Volume 6 Number 11 - November 11, 2008

Our source of new business is referrals from friends and clients. If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit from improved operations, please email a link to this site or just let us know.
Your best interest is our best interest.

The Finish Strong� monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as more than an execution tool. If you value Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace this newsletter is for you!


The credit crisis, the worldwide recession, and the uncertainty that always surrounds a significant leadership change in US government has every business taking a hard look at itself. What do we need to do to survive and prosper?

Cash is king, which means you can expect days outstanding to edge upward, and you may find yourself stretching your suppliers as well. But don't forget that you need your suppliers to exist and remain strong for your own selfish needs. If key suppliers don't have the cash to continue operating or lose a major customer and are forced to consider shutting down, the unprepared manufacturer may find itself unable to produce and ship.

I have always advised that manufacturers consider the D&B of their key suppliers as much as they do the financial reports on their customer base. The urgency and speed of the current economic environment means that frequent conversations with key suppliers, supported by visits that verify the verbal exchanges, may be critical to your own company's viability. Stretching payments to the wrong suppliers, not having identified alternative sources of supply for those most at risk, or focusing only on the financial's of your customers can be a recipe for disaster. It's the "supply chain." The weakest link in that chain can destroy it.


APQC, founded in 1977 and then named the American Productivity Center, is a highly respected not-for-profit organization committed to increasing organizational productivity through leveraging best practices and benchmarking research. As part of development of an open source benchmarking standard, APQC is offering free benchmarking for a limited time.

This process will take you a few hours, and requires information you may not have at your fingertips, but the results will be very valuable to your organization. Take a hard look at your organization today.


Research from Spencer Stuart, a 50 year old international executive search firm specializing in C-level positions, indicates that CEO's of the largest 100 S&P 500 companies are more likely to have international experience than those of the next 400. Additionally, the backgrounds of current CEO's indicate that Operations has replaced Finance as the most common area of experience, with Marketing coming in third. Strategic thinking in Operations is no longer an oxymoron, and it shows.


The Starting Pistol
Barack Obama:
“For that is the true genius of America - that America can change..”

John McCain:
"Fight for a new direction..."

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"Manufacturing, like the United States, can only prosper with visionary, fast, effective, and well-executed change."

Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.
For reprint permission, just give Rebecca a call
or e-mail her at [email protected]