The Attivo Group will get your system implemented - on time and within budget. Realize increased efficiencies, lower costs and improve profits. As trusted advisors for distributors, manufacturers and service providers, we will help you improve and automate your business processes.
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The Fed told us that the recession is over – What do you do to prepare for the recovery? Chances are you’ll need to create a “new normal” for your business. If you don’t make adjustments on the way up, the risk is that during the next downturn (there will most likely be one; after all), things will be as painful as they were this time. Here's my top 5 recommendations: 1) Assess and improve your processes Look around. See that crack in the ceiling? Of course you don’t – you’ve ignored it for the last 6 years, why would you see it now? A good business process review is in order – a “full 360” examination of how well each process is working will reveal lots of opportunities to streamline your business and cut costs – while positioning for growth. You want to be able to handle a lot more business without a significant increase in personnel. Contact me for a free worksheet tool to help you get this done. 2 ) Improve your customer service! Price is interesting, but today customer service is king. If you can’t deliver on time with high quality products and services, somebody else will. Invest in customer service improvements. Delight your customers, not just satisfy them. Survey them (with tools like Survey Monkey) to make sure they’re delighted. 3) Shorten your lead times Like customer service, someone else will deliver sooner if you can’t. Look at all elements of lead times – they’re not all on the shop floor, by the way. A tremendous amount of lead time improvement can be achieve in the front office, in areas such as quoting, planning, etc. Lead time reduction is a critical part of becoming a lean organization…so get lean already! 4) Tighten your controls. If you have inventory, what is your inventory accuracy level? No, really, what is it? If you’re going to rely on systems (as you should), one of the key metrics in your operations is inventory accuracy. It’s at the core of all the assumptions that systems use in their logic. I’ve heard many a business owner tell me that “we have an inventory problem”, to which I always answer “your inventory system is probably just fine, it’s you’re everything else’ that isn’t working”. Inventory accuracy is very telling about how well your processes are defined and controlled within the system, and is the best report card for operations to measure their controls. So, how are you measuring inventory accuracy? Gut feel? I wouldn’t buy your company. 5) Invest in Ecommerce Still depending on that tired looking electronic brochure of a website that your nephew did for you back in ’99? Well, welcome to the 21stcentury. Your customers and suppliers expect more (see #2 above). Figure out how to collaborate via the web with your customers and suppliers – it will keep your costs low and your customer service high. Don’t underestimate the importance of ecommerce, regardless of whether you pride yourself on the “personal touch”. Consider that generation Y or Z customers communicate differently, and perhaps don’t think they need to speak with you. What about your South Korean manufacturer? Staying up until 2:00 AM is not exactly what anyone would call a productive way to spend your time.