What Is Core To Your Business?

September 28, 2015

 

execution-vs-strategy2In this past week’s Wall Street Journal Today’s Top Supply Chain and Logistics from WSJ, I see this interesting tidbit:

Coca-Cola Co. is overhauling its U.S. supply chain. The WSJ’s Mike Esterl and Chelsey Dulaney report that the beverage giant will sell all nine of its production plants in the country and consolidate the business with three large bottling partners.

The move extends a redrawing of its distribution system that Coke began in 2013, when the company began getting rid of warehouses and delivery trucks. The idea is to get out of managing production and distribution so the company can focus more completely on what Coke says is its core business—selling the beverage concentrate and marketing the drinks.

That may create some opportunity for new logistics partners, but Coke says it still expects the bottlers to operate as “one highly aligned” unit.

Interesting but not surprising. Will Coca-Cola maintain the product execution control they have enjoyed over the years? That will be the real test of this change in strategy. This strategy appears to be sound.

Thought for the week:

“Whenever or wherever dignity is denied, we’re called to care…and we’re called to work to change” —U.S. Vice President Biden at the Global Citizen Festival

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Business Ethics & A Moral Compass

September 21, 2015

 

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The notion of an “ethical business” isn’t an oxymoron. Two automotive companies make me wonder:

  • GM was just fined $900 million for the car ignition problem that killed over 100 people. People inside GM knew the truth and looked the other way. Right now, the Justice Department has no plans to issue criminal indictments. I heard someone on the news say, “The law really doesn’t address this issue.” It would seem product liability laws have kicked in but what about concealing the truth from management and customers? What about customers dying and not one word was uttered by GM until it was forced to face the music?
  • VW has been caught providing invalid documentation of diesel engine emissions on its automobiles. The software settings that confirmed the vehicles met emission requirements were changed for production vehicles meaning the vehicles did not meet emission requirements. VW is facing fines of up to $18 billion for this violation.

I was taught we should “do the right thing.” Both GM and VW have failed to “do the right thing.” In the case of GM, people have died. In the case of VW, our environment has been compromised.

Ethical choices in business depend on a proper moral compass. Leadership must set the compass and monitor compliance.

Thought for the week:

“If you see distraction externally, you end up creating an internally distracted state.” – Tim Ferriss
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Great Stuff But Who Has Time For It?

September 14, 2015

 

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When I consulted for a Fortune 50 company, I noticed the constant bombardment of emails to the sales team from the marketing team.

The incoming emails had to feel like incoming missiles to be dodged on a daily basis. Oh, sure, they had the engineering specs, the use cases, customer testimonials–everything you’d need to be successful if only the messages were opened and read which they weren’t.

If you were a sales person, what would you focus on? I’d focus on meeting quota and focusing on what my sales manager told me was important. I wouldn’t have time to read and digest all the incoming messages. I would sell what I understood and that would likely mean not selling the latest, greatest stuff unless my sales manager insisted I do so.

Sales and customers live in a very noisy world. What are you going to do to stand out and be heard? Of what value is innovation if you aren’t heard?

You need to have the mindset of making the complex simple for those with whom you need support.

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” – Arnold H. Glasow
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Play Small To Lose

September 7, 2015

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My father and I took up watching Stanford football after my mother’s passing in 2007. Stanford has had some pretty good years the past decade with Coach Jim Harbaugh (who went on to coach the San Francisco 49ers and now the University of Michigan) and Coach David Shaw who is in his fifth season coaching at Stanford.

Dad, a 1948 Stanford B.S. Electrical Engineering grad, is ever hopeful that “this is the year.” It only took one game to see that this likely isn’t Stanford’s year. Stanford looked and played flat yesterday in their 16-6 road loss to Northwestern University. This was a very disappointing start to what appeared to be a season filled with hope and great aspirations. What happened?

  • Shaw’s play calling was too conservative. This is a bad habit of his. It’s tough to watch when Stanford has a small lead but when the team is behind, it is maddening. When you need to pile up a lot of yards as time wanes in the game, 5-yard passes won’t get it done. And, it didn’t.
  • While I don’t yet understand the new rules changes about when the clock stops, it is clear that you have to manage the clock differently today than just a few years ago. The clock doesn’t stop much and the available time to run plays is far less than it used to be.
  • Shaw built his offense around a guy who can run and catch the ball. But, when this guy is central in too many plays, the opposing defense rightly concludes if he’s not running the ball, then a pass is headed his way. The team is not effectively using all its offensive weapons.
  • The quarterback, Kevin Hogan, decided to play one more year at Stanford and not enter the National Football League draft after having 3 strong games at the end of the the 2014 season. His inconsistency and ineffectiveness yesterday won’t help him with his NFL aspirations.

Stanford has some really tough PAC-12 games this year: Oregon, UCLA, USC and Cal. They also play Notre Dame.

David Shaw shoulders the blame for yesterday’s loss. Stanford was ranked 21st going into yesterday’s game. They don’t belong in the Top 25. Stanford has the talent but lacked in execution yesterday.

What’s the lesson? When you need big plays and play small, you’re not going to win in football or in business.

Thought for the week:

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.”  Dale Carnegie
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Customers Shape Your Success

August 31, 2015

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In a Wall Street Journal blog post, What Your CEO Is Reading: Pepsi Embraces Design Thinking, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi offers:

“In the past, user experience wasn’t part of our lexicon. Focusing on crunch, taste, and everything else now pushes up to rethink shape, packaging, form, and function,” she says. “We’re forcing the design thinking way back into the supply chain.”

Why isn’t every company–regardless of size–actively seeking feedback about customer experience?

Photo Credit: Efexio

Thought for the week:

 “You are not a team because you work together. You are a team because you trust, respect and care for each other.” @ValaAfshar on Twitter

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Criticality of Innovation

August 24, 2015

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People diagnosed with certain serious medical maladies today are lucky that they didn’t weren’t diagnosed 5, 10 pr 20 years ago. Why? Innovation.

Constant innovation in medicine promotes better patient outcomes than were possible 5, 10 or 20 years ago.

Constant innovation means

  • Not settling for treatments that have a certain efficacy today.
  • Reducing the cost and healing time associated with treatments.

It’s also important to consider that some patient outcomes can be positively influenced by treatments outside what is often referred to as “Western medicine.” These treatments are commonly referred to as “alternative medicine.” Every course of treatment is really an alternative if you think about it that way.

Is your company driving innovation to improve customer outcomes? Or, are you focused on preserving the status quo while a more agile competitor catches you flat-footed and takes your market share?

Thought for the week:

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Attracting New Customers

August 17, 2015

 

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I recently spoke with Dan Howard, a long-time friend and owner of DJ’s SCUBA Locker in the greater Chicago area. We met during a dive trip to Honduras back in the 1990’s. Dan’s business is thriving to the point he’s been able to leave the corporate world and focus on growing his SCUBA diving business.

While many SCUBA shops have failed in recent years as disposable income has dropped, Dan has focused not only on consumers but municipal entities that need support. He’s now the “go-to” guy in the Chicago area and is expanding his reach geographically. It’s what happens naturally when you are the “go-to” guy.

His competitors are continually grousing that “Dan took away my customers.” Really? Perhaps they gave them away.

Why don’t his competitors look at this appropriately: they couldn’t offer the service and value Dan’s customers wanted. They didn’t listen enough and take action to ensure they were the “go-to” SCUBA service center.

Word of mouth is powerful–I’m certain many are now Dan’s customers because of the strong endorsements he gets.

If you provide great service and a great customer experience, you, too, can be the “go-to” business like Dan and his wife, Cindy.

A Recent Blog Post You Might Enjoy

How To Take Stress Out Of Your Air Travel

Thought for the week:

“Nothing is more tiring than the task that is never started.” – Gretchen Rubin (@gretchenrubin)
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.