Strategies for Improving Business Performance                            December, 2014


We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!  

And, of course a prosperous 2015.  Have you started thinking about what you want to achieve in 2015?  We see the following strategies being adopted in our most successful clients:  1) Sales & Operations planning.  2) Lean 3) Leveraging technology including ERP systems.  4) Collaboration programs with customers and suppliers.  5) A focus on leadership including training programs (such as APICS CPIM & CSCP).
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We have many resources on our website to assist with these types of projects and programs to improve your business performance and elevate your career success.  We also provide consulting, coaching and training services, and we are happy to talk with you about your goals.

This month, our feature articles focus on how to leverage a collaboration platform for success.  It is as simple as this: our client who collaborate succeed; whereas those that don't, struggle.

You might consider kicking off the New Year by diving into the APICS CSCP class for education on the end-to-end supply chain.  The APICS Inland Empire chapter is starting classes on Saturday, January 10th.  Learn more and register.
Collaboration Platform: Valuing Team Input

By Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP 


At the APICS 2014 International Conference, one of the keynote speakers was a futurist.  He talked about the importance of a collaborative platform.  I say - finally! I still remember one of my colleagues who questioned me about my articles about collaboration; not because he didn't agree (as he is the collaboration guru in purchasing and supplier management) but because he wondered if I had clients who actually believed in collaboration.


Collaboration will drive bottom line business results. If you look at collaboration as a way to combine 1+1 = 99, you'll achieve dramatic improvements and happier employees and supply chain partners.


For example, at PaperPak, we collaborated with customers and suppliers in order to design new materials and new products that achieved a "win-win-win" - better product performance for the customer, better cost structure for us, and an innovative new material for our supplier. It led to over a million dollars in savings.


There are a few strategies to ensure success with collaboration: 1) Avoid being a know-it-all 2) Seek out diversity  3) Look for the "and".


1. Avoid being a know-it-all: Lately I've been 


Read the rest of the article


Driving a Winning Culture? - Don't Forget Your Suppliers


Often, when companies talk about "cultural

change", they are referring to changes in the internal culture of their own enterprise; i.e. empowering its employees to make decisions related to problem solving and process improvement, using the formal system in place of its informal systems, or an un-relenting commitment to quality. But what about the external culture? 

Your supply chain is an integral part of your operation. It does little good to change internal culture if you don't address your external culture at the same time. In the end, you are only as successful as your suppliers are. In the pursuit of continuous improvement, you must therefore, bring your suppliers along with you when implementing cultural change. 


Changing external culture is far more complex and more challenging than changing internal culture. We have no control over what our suppliers do or how they choose to conduct    

The ACA Group:
Additional Resources
The ACA Group Partner Spotlight
Focused on solving manufacturing and distribution problems in a practical, understandable way through well-defined systems and ERP.

Ellen Kane has over 20 years of experience in designing and implementing manufacturing and distribution systems (both computer and manual) to solve "real world" problems. She has held data processing and line management positions in several manufacturing companies. more

Service Focus:
Significant organizational change does not fail in formulation; it fails in implementation. 

In our combined experience across projects ranging from implementing and successfully transforming organizations with multi-million dollar ERP systems to lean philosophies to sales and operations planning programs and merger and acquisition integration, the common element to achieving bottom line business results is our focus on organizational development. Although technical expertise is integral to success, the critical success factors go back to people and culture.
  • Navigating culture change
  • Partnering on change management initiatives
  • Coaching & mentoring leaders
  • Encouraging and designing cross-functional coordination and teamwork
We also have countless articles on organizational development. Grab a few tips on our articles page.

January 9, 2015
Corona, Calif.

APICS CPIM Classes: 
January 21, 2015
Monrovia, Calif.

May 2, 2015
Corona, Calif.


The ACA Group is an alliance of operations and supply chain management experts who partner with organizations to improve business performance

   The ACA Group

2120 Highland Oaks Drive 
Arcadia, CA 91006

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