News

Setting up World Class Customer and Quality Programs

Posted: 16th Jun 2015 (0 comments)

Leaders, think about this:

• How is your company organization’s customer service?

• How is your repeat business?

• How are your service levels and order fill rates?

• How do your suppliers respond to your company’s organization?

If you need to improve your customer service and quality programs, give OTTS a call today! We will develop and deliver a superior customer service and quality control program that’s customized for your business.

You want to be a Hero- Call us! OTTS!

Posted: 13th Jun 2015 (0 comments)

Today, a company’s supply chain is complex. We at OTTS have learned from experience while resolving companies challenges. Usually 9 out of 10 times, the issues go across multiple organizations and processes. We are well-equipped to define the issue, design a workable solution, execute and lead in the deployment of the solution, and then will set-up KPI’s to monitor and drive success.

Besides providing and implementing a workable solution, OTTS will specify what the issue or challenge is costing the company and will project the savings that will be captured from the solution implementation. The company’s finance department will see a ROI (return on investment). Most consulting companies or consultants don’t provide the ROI to their consultation because they don’t define the root cause and are unable to know what the issue is costing a company’s bottom line.

We provide high quality at a great value. Our pricing is anywhere from 20-40 percent lower than the big five consulting companies. We will provide you and your company the savings obtained from our solution.

Have OTTS setup your company's Logistics/Distribution Network

Posted: 2nd Jun 2015 (0 comments)

World-Class Logistics/Distribution *

Leaders from many high-profile companies contact OTTS requesting us to do analysis on their logistics and distribution networks and/or their 3PL providers.

OTTS uses several tools to determine if your company’s logistics/distribution networks are optimal.

For example:

  • A good benchmark for your company’s warehousing and inventory management budget is anywhere between 1 and 4 percent of your company’s revenues.

  • A good benchmark for transportation costs is between 2 and 13 percent of your company’s revenues.

Additionally, these factors should be considered when determining if your company’s logistics/distribution services are optimized when it comes to affordably servicing your customers:

Transportation

  • Total Transportation Costs

  • Modes (Air, Ocean, Rail, FTL, LTL, Parcel)

  • Parcel Shipments (Commonly used by E-Businesses , i.e., national expedited carriers such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL

  • Expedited (how much of your freight is expedited?)(Unplanned vs Budget)

  • Sourcing Contract terms with your carriers/brokers

    Delivery

  • Track record

  • Condition of goods upon arrival

  • Milk runs

  • Good freight forwarder

The existence of a reverse logistics program

Does your company move a lot of product internationally?

Distribution Centers/Warehouses

  • Costs

  • Proximity

  • Locations

  • Number of facilities (domestic and internationally)

  • Inventory Control (Inventory Accuracy by product level)

  • Safety, Quality, and Customer Service Levels, KPI’s used to manage the operations

3PLs Service Providers

  • The usage of 3PLs to manage logistics and distribution

  • Performance versus the 3PL providers costs

  • Structure of contract with your 3PL

  • Does your company move a lot of product internationally?

  • Quality (Inventory Control, Customer Service, Safety, KPIs to manage your 3PL)

Operations

  • Pick and pack operations

  • Thinking of or have a TMS or WMS software application? If your company is thinking of implementing software. Please, contact OTTS first!

  • Use of a Container Management Program

  • Good data and KPI’s to measure logistics/distribution by:

    • Facility
    • Facility by item
    • Country
    • Costs
    • Safety
    • Service Levels

If you do not feel your company has the optimal logistics/distribution network operations, please call OTTS today!

(888) 410-6887

OTTS will dive deeply into your logistics/distribution operations and advise your management team on ways to increase service levels while lowering costs. OTTS will provide your company with a best-in-class solution to ensure that operations are running the most efficiently and yielding the best ROI (return on investment).

Services: Logistics/Distribution Networks

The advantages derived from the most efficient organizational structure and operational system can be negated if your logistics and distribution networks are not up to par. In fact, these play a critical role in maintaining your brand power in the marketplace and ensuring that customer satisfaction remains at desirable levels. A failure in your distribution or poor logistics planning can dramatically erode your market share and give your competitors a leading edge. To ensure that your business is never exposed to such risks, partner with OTTS. We have a skilled team of professionals, experience in this arena, and the passion to deliver logistics/distribution network solutions that work.

Improve your Distribution Network in Domestic and Global Markets

For today’s business, the target audience no longer needs to be limited within restrictive geographical boundaries; however, to secure and retain customers from across the globe and, thus, maximize your customer base, it is necessary to provide impeccable customer service irrespective of where the end user is located. Your distribution networks play a key role in helping you achieve your goals.

Whether you need to evaluate new locations for setting up production facilities or you want to build new relationships with distributors and partners or you need stocking strategies that are appropriate for those far-flung markets—we have the expertise to address your every need. We can tell you where new distribution centers would make business sense, which partners to choose, and how to identify third-party facilities to aid your distribution efforts.

Leveraging Technology to Improve Logistics and Distribution Strategies

The use of technology has made business operations far easier than they used to be and logistics is one of them. At OTTS, we bring the appropriate technology into play to enable seamless tracking of your products as they make their way to various consumption points across the globe. We also have the necessary expertise in helping companies worldwide set up an excellent distribution network to move their products quickly and efficiently to the end of the production line.

In effect, our solutions have the potential to dramatically reduce your company’s overall costs pertaining to transportation, reverse logistics, and distribution, thus, improving your profitability. We work to improve the shipping performance of your business and ensure that on-time shipping is assured with every product batch. This allows you to further enjoy cost savings by keeping expedited freight costs under control.

Our success in developing logistics and distribution network strategies that are completely aligned with your business arise from our focus on understanding your needs and creating custom solutions. This approach helps us develop a system that addresses the unique needs of your business while bridging the gaps you currently experience.

Reduce the turnaround times on orders to minimum levels, manage distribution partners and third party associates efficiently, cut costs, and enjoy better customer satisfaction with OTTS backing your logistics/distribution network needs. Contact us today for more information.

OTTS- Demand Management/ SIOP

Posted: 25th May 2015 (0 comments)

Demand Management/Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning (SIOP)

Sales forecasting is another key operational function that so many companies struggle to do correctly. Those companies that do struggle with sales forecasting/demand management compensate by producing a lot of finished goods in order to avoid shortages for any of their customers.

If your company is producing an abundant amount of your company’s finished goods in order to avoid shortages, then your company probably has a lot of excess raw material stored inventory. We at OTTS see this scenario played out all the time: operations are told not to short customer’s orders no-matter what!

Even though this is a common business practice, it is not very efficient. Let us at OTTS help your company’s operations to operate more efficiently!

Another common scenario, we at OTTS have seen over these past few years is that companies are investing in Demand Management software. This is good news. At least some companies are admitting that they struggle with Sales Forecasting/Demand Management. The bad news is the software implementation does not solve the company’s forecasting problem. Most Demand Management software is not set up to cover a company's plan versus actuals (This is very key to note!). These Demand Management software packages do not address the total sales by total enterprise, broken down by Country, Region, Brand, Category Distribution Center, Customer, and finally down to the sku level. In addition, most Demand Management software packages do not cover raw material forecasts versus actuals, by supplier, plant operations, and material warehouse. Finally these Demand Management software packages do not cover cost associated with the specific category enablers as described above, which we at OTTS strongly recommend companies need to do, in order to be more efficient at reducing cost while increasing service levels!

Some of the signs to look for if your company’s is struggling with Demand Management/ Sales Forecasting:

All points listed below should be represented in both Units and Financials

  1. Does your company report Sales Actuals vs Plan from an Enterprise level broken down by every level? MTD, QTD, and YTD.

  2. Does your company have a S&OP or SIOP process?

  3. What is the forecast accuracy on your company’s sales and materials? Are you seeing forecasts accuracy below 90%?

  4. How much of your company’s finish goods or raw materials are listed as obsolete?

  5. What is your company’s yearly write offs on finished goods and raw materials?

  6. Does Sales/ Marketing, Finance, and Operations sign off on all forecasts before being
    published? Are you sales and material forecasts being published for all key stakeholders in your company’s operations to see? (Big issue)

  7. How many weeks of supply does your company have on hand for both finished goods and raw materials?

  8. How many changes do your suppliers see on your company’s PO’s within the firm period?

  9. Do your company’s suppliers complain about your company's raw material forecast?

  10. Does your Operations leadership and their staff have a good understanding of your company’s Sales plan versus actuals? (Very common issue

OTTS develops Master Scheduler Superstars!

Posted: 16th May 2015 (0 comments)

Are your finding it difficult to run your operations? Is your manufacturing process not flowing smoothly? Do you need help with your master production schedule, demand forecasting, inventory control, or production planning? If so, then OTTS can help you and make your company's master scheduler a SUPERSTAR and your plant operations will become highly proficient!

A Great Master Scheduler will get your operations:

  • Improvement in the Plant scheduling adherence

  • The Plant absorption will be enhanced

  • Increase in service levels (On-time delivery)

  • Reduction in Labor Costs

  • Better alignment on your mode and mix on inventory

  • Improvement in both Cash flow and financials

Run Your Operations More Efficiently (CALL OTTS TODAY!) 888-410-6887

5 Star Packaging Programs

Posted: 16th May 2015 (0 comments)

OTTS is skilled at providing Supply Chain Packaging Optimization services that supports your company's leverage in packaging design to improve your company’s supply chain and marketing performance.

Using a systematic approach, OTTS's packaging team assesses your company's manufacturing, distribution, and marketing organizations to identify improvement opportunities, then engineers packaging breakthroughs to support your company, to see and realize productivity, efficiency, and sustainability gains.

Inventory Management

Posted: 9th May 2015 (0 comments)

So many leaders and their manager’s struggle to manager their daily operations and end to end value chains. A primary cause is due to bad data. Leaders as us, at OTTS, “What’s the cause on why their management teams struggle to manage the business?”

It’s comes down to two primary issues:

  1. Usually the company’s ERP system was not set up correctly for Supply Chain Planning Operations. This certainly hinders a leader's ability to have superior critical decision-making. (We at OTTS see this issue all the time at small, midsize and large companies. OTTS can resolve this issue easily. Call 888-410-6887.)

  2. Companies have bad inventory control programs/processes. Again, this affects a company’s entire value chain, such as:

    a . Supply Chain Planning

    b. Strategic Sourcing

    c. Tactical Sourcing

    d. Logistics (Expedited Freight)

    e. Master scheduling

    f. Plant Operations

    g. Demand Management

    h. Financials

    i. Customer Service (Delivery Performance, Order fill rate)

    j. Quality

    k. Inventory Management

What are signs a company might have poor inventory control?

  1. Your company has teams in place that look for parts or finished goods in the warehouse or Distribution Center

  2. Product taken off line unable to complete due to missing parts

  3. WIP has a lot of almost finished product staged around the Operations

  4. Expedited freight( from suppliers into Operations or Operations out to the customer base)

  5. The Master Scheduler is unable to plan effectively .

OTTS has achieved great success at setting up Inventory Management Programs at several companies across the entire globe. OTTS sets-up companies to where a company has an inventory accuracy rate above 98.5%, by sku level.

ERP, TMS, WMS and Value Chain Applications Implementations

Posted: 23rd Apr 2015 (0 comments)

We at OTTS get a lot of calls from Operations leaders at companies whose organizations are really struggling especially, their supply chain planning groups. "Blame the Planner!" After their IT teams who are usually working with software consultants have installed an ERP system. These leaders yell at us over the phone or in person (We don't take it personal), stating, they were suppose to see costs and inventories go down, service levels increase and would see a much improved cash flow.

What happen?

Here is one blogger who thinks he knows why...

Top 5 Reasons Why ERP Implementations Fail

Posted on 02/10/2011 by ProfitKey International

When listening to fears and concerns about ERP solutions, implementation is usually on the top of most lists. Yes, it can be daunting, but it is the cornerstone of the overall project. So why do implementations fail? Below is our countdown of the most common ERP implementation errors and how to avoid them.

5) Don’t “Train the Trainer”

Proper implementation of an ERP solution takes a full-court press from your company. Many times companies simply underestimate what it takes to get it done. The “train the trainer” approach to cut costs can get you in trouble. Having only one or two key people learn the system, so they can train other employees is a recipe for disaster. All users should have an opportunity to work directly with the vendor’s implementation team. Meet with your vendor to get a clear understanding of what it takes to fully implement the system so you can reap the benefits throughout your organization.

Also, avoid the temptation to train your personnel by department; such as having customer service train from 8:00 to noon on Monday and then have purchasing take over after lunch. These sessions usually just devolve into a demo rather than interactive training. But worse, trainees have no sense of how the software integrates nor how they are affected by events upstream and how they impact those who are downstream.

4) Underestimating Implementation Days Needed

In order to keep costs down so they can close the deal, some vendors suggest you purchase fewer implementation days than you really need. This leaves you with buyer’s remorse when you learn you must spend more than you expected in order to fully exploit the software – not to mention the cost of a delayed or failed implementation. Vendors will never guarantee they can get the implementation done with the days they quote, but press them to be up front with what it really takes to get their system up and running throughout your shop. Ask for specific examples of other similar projects and their implementation durations – and insist on references.

3) Resistance to Change

Culture shock is possibly the most difficult hurdle in an ERP rollout. Employees are resistant to change for a myriad of reasons; usually rooted in some type of fear. They may be worried that their jobs are in jeopardy or that they will be unable to learn the new system. Some may just be afraid of computers. Whatever the reasons; education is the answer. Try to let them see how the new system will benefit them personally. They may be less stressed because all the information they need is readily available; they may be less exposed to failure because they have greater control and visibility or they may simply have time to organize a meaningful thought rather than just run from fire to fire. Once they see how their own lives will be easier, they will actually be excited about the new system.

2) Choosing the Wrong Solution

Choosing the wrong ERP solution can be devastating. Don’t get caught up with a vendor that tells you “yes we do that”. MAKE THEM SHOW YOU!! Unfortunately what you find out too late is that “yes we do that” turns into “yes we do that, but it will take some customizing”. For more on customization see our customization series.

1) Management Doesn’t Buy-in and People Aren’t Held Accountable

Management has to understand that all of the previously mentioned issues can be resolved when they accept the idea that a new ERP system is best for the company. It is imperative that management also buys into the implementation process, and supports the plan throughout the organization. They must understand that “train the trainer” to cut costs is not a solid option, and pressing vendors for honesty in implementation costs and educating employees on benefits of a new system is critical.

Everyone throughout the organization must believe that management is completely behind the project and will take any necessary action to ensure success. Furthermore, management in smaller companies tends to be reluctant in holding people accountable for their performance. Even the best employees can lose their edge when they know they will never be held accountable for sub-standard performance – and some less perfect employees will take serious advantage of such an environment. Sometimes, management must be prepared to make some tough decisions if an employee remains a roadblock to the project’s success.

We at OTTS think those reasons listed are lame! Meaning those reasons listed are not even close to the main reasons on why company's ERP implementations fail.

  1. Lack of visibility at an enterprise level of actuals vs planned roll down to the lowest common denominator
  2. Terrible reporting tools for Executives, Management, and Staff Members
  3. IT departments and Software consultants lack of understanding or taking the time to understand
    a company's operation.

If you are a leader and you need the pain to stop, give us a call at OTTS 1-888.410.6887, we will solve your operations issues and you will get that ROI on your system implementation.

Executive Dashboards (Enhance Critical Decision Making)

Posted: 22nd Apr 2015 (0 comments)

Dashboards:

It is not just enough to have all your data in an easy to understand form. Your dashboard also needs to incorporate key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that can help you make informed decisions. You will need multiple dashboards for different job roles and management positions. Each will have their own KPIs and metrics displayed for driving the proper execution.

For instance, your executive needs will require dashboards providing an overview of the status of each department, overall sales, financial performance, and a dashboard that shows KPIs for the business as a whole. On the other hand, each of your managers will need dashboards to understand the performance of their respective department(s). Consider for example, the sales team. An overall view of real time sales performance of the organization is essential for monitoring performance. They will also need to know the status of the various deals, negotiations, and contracts in progress. Furthermore, monitoring market and product segmentation will require dashboards for visualizing sales in different geographical regions. In addition, dashboards for monitoring leads and the performance of each of your products across geographical areas are all beneficial to your sales team.

The OTTS leadership team has visited several leaders at companies these past few months, where we heard and seen not only executives, but also managers and their staff struggle to get a handle on their business. It comes down to the leaders/managers inability to make good critical decisions that will support the company in reducing cost, improving service levels and increasing operating income (O/I).

Supply Chain Production Planning Inventory Control (SCPPIC)

Posted: 17th Apr 2015 (0 comments)

Supply Chain Production Planning Inventory Control (SCPPIC) is what OTTS does best.

Many companies struggle in their supply chain planning operations. Supply Chain Production Planning Inventory Control (SCPPIC), is such a critical piece for the success of any business in today's global economy.

Any breakdown or gaps in a company's value chain that causes the risk of supply of goods to the market can result in a sluggish sales and seeing blow-back in consumer interest, along with unplanned costs affecting a company's bottom line. A company that is inefficient in SCPPIC could ultimately cause a company’s ability to compete in the market place and shut down its doors. An effective supply chain planning operation is the behind-the-scenes backbone of any profitable company with benefits ranging from an increased market presence to heightened consumer confidence and lower operating costs.

If your company's supply chain is struggling, give OTTS a call at 888-410-6887 or drop us a note at businessdevelopment@ottspec.com

« Newer Back top Top Older »