Dell Customer Advisory Panel Video Summary

June 30, 2010

Here are candid reactions of Dell Customer Advisory Panel members from a June 2010 event in Round Rock, Texas:

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


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 28JUN10

June 28, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: entrepreneurship

I’m a huge fan of Sir Richard Branson. Not only is he the consummate entrepreneur and leader of the Virgin Group of companies, he also knows how to have fun and create excitement. From his book “Business Stripped Bare,” he writes:

“Every business, like every painting, operates under its own rules. There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again. What everyone tells you to do many just work, once. There are no rules. You learn by doing, and falling over, and it’s because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over…

Most of what I have done with the Virgin Group is about my own gut instinct. I’ve never analyzed what I do in any formal way. What would be the point? In business, as in life, you never step into the same river twice.”

Sir Richard Branson knows how to make businesses thrive.

Thought for the week:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing-that’s why we recommend it daily” -Zig Ziglar

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

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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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Ramping Up Your Factory during Economic Recovery

June 27, 2010

The June 20, 2010, Wall Street Journal offered a terrific insight into a rather daunting challenge facing business: “Factories Grapple with How Fast to Ramp Up.”

No one wants to commit dollars to inventory for which there may be no customer yet companies don’t want to get caught flat-footed and be unable to support their customers either.  While it may be difficult to increase inventory turns, you don’t want inventory turns to spin out of control.

Here is what many manufacturing companies are facing today:

  • After idling capacity, manufacturers are facing a significant challenge aligning supply with an unknown and unpredictable demand and, therefore, meeting customer commitments.
  • Companies have leaned and downsized to the point where they can’t respond in a heart-beat to unexpected demand without negatively impacting other customer relationships.
  • Tight supplies negatively impact end-product availability which shifts revenues to other producers or forces delay in revenue growth.
  • FedEx is seeing an increase in its overseas airfreight business to try to take time out of the supply chain.

This is quite a conundrum.  In light of these factors, what should manufacturers do?

  • Manufacturers need to align supply within what is considered by the marketplace to be a “competitive lead time.”  This metric is often not well-understood by the manufacturer or its customers.  The best practice is get alignment on and then do what you can to meet customer expectations.
  • Communicate closely with customers to align supply with demand.  There can’t be too much communication here.
  • Communicate closely with suppliers about your needs. There can’t be too much communication here.
  • Explore new sources of supply to back up your current suppliers.  Spread the wealth and spread your risk.
  • Look at the macroeconomics and consider if the actions you are taking or planning are prudent in light of other economic factors you are seeing.
  • Look for ways to change fixed cost into variable costs: outsource non-core functions.

Good luck!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2010 Dave Gardner


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 21JUN10

June 21, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

Traditionally, when humans have experienced a less-than-satisfying experience, they often believed that there was no point in complaining—no one cares. Today, complaining about customer experiences is easier than ever thanks to forums, blogs, and social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).

If you aren’t happy, you no longer have to suffer in silence—you can broadcast your disdain to the entire world using social media. Delighted or satisfied customers tend not to broadcast their feelings with the same frequency and passion—a sad fact of life.

Companies that thrive will look to social media to help them understand what the world is saying about them so corrective action can be taken.

Excerpted from my Fast Company Expert Blog post: Dell Customer Advisory Panel Executive Summary

Thought for the week:

“Business, and to a great extent most of life, is about giving people more than you promised, quicker than you promised, easier than you promised.” -Robert Ringer, A Voice of Sanity in an Insane World

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

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 14JUN10

June 14, 2010

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

When I lived in Reno, a consulting colleague, Tom Taormina, was contemplating writing a yet unpublished book titled “Perfecting Mediocrity.”

As I envision it merely from the proposed title, “perfecting mediocrity” is the dominant gravitational force for the vast majority of companies—good enough to survive but never great enough to thrive.

Is your company “perfecting mediocrity” or preparing to thrive? You know the answer. Are you ready to take action?

Thought for the week:

“If we live in a culture of mediocrity, there is a real risk we will ease back to our lowest performance. Only a small percentage of us are strong enough to sustain excellent performance in an environment of mediocrity.”

Erie Chapman, nationally renowned hospital/health care executive

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

© 2010 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  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.


16 year old sailor too young?

June 13, 2010

Today, a CNN.com poll asks the question:

Is 16 too young to attempt to sail solo around the world?

68% say “yes”–16 is too young while 32% say “no,” it’s not too young.

The real answer to the question is “it depends on the particular 16-year old person you are talking about.”

If we envision the 16-year old being the average kid we see walking to high school or hanging out in the mall, the answer is probably “yes”–she is too young.

But, if you look at Abby Sunderlund’s training, maturity, technology, preparation, know-how and skill, you would probably have to answer “no.”

At one stretch of her trip, Abby had a run without seeing land for 103 days.  It takes a special person to be able to achieve that.

I applaud Abby for her bravery, skill, tenacity, guile and ability.  Bravo, Abby–Bravo!  And, I applaud her parents for recognizing that chronological age isn’t the most important criteria in determining a person’s readiness for such an adventure.

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


BP Gulf Oil Disaster Note to White House

June 7, 2010

I, like many, am horrified at what is happening as a result of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last evening, I sent the following note to the White House:

(1) Why is there so little information about what is going to be done to remove the oil plumes from the Gulf of Mexico? What effort is underway?  Is this need getting the same level of attention as other remediation efforts?

(2) Why is crude oil being allowed to reach the shore in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida?  It is as though we just sit and watch the inevitable happen. This is not acceptable.

(3) It is critical that the oil not reach and be allowed to spread via the Loop Current.  Why does it appear that we are flat-footed and merely waiting for the inevitable to occur?  This is not acceptable.

From my limited vantage point, most effort is being put towards stopping the oil plume but not in keeping the crude from fouling our beaches and wetlands. We don’t need to look like “deer in headlights.”  This is foreseeable at this point; urgent action is needed.

What do you think?

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