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The Right Questions to Ask When Hiring Supply Chain Consultants


As you almost certainly know if you follow this blog, I run a group of companies that includes a couple of successful supply chain consulting firms. That’s my full disclosure out of the way before you read the rest of this post. So why am I going to reveal the questions you must ask before engaging supply chain consultants?   Mostly it’s because if you’re a company leader thinking about hiring supply chain consultants, I want to help you select the right partner and hence maximise the likelihood of a successful engagement.   It helps of course, that I know my own companies can unfailingly provide the right answers to these questions, and because they are the questions most often asked by discerning clients, before they engage consultants from Logistics Bureau or SME supply chain specialists from Dawson Consulting.   The 5 Most Important Questions to Ask Without any further preamble then, here are five questions to ask any firm of supply chain consultants before making the decision to engage them:   Does your expertise encompass the entire range of supply chain elements and components, or just some parts of the supply chain? For most supply chain problems/opportunities, there is a multitude of possible causes and solutions. You’re more likely to arrive at the most cost-effective solution by engaging consultants who work across the entire supply chain.   Is your firm truly independent and agnostic with regard to the solutions you recommend? A lot of supply chain consultants make at least some of their money through affiliations with product or solution vendors or service providers. While these firms might offer their services at a price that seems hard to refuse, you can be sure their recommendations will involve you buying something from which they’ll make a profit—but less sure if doing so will deliver the best outcome for your...

Revealed: The Best First Steps to Improve Your Business


If you’re the proud leader of a fledgling enterprise, there will doubtless come a time when you want to improve your business. In case you’re already reaching that point and wondering where to start, I’d like to share some tips that will help you take the first steps, with an emphasis on planning—probably the most influential factor in business improvement. Over the many years that I’ve been involved in founding, leading, and managing companies, as well as helping my consulting clients, I’ve had plenty of practice in the art of business improvement. Much of what I know today though, came at some point as revelations that I wished had arrived sooner.   Improve Your Business By Design Like many first-time business owners, I initially learned as I went along. I took guidance from others wiser than me. I also endured that timeless and sometimes painful process of trial and error. Over time I came to realise that the more effectively I planned, the less I had to endure the pain of learning from mistakes. The best planning in the world can’t prevent the need to feel your way forward to some extent—that’s an occupational hazard of being a business leader. But still, if you follow the basic guidance contained in this post, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to get things moving in the right direction and see your business start to improve and grow.   First: Know Where You Are Preparing to improve your business is the much the same as preparing for any other journey. The only difference is that initially, you might not know exactly where you are starting from. The first step therefore, is to make sure you know what shape your business is in, especially in relation to your competitors.   It’s a great idea to begin with a SWOT analysis, which is a...

3 Things to Know Before Your First Asia-Pacific Business Trip


  Rob O’Byrne and his professional team are no strangers to working with businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. Aside from their experiences helping Asian companies in the course of consulting projects, Rob’s company, Logistics Bureau has offices based in Thailand and Vietnam, as well as four in Australia. Like anyone from the West who works or does business in the Asia-Pacific region though, Rob and his colleagues were all once newbies to business culture in the region. No doubt they would have liked the benefit of some online tips on Asia-Pacific business trips and the cultural differences they should expect to encounter.   3 Tips to Prepare for Your Trip Unfortunately, Rob and Co. are all a bit too late to benefit from this blog post, but you’re not. So if you’re expecting to head off on an Asia-Pacific business trip (or will be working in that region for a period of time) take note of the following three tips to prepare for business in the mystic, marvellous east. 1. It Pays to Study the Society Countries in the Asia-pacific region are quite diverse, and business customs and etiquette will not be the same in one country as in another. For example, you will probably be entering a country dominated by a strong religious faith, which might be: Islam, in Malaysia for example Buddhism, in most Asia-Pacific countries Roman Catholicism, if you will be heading to the Republic of Philippines While you might not expect religious customs to make much of an impact on business, they do in Southeast Asia. To reduce culture shock as much as possible therefore, it can really pay to spend some time researching societal customs and values in the specific country (or countries) that you will be visiting. Your research should not be restricted to the religious environment though. Other societal matters, such as...

Why 43% of Supply Chain Managers don’t go to Conferences


  Because they don’t have time? Because they know it all, already? No.   Check out these reasons.   www.supplychainleadersinsights.com.au/why-43-of-supply-chain-managers-dont-go-to-conferences       Best Regards,   Rob O’Byrne Group Managing Director Email:robyrne@logisticsbureau.com Phone:+61 417 417...

3 Reasons to Acquire a Mentor in Your Profession


There are many ways to gain information and knowledge to help you progress in your professional career, but few of them provide the benefit of wisdom. That’s quite understandable, because in general, wisdom can only be gained directly, as you journey through your career and build a portfolio of knowledge and experiences.   Access the Wisdom of a Mentor in Your Profession While you are building that portfolio however, it is possible to benefit from the wisdom of others, which is precisely why mentoring relationships are so important for anyone with a will to succeed professionally. If you don’t already have a mentor in your profession; somebody willing and able to support you on your journey and share her wisdom, I urge you to try and find one—and here are three reasons why. 1. A Reflective Influence Not to be confused with a coach, who will likely take a directive approach to aiding your growth, a good mentor is someone who’s there when you need her. She will help you learn and grow according to your agenda. In particular, a mentor in your profession will act like a reflective surface, one at which you can fire your questions and concerns. Your mentor will often help you find your own solutions, rather than handing them to you on a plate. She may offer her opinions, and share her own related experiences and lessons learned. Not only will this help you become more confident at problem solving, it will also reassure you that your issue is not unique to you, but one that your mentor too, has had to deal with in the past. That’s why mentors can be invaluable to senior managers and business leaders when executive loneliness sets in. 2. Portal to a Professional Network Another benefit of having a mentor in your profession is the broad network which...

4 Ways to Practice Thinking Like a Leader


Responsible as he is for founding and spearheading an entire group of companies, Rob O’Byrne knows a thing or two about business leadership. He also believes in sharing what he knows in order to help others succeed professionally, especially those keen to forge their own paths in business. In keeping with Rob’s penchant for coaching, guiding and mentoring professionals of all ages and stages in their careers, today’s blog post is focused on how you might help yourself on the path to business leadership by applying new approaches to the way you think.   Practical Tips for Thinking Like a Leader After reading this short guide you’ll be able to practice thinking like a leader, which is a quality you’ll need to gain and maintain a role as the head of your own business or (if you prefer the security of employment) that of your employer’s organisation. Of course you might well ask if it’s necessary to practice thinking like a leader. As Rob would be the first to tell you, experienced business leaders themselves recognise the value of practice and self-assessment relating to the way in which they think issues through and arrive at decisions. In fact, they are more than likely to follow the development methods described in the following four tips. Broaden Your Professional Knowledge Whenever you have opportunity, spend time studying publications and online content relating to your industry. Focus especially on how various enterprises have developed and implemented successful strategies. Thinking like a leader requires a continuous appetite to learn from peers and competitors, and to understand strategy. Ponder Like an Analyst Successful leaders are able to apply analytical skills to their thought processes. You can practice this thinking discipline the next time you are faced with a problem, even a very small one. Instead of fixating on the first and most obvious solution...
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