Strategies for Improving Business Performance                           April , 2015

Those who innovate will thrive!  Customers expect Amazon-like service.  Supply chains have become more complex.  High-skilled resources are hard to find!  And companies are using concepts like lean manufacturing and Six Sigma to drive waste out of the process.  Thus, competition can be a challenge.  Only those who find a way to stand out from the crowd will succeed.  Give innovation a try.  Read this month's feature article to learn how to create a culture of innovation.

Speaking of innovation, today is last call to sign up for APICS-IE's executive panel & networking symposium    in Corona, CA on May 2nd.  We are excited to have an engaging panel to discuss innovation including leaders from Toyota, Harvey Mudd, WET (the soup-to-nuts producer of the Bellagio fountains), Vocademy and the California Transportation Commission.  

We hope you enjoy this month's newsletter with a nice mix of innovation and fundamentals.  Please give us feedback as we'd love to tailor our blog to your needs.  If you have questions or would like to learn more about how you can work with us, please contact us.

How to Create an Innovative Culture

By Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP


Creating an innovative culture is cornerstone to success! In today's new normal business environment, customers expect "stand above the crowd" service with high-value products and services as the norm. The only way to achieve these lofty expectations without breaking the bank is to create a culture of innovation.


Focus on how to create and leverage innovation to not only improve your profitability but also to leapfrog your competition. You must change the playing field - and therefore the rules of the game - and throw out your old business models and practices. Instead, you need to think and practice innovation.


Anyone can be innovative. It doesn't require a background in R&D or fancy degrees. According to "Inside Steve's Brain" by Leander Kahney, about the late Steve Jobs and creative innovation, "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were  

MRP/ERP Education - The Key to Successful Implementation

By James P. Strong, CPIM, CPM, CSCP 


One major key to success in implementing an MRP/ERP system is education of its users early in the implementation process. Software training is not enough. All users of the system must have a good understanding of how and why the system works and be able to recognize the effect that their actions have on others using the system. 

To be most effective MRP/ERP education should be, a) done early in the implementation process, b) generic, not software based, c) all inclusive, starting with top management, d) must be ongoing. 


Early Education
Often, in talking with users of new MRP/ERP systems I find that they were never included in the implementation process until it came time for training. Then, they were given 1-2 hours of "hands-on" training on how to enter transactions and data, just prior to "going live". 

I am reminded of the analogy made by the late, great, Oliver Wright, in which he related implementing a major computer system to learning how to fly an airplane. He pointed out that you would never train a new pilot on how to 
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Jim Strong is an independent consultant and trainer. He has over 20 years management and consulting experience, and has product and process knowledge in pharmaceuticals, electronics, plastic and rubber molding, metal fabrication, and aerospace products.   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 .


Innovation: A Must for Manufacturers & Distributors
May 2, 2015 - 8:00 - 11:30AM
Corona, CA.

May 19, 2015 8:00 - 5:00PM
Montrose, CA 


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

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