible for costs, contracts, negotiations, supplier selection and evaluations, market knowledge, new products, new services and future trends.  The inventory management team is typically […]

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Humorous and Clever Purchasing Anecdotes

Have you heard some humorous or clever quotes regarding business and procurement?  They are not as easy to find or remember as you would think.  I have recently come across the following and thought this was a very good start – if you are someone who likes to keep these little anecdotes handy.  As you […]

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The First Step in a Successful Cost Savings Effort

Developing an intelligent Cost Savings Strategy while considering the various tactical options such as Value Analysis, New Product or Service Options, Consolidated Sourcing, “Best in Class” Supplier Evaluations, Genuine Partnerships, Resourcing to a LCC Supplier (Low Cost Country Sourcing), Competitive Bidding and Reverse Auctions (to name a few) are all very effective and can drive […]

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Why Outsource Your Cost Savings Efforts continued..

On the other hand, an experienced outsourced team of procurement professionals can pursue a variety of different expenses for potential savings and improvements while the current staff continues to manage the business activities and customer demands of the day. Keep in mind, that some of these outsource teams are often comprised of former procurement executives […]

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Why a Business May Outsource Its Cost Savings Efforts

As we all are aware, many businesses have had to make the tough decision of downsizing over these last 6 or so years. The result has been a much reduced their staff that has assumed significantly more responsibility and workload. Within the Procurement area, due to limitations in resources and time, it is not uncommon […]

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Rich Rafdahl

Top 10 Characteristics and Skills of an Excellent Buyer – continued

What makes a good buyer? The following are the final five traits that contribute to an outstanding buyer. The first five were published last week. 6. Strategic Acumen – A strategic mind that can develop smart plans and procedures to accomplish projects is an excellent candidate. In addition an individual who is a self – starter and […]

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Rich Rafdahl

The Top 10 Characteristics and Skills of an Excellent Buyer

What makes a good buyer? The following are the first five traits that contribute to an outstanding buyer. The second five will be published next week. 1. High Integrity – Even though it could be argued this is a soft skill, it is one of the most important traits a good buyer should possess. Without […]

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Rich Rafdahl

5 Ways to Improve Your Suppliers’ Performance

Most importantly inform them of what they are doing wrong?   I often find that certain key employees simply tolerate poor performance or problems because they feel they don’t have the time or leverage to straighten the supplier out.  I have also found, on occasion, that the supplier was unaware that their performance was less than […]

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Rich Rafdahl

“Watch Out For These Subtle but Significant Profit Leaks”

When I have been invited to assist a new company or client, I have been surprised by how often businesses accept and tolerate sub-par performing suppliers. These are not the suppliers that create absolute havoc since they are terminated in short order. No, these suppliers are more subtle in the ways they drain your company’s […]

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IMEC and Kishwaukee celebrate fifth lean continuous improvement series.

IMEC and Kishwaukee Complete Fifth Lean Series for Manufacturers

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and the Kishwaukee College Center for Business Development and Continuing Education celebrated the successful completion of the latest Lean Continuous Improvement Series for manufacturers last week. This marks the fifth series for the two organizations since beginning the joint manufacturing outreach program in 2010. The primary focus of the [...]

The post IMEC and Kishwaukee Complete Fifth Lean Series for Manufacturers appeared first on IMEC Blog.

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Enterprise software is not supposed to be beautiful ???

  Enterprise software is not supposed to be beautiful ??? Beautiful enterprise software?   A paradox.   Enterprise software is not supposed to be beautiful – bits and bytes are not beautiful, sexy or pleasing. Need it be?  After all, technology, in order to do anything useful for us, should effect an action or change in our […]

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Survival of the Fastest

           SURVIVAL OF THE FASTEST       Infor says speed is a competitive weapon.       Why? We believe that speed—not just scale—is the new basis for competition. It’s no longer about how big a company is; it’s about how fast you can execute. You may never be able to out-scale a competitor, but you […]

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