Tag Archives: Engaging Customers

News You Can Use: 2/1/2017

  • Is 2017 The Year Of Flat Headcount?

    As budgets are settling down and getting approved for many of the companies I’m on the board of, I’m seeing a general trend of much less headcount growth in 2017 than in 2016. In some cases, companies got ahead of themselves. In others, they need to integrate all the people they’ve added. In some, they feel like they have a critical mass of people and want to march to get profitable on current headcount. And still others are profitable and have realized significant operating leverage in the past two quarters that they want to continue.


  • Google Co-Founder: Take Chances, Pursue Your Dreams and Silence the Voices

    Brin encourages experimentation and innovation, just as one of his professors did when he wanted to leave Stanford to launch Google. But his career has taught him that the future is impossible to predict. He is cautious in his forecasts.

    “The evolution of technology might be inherently chaotic,” he said. “We have a set of values and desires today that are probably pretty different than before the Industrial Revolution, and different still than before the Agrarian Revolution. And we might continue to evolve.”


  • This is pretty much how it goes in procurement:
  • In a tech-saturated world, customer feedback is everything

    Executives and product teams shouldn’t wait until a product breaks to hear from their customers. My team, for example, recently executed a high-stakes redesign and overhaul of our central product. While we always strive to incorporate customer feedback and interaction into our day-to-day work, we worked with around 16,000 customers to receive feedback on different versions of our new product. Our entire process was oriented around continuous customer feedback — and it transformed the way we do business. We now collaborate with 11,000 customers who give us a constant look at how our product helps them solve the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.


  • Why your “career path” won’t lead to your dream job

    You may wonder, then, what’s the point of setting goals, working hard, and ending up somewhere you never intended to be? How can you make progress if you continually break course? How can you be successful if you can’t even follow a straight line?

    Here’s the thing: The more activities you participate in, the more people you meet, the more opportunities you grab hold of, the more likely you are to find something amazing along the way—regardless of (or maybe especially if), your path is quite windy. In the words of the inimitable Oprah Winfrey, “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”


Photo: Ales Krivec

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News You Can Use: 1/25/2017

  • Why You Should Recognize Luck’s Role in Your Success or Failure

    Recognizing luck also helps with empathy. When you over-credit hard work and throw the role of luck out the window, it’s easy to assume everyone else should be able to accomplish the same things you can. When you recognize the role of luck, however, you keep your ego in check, which makes it easier to look at things more objectively and with less judgment.


  • Would You Want the “Right to Disconnect” from Work?

    …“All the studies show there is far more work-related stress today than there used to be, and that the stress is constant,” MP Benoit Hamon told the BBC. “Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash — like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails — they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down.”


  • How to Say ‘No’ at Work (Infographic)

    Too often, people burn themselves out by agreeing to take on more tasks than they can handle. However, overloading yourself with work can reduce the quality of what you produce. If you’re too busy, you may also miss deadlines. In those cases, the person you’re working for likely would have preferred that you had just said “no” from the start.


    Photo: The Business Backer
    Coming out of college almost 20 years ago, I entered a work force that told me to “NEVER SAY NO”. Early in my career that was a major source of burnout. However, in the last 5 years, saying yes gave me opportunities and access to projects that were good for both experience and my career politically.

  • The Purpose of a Supply Chain Manager: The End Customer Experience

     The journey to understand that focus tells you what your business model really depends on. Too many companies don’t understand what customers really value and as a consequence spend a lot to develop low-value innovation, such as car manufacturers loading their cars with more features that customers don’t use – a phenomenon known as marketing myopia.


  • Bonus: Americans at Work: Philadelphia’s Municipal Offices

    While photographing in these spaces what stuck out most visually was the physical evidence of decades past, not only in the space’s aesthetics and architecture but in the office equipment itself. An employee can find themselves sitting at mid century desk working on a 21st century computer while referencing a ledger book from 1887. Philadelphia City Hall is like a time capsule no one is quite ready to put the lid on. Over time, as Philadelphia grew, more municipal offices have been built to accommodate the needs of the city. One of these offices—Philadelphia’s Municipal Services Building—is a more modern office building, something office workers of today would be more familiar with.


Photo: JoshWillink

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The Supply Chain: 1/28/2015


  • Should companies hire supply chain EHS leaders?

    Given this approach to supplier relationship management, it’s a wonder whether or not enterprises are creating environmental, health and safety positions within procurement departments. According to the National Association for Environmental Management, an EHS manager oversees internal and external operations to ensure all suppliers and staff are abiding by national EHS regulations in addition to supporting progressive environmental policies and worker safety programs.


  • Demand forecast practices that make customers happy:

    For a company to identify and take advantage of the patterns related to demand forecasting, they need to follow three best practices:
    1.) Implement forecasting software
    2.) Improve processes relating to inventory and sales
    3.) Focus on the customer


  • Turning supply chain into an innovation engine.
    Nothing we haven’t heard, but an good summary and it shows the projects we are looking to take on are in the right direction…

    For many companies, the simplest form of analytics is looking at customer demands and patterns; then leveraging the gathered insights to build innovative and differentiated services—delivering greater value to the consumer and the businesses bottom-line.


  • Best practices for a lean international supply chain operation

    5. Adopt a control tower approach:
    Companies today want to increase their end-to-end supply chain visibility. This visibility, though, is much more than track and trace. Today’s global supply chain requires a high degree of operational readiness and synchronization of end-to-end activities, including integrating the flow of goods, information and money associated with the movement of goods. Best in class companies achieve this visibility using a control tower approach. A control tower approach is the cornerstone to agility, responsiveness, and visibility.
    With this approach, companies can reduce inventory, lower total landed costs and decrease cycle times by connecting planning and execution, from raw materials to delivery to the end customer. This end-to-end supply chain connection involves integrating import/export data and information from overseas suppliers, logistics providers, brokers and carriers. Without the big picture, it is nearly impossible to implement cost-saving strategies such as just-in-time inventory replenishment.


  • There is an IT Asset Management module for sharepoint…

  • The cheese has moved…

    Stated bluntly, many of today’s sourcing and procurement professionals are not going to be successful in this new world. Those who make the transition probably already demonstrated innovative and adaptive behaviors. CPOs should begin now to retool their organizations with the talent that enables rather than hinders transformation. CPOs should focus on five key competencies in rebuilding their organizations:
    1. Consultative attitude
    2. Financial sophistication
    3. Communication and change management skills
    4. Technical savvy
    5. Vendor management skills


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Video: T-Mobile CEO on customer focus

This company is trying really hard to win market share. As a customer, they keep adding more value for me to stay. To win business, you must delight the customer.

Read More: http://money.cnn.com/2014/12/24/technology/mobile/tmobile-tech-company-of-year/index.html?section=money_topstories

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Productivity Bulletin: 11/21/2014

Photo: Sean MacEntee, Flickr

  • Leave your desk at lunch:

    The same point I just made in #1 is doubly true for creativity. Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of having some of your greatest ideas while in the shower? Do you think you are alone in that? You’re not. When you “free yourself up” as you do in the shower or while taking a break from your work, your brain is suddenly “free” to consider new, fresh ideas that can potentially solve the problems that were plaguing you while you were so vigorously pondering the issue. Letting your mind wander a bit over lunch can lead to new ideas and new inspiration.


  • Time Assets vs. Time Debts
    Good post on managing your time and identifying things that drag us down from being productive.
  • 6 questions to ask to learn about a company’s culture:

    Maybe your interviewer will mention off-site brainstorming meetings, clubs meant to help develop employees’ skills or even the company softball team. “But if they skirt this question, that tells you a
 lot about their culture… or lack thereof,” Cochran says.


  • Don’t just invent something, fix a problem:
  • As we try to develop better relationships with our customers, I like this pamphlet approach for the upper levels:
  • Allow people choices when creating change:

    Allow People Decisions. Change cannot happen to people. It needs to happen with people. Change must be co-created. Everyone should have some say in how the change is implemented. It is their job and their life. Let them have an element of control. If you keep lines of communication open for suggestions, you will hear lots of good ideas from the people who need to make the change happen. Use those ideas because it will build more engagement in the process. Create the change together.

    PS: On in the case with my son, provide the perception of choice…

  • Warren Buffet on Goals: (If it isn’t the most important, avoid at all costs)

    But the story nevertheless resonates because it promotes a truth that I think is vital to remember in our current networked age: spending time on lower priority goals, even though they’re helpful and generate value, can leave you worse off than if you had avoided them all together.


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