Perhaps a slightly different approach to a common goal... So to add some clarity I thought to share an upcoming event that the Operations/Quality group will be conducting. July 13th through the 16th is the timeline for what I have named the 2010 Operations & Quality Summit (no riots like the G20 I hope...though it might be time for a new car so just let me know if a 'car-B-Q' is in your thinking ). I won't go into details as I would much prefer the outcome of the summit to feed the community with the details. However, I will say that we have structured this event to pull in a good number of our global leadership at various levels to engage in this four day session. The session itself will be attended by customers, suppliers, business improvement experts, and suppliers of business tools. All in all a very exciting opportunity to bring an international team together and have a chance to focus on the world outside our company as well as within! A big thank you to all who will be attending this event! Stay tuned for more......
VP Operations & Quality
This sounds like a very interesting and exciting event Rob. Will you be including some members of the sales/channel and TC community as well?
We have the good fortune of Mike Jachimiec being part of this event with both Ingram Micro and Tecsys being the customers who will discuss the market, their needs, and the things that we need to focus on. We have also 'drafted' participation from Product Management in terms of product/technology roadmaps and a number of other sources to round out this event. Once we wrap this up we will be sharing the key outcomes including opportunities to expand this to include other sources of information and interaction as we move forward. Thank you for your interest!
We are now two days through this session and I have to comment already how valuable this has been.
We've greeted colleagues and put faces to names, reviewed internal process, synthesized now ones... met with customers to understand their view of us and our performance, met with suppliers to better understand the supply environment and service offerings.
We've toured facilities, discussed system improvements, provided and received training.
We've honed some leadership skills, discussed OSM, and above all and shared a few laughs along the way.
... and we're only 1/2 done.
It has certainly been a stellar experience so far.
So, here we are at the end of 4 amazing days, 16 planned session, and countless side bar meetings. The bringing together of suppliers, customers, innovation experts, IT and ERP optimization experts, an great collection of skills and talent. A deep dive into our OSM strategy, Ops readiness and how advanced our key and strategic suppliers are in the world of Innovation. Great to see this collection of inspired and motivated talent coming together to move the business forward, onward and upward. This team is energized and focused on living the OSM journey.
Director, Global Procurement
From the incredibly positive comments I have received regarding this event from participants, contributors (internal and external) and other PT staff in the corridors, it is clear to me that we have “potentially” hit onto something big here during these intense 4 days. I say “potentially”, as the real measure of the success of this event can’t be summarised by a few emails or posts – it has to come from actions that are spurned by this event that drive the supply chain and the business forward. Here are some personal thoughts from the key sessions….
Our Leadership / business improvement session - I remind you of a few phrases that resonated with me –
- “Focus on the Outcome not the purpose”
- “Carpe Diem!”
- Hear V’s Listen – “be prepared to be surprised!”
- Agreement v’s conviction – Belief & application
- A good leader gives his/her team confidence in the leader, a great leader gives his/her team confidence in themselves
What are you going to do differently tomorrow from yesterday? Change is not a passive thing – it needs positive thought and actions….
Customer Visits – first reaction is that we must encourage this direct feedback more often! Most of our supply chain teams never interface directly with the customer – they live on snippets of feedback from Sales or other Management. Direct is nearly always best – Ingenuity Working is an example of one of the ways we can hear directly from our customers – let’s dive in and use it more!! We really appreciated the customer’s investment in this process and will follow up on some of their points raised
- Confusion and request for change of our D.O.A policy (Dead on arrival)
- Need for improving our stock rotation policies
- Psion is a great team that listens and many individuals mentioned for great “extra mile support” (Barb Lee, Linda Dutkowski, John Smids, Stephanie McGowan, Tim McCarren, Roch Guilbault) – this is great, until the key contact is not there – and then performance as a company falls
- One of the companies were managing an 80% Iserv attach rate success – wow! How can we learn from that!!
- Psion is a small part of the total end offering and our competitors are numerous (be humble)
- Communications are not pro-active enough – product bulletins, MPL, partner program
- We have had quality issues – especially at NPI….but a positive was noted here – we are seen as a company that stands behind any issues until resolution.
- Quick ship is great – but consistency is the key.
- They need better images of our products
- We have historically competed for business against partners!
- We need to provide advance shipping notices
There are many more – but the point is, without direct feedback – some of these points would perhaps go un-addressed. We as a team can not afford to do nothing here – so let’s drive for change on the points noted above – we look for leaders here to drive these points to actions and resolutions….
Supplier Visits – we were lucky to hear from a few major – multi billion $ suppliers this week. I will not go into too much detail – but it was incredible how powerfully our experts are listened to within these major companies. We may be a mid sized company – but we throw a mighty punch in the IT world.
How can we make the most of this “strength”?? What do we need to do to improve our dealings with suppliers and to drive maximum advantage for our customers and for our business success?
Business Tools – we were presented a few leading IT tools to help us drive to the next level of supply chain excellence. We are going to move forward with one of these. This is another small sign that as a supply chain team we are now capable to take on new complex tools and drive them hard to improve our business. A few years ago, I would not have recommended anything as sophisticated as the tools we are now considering.
Internal training sessions – we invested time and learned much from internal presenters from Finance, Quality and Product Line Management
OSM (open source mobility) brainstorming!!! Wow – what a session!! We generated almost 300 “ideas/comments” regarding the supply chain and OSM. We grouped these into around 20 groups and prioritised the top 6 or 7 groups and assigned owners to drive forward. There will be much more on this later – but the power of this meeting will be measured partly on the way we carry through actions on these 300 ideas! – we need leaders to drive this forward.
Team work and strategy – in between all of this we found quality time to get to know each other and have some very interesting strategic discussions around the future.
(Quote of these sessions - “think right to left, act left to right” Rob Gayson).
So, to summarise this weeks event from my perspective – yes, a great week. However – we can’t call this a success until everyone of the points above, are taken forward by the teams and we use these actions to improve the services our teams deliver to our company and to our partners. As there was such a positive vibe from all the people present last week, I’m 100% sure that we will drive these actions through with passion and vigour….but today is like the night after the party (hangover….many emails, issues day to day pressures…) – so, who has the leadership skills and determination to look up, think forward and follow through on these promises and commitments we made to each other???
I’d love to hear other views from people involved (not only participants) in this event last week……
This is an incredibly busy time in Operations with lots of projects on the go and so I must admit I was a bit sceptical headed into the Supply Chain summit organized by Rob Gayson and Tim Marshall. I was thinking "Good Lord! Why now? Can we not do this when things ease up a bit?" But as I sat through the various sessions I must say that it was time well spent. During busy times self development and learning usually takes a backseat and we have to force ourselves away from our desks and day to day tasks to make it happen. We learned a lot, met customers and suppliers, listened to internal presentations from Finance, Quality, Product Management, saw demos of some amazing Supply Chain software, had a session on leadership skills, did a brain storming session on OSM & Supply Chain etc etc. It was also a great opportunity to meet and get to know some of our colleagues from other parts of the globe. All in all it was a awesome week and I came out of these sessions excited inviograted and ready to "Carpe Diem"
This was great opportunity to see all of us working toward a common goal and vision. Team spirit was apparent and well. The venue and topic covered were diverse yet very important to our business and our day to day work. But the best came with the meeting with our partners. This was an eye opener for me. Hope we can have more opportunity to listen to them, they had plenty of information for us to take action on to improve our ways of doing business with them. Last but not least leadership seminar was worth its weight in gold. As leaders we constantly needs reminders as to where we can improve. Enogh said this was an excellent seminar/summit.
A week very interesting indeed! The different meetings attended definitely threw lights on the road where we, as a company, want to head. Meeting with our partnairs brought us unvaluable feedbacks and enhence again more that we're willing to go in more and more exchange and transparency with our customers.
I went out of that week tired but delighted to be part of such a great team and comforted to see that we're all looking in the same direction and that we all know the destination.
I have to say that I have been through many changes in the company however I have never experienced such a good vibration-synergy, I am looking forward that this momentum keeps going for years at the same time this could be passed across other departments.
Thanks Rob and Tim for making me part of this Summit, I will pass this energy of change to my team a looking forward to support the Supply Chain and the rest of the company on our success.
Tim: Yes....keep our head up and not just look down at the ball but remember before kicking the ball look-set your target and then look down kick the ball and then keep moving with your head up and be ready to receive the ball again.
Cheers to All
Much has already been written on our Quality & Operations summit; but I wanted to share a few things with the team present last week and the broader audience, and get your thinking going….
- Carpe Diem (seize the day): this has been my motto for years now, up to a point whereby when I created a small business (cottage rental); I called my company ‘Carpe Diem’ – business was really good, with lots of reload customers coming every year!
- Positive energy: I have been very fortunate to travel a lot; and have been to many places… do you know that feeling whereby when you are in a city, you literally get positive energy? Well, last week meetings were such an experience.. there was so much positive energy coming out of the group, that, despite the long hours; hard work and social events; I still felt energized!
- Change management our company is going through a lot of positive changes… many of us perceive those as exciting, necessary; sometimes even scary. And indeed, some changes are hard to understand/accept, but here is something that helps me through challenging times (and I am atheist by the way):
God, grant us the...
Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference
Patience for the things that take time
Appreciation for all that we have, and
Tolerance for those with different struggles
Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.
So yes Tim; a brainstorm session can have as many as 28 categories to begin with, but we will ‘look up, think forward and follow through on these promises and commitments we made to each other’ and as a team, we will take (internal & external) customer experience to that next level!
So much has been said about the week (both on and offline) so to repeat it would seem.....repetitive :-)
When you set out to organize an event such as this for the very first time you really are taking a leap of faith that those involved will make it succesful through their participation, involvement, genuine interest and most of all will take away some valuable lessons.
For this I would like to thank Rob, Tim and others that had the courage to put their faith in the rest of us.
First time I experience such a good working event! It was a great “creative collaboration”.
Thanks Tim & Rob for inviting me to this Summit full of positive energy.
Thanks to Tim and Rob for organizing such a wonderful event. I think everyone who attended came away feeling refreshed and renewed. It is great to be part of such strong and collaborative team and only great thinks can come from this group. From the leadership session I took away the following quotes which are very basic yet most of us forget to practice them in our day to day life. For me, these will be the ones I focus on: Find the Outcome not the purpose”, “Carpe Diem!” - Seize the Day (everyday), Hearing, not just Listening , and “Be prepared to be surprised!”.
There has been much discussion about the customers who attended and what they had to say about Psion Teklogix - both the positive and the negative. For me this was not an eye opener...I deal with customers every day and am aware of the good and the bad. However, it was positive to me to see that now (finally) as a company we are taking an interest in what our customers have to tell us. It is really hard to keep good, loyal customers (of which we are fortunate to have many). It only takes one bad experience to lose a customer so we all have work to do.
First of all, I want to Thank Tim and Rob for arranging this leadership submit. It was great event and I would say that I came out energized, motivated after those 3 days (and left for vacation immediately after that, in order to maintain the motivation level ).
This event also provided for all of us a chance to be little “social” and “ice-breaking” with the team members who we generally communicate thru video conferencing/emails or meet during the short visits. It was a ice-breaker!!!
Starting from the day 1, we were seizing the moment /day (Carpe Diem) with bringing leadership session to initiate our day and meeting agenda. As I mentioned earlier also, it was a perfect strategy to have that event on day and session #1, as it allowed team to re-surface its “management skills” and start contributing in terms of positive ideas in the consecutive sessions. This session set the momentum for next 3 days!!!
Bringing customers on and getting direct feedback from them allowed us to understand what is been expected from us and where are we doing well and are lagging behind. I think that session has provided the team a clear idea what to do more to make ourselves more customer oriented and what should we proud of (on things we are doing great).
Day 2 and Day 3 were very productive where suppliers visit allowed us to know what our current and potential partners are capable of and how we can take advantage of their capabilities.
I was very encouraged by the way OSM session was handled. We all were closed in a room with ideas “freely flowing” and with attitude “no question is dumb question”. Everyone was given chance to provide feedback and every input was categorized. Great way of brain mapping and brainstorming!!!
Time to start working on actions!!!!
Thank you Rob and Tim for organizing this exhilarating event. I especially enjoying the visits from our customers and hearing their views on what we do right and what we don't. This was a great learning opportunity and I came away feeling quite motivated.