Strategies for Improving Business Performance                            January, 2015

We hope your 2015 is off to a great start!

We are seeing a trend of not only organic sales growth but also improved profits with our clients.  At the same time, there are several challenges increasing in relevance as well:  1) Expectations for shortened lead times.  2) The complexities of globalization and regulation.  3) Mixed mode distribution models stemming from increases in e-commerce and multiple channels.  4) A need to leverage supply chain technology and ERP  and 5) Increasing risk and security concerns
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We have many resources on our website to assist with these types of opportunities and challenges.  Please take a look, and let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you with your goals.

This month, our feature article focus on how to leverage supply chain trends for success.  Being ahead of the curve with supply chain trends can give you an edge in the competitive landscape and a leg up with your career.

The APICS West Coast Student Case Competition is coming up on Feb. 20th & 21st in Claremont, CA.  There will be impressive undergraduate and graduate teams from throughout the West Coast, U.S., Mexico and Hong Kong competing.  If you'd like to come out to support the students and see their presentations on Feb. 20th at 6pm, we'd welcome you.  Register here.
Leverage Supply Chain Trends for Success

By Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP 



As the year starts, it seems like an opportune time to discuss supply chain management trends. I find that those clients that pay attention to trends and find opportunities to leverage them often surpass their competition.


I'm working with a diverse portfolio of manufacturers and distributors ranging from $6 million dollar, family-owned businesses to $100 million dollar facilities of multi-billion dollar, global companies.  When I see trends that cross company-size, geography, position, etc., I take note.  If you can apply the "right" best practice to the "right" situation at the "right" time with the "right" people, you can dramatically increase the value of the business.


Several of the latest supply chain management trends that pop to mind include:


1. The value of collaboration: Although I've always believed in the value of collaboration, my critics thought it was too "touchy-feely". Imagine how surprised they are to see dramatic growth, profit and cash emerging from collaboration! And now it is gaining in popularity to boot.


Read the rest of the article


Three Reasons to Implement a New ERP System



In my experience, implementing a new Enterprise Requirements Planning (ERP) system can be an expensive and risky undertaking. I advise my clients that the decision to replace the existing system or to implement their first ERP system should be driven by one or more of the following three factors.

    1. To improve profitability and cash flow
    2. To solve problems with existing systems
    3. To improve operations

1. Improve profitability and cash flow

Executive are always looking for ways to improve profitability and cash flow. Good ERP systems can help by reducing costs of material and labor, and driving faster through put.  A modern ERP system can help improve your  basic planning and control functions which leads to reduced inventory, reduced WIP, and reduced direct and in-direct Labor.  Additionally, good ERP systems provide enterprise wide integration leading to:

  • Faster and More Efficient Business Processes
  • Instant access to the latest information
  • Data being added only once
  • Inter-operability of the internal and external supply chain
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Specializes in helping clients improve their business practices and processes.

During the past twenty-five years, Doug Howardell has designed new processes and tools, selected and implemented new business systems, and managed business process improvement projects. 

He has extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of project management, change management and materials management. 

Additionally, Mr. Howardell has long experience teaching and training. He has been an instructor in the California State University system since 1988. more

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Would you like to:

  • Develop or refine your strategy?
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  • Increase throughput?
  • Reduce waste?
  • Develop a meaningful list of improvement projects?
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We also have countless articles on lean strategies. Grab a few tips on our articles page.

February 10, 2015
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February 20, 2015 
Claremont, CA

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

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