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Category Archives: Management

Leadership Expectations – 20 Expectations For Leadership Success


How many times are individuals hired into leadership positions without really knowing what their own leadership expects of them? This is especially troublesome for those who are first time managers. As a leader, I always found it not only important but inspiring to share with my management team what I expected of each of them as leaders within the organization. Of course, turn around is always fair play. They also individually shared with me what they expected of me as their leader. Sharing expectations up front not only allowed us to come together as a high performance leadership team more quickly, but also gave us all the opportunity from the start to jointly build the best work team we could for the organization as a whole.

Below are 20 leadership expectations I have shared and found valuable for creating a strong leadership team.

1. Respect each other – treat everyone well. Do not be confrontational. Maintain their self-esteem. Be sensitive to the tone of your voice and the words that you speak. Give people the respect and the dignity they deserve. Do unto others, as they would have you do unto them. Trust people and honor the best they have to offer. You should always be in a partnership, you are part of the same team and everyone benefits form the organization being successful.

2. Act with integrity, speak honestly and do the right thing. Always, always tell the truth. Then you will not have to try and remember what you said. Choose your highest thought about something when trying to decide how to act.

3. Motivate with a mission; lead from the heart with passion and compassion. Give people a compelling reason for being a part of this organization. Employees are far more likely to put their heart in the game for a manager who breaks through the facade of invincibility and demonstrates humanness. Have a passionate belief in your ideas and values. Say the words “I believe” and share your thoughts with your team. Get people excited! Know that your true power comes from within, the source that fuels all success.

4. Be adaptable. Stay creative. Have the courage to do things differently. Find ways to always improve. Be willing to think a new thought if you want to create a different (new and improved) reality. Instill in others the need to “think a new thought”. Remember, change is part of the natural order of things. You must either change or be left behind. Be comfortable with letting go of the past in order to gab hold of a different future.

5. Pick your battles – know your non-negotiables. How you manage a crisis will determine whether it escalates or goes away. So pick your battles wisely. Some things are not worth fighting for now. Timing is everything!! Do not allow problems to fester. Deal with it. Recognize problems right away and deal with them.

6. Keep communications open. Deconstruct the barriers that inhibit the ability of the organization to learn, grow and continually adapt while moving forward. Create an organization that allows the sharing and flow of thought and information to proceed effortlessly as part of the process for the greater good. Learn to listen to and handle adversity while adhering to your beliefs. Take the heat and move on.

7. Get in the wheelbarrow! We succeed or fail together – it’s a partnership. People must know that everyone, including you, is in this together. They must understand that your success as a leader is linked to their success.

8. Always look for ways to improve something (remember everything can be improved upon until it is no longer needed). Keep being creative and looking for new ideas and thoughts. Find ways to always be improving, find new ways to win. Do not get stuck in “that’s the way we’ve always done it” because if that’s true, it’s probably time to change.

9. Live for the future, not from the past. Put your team in “future think” while bridging the gap between the past and the future. Find ways to not only create a vision for the future but also become that “vision” now, in the present. Remember you must first envision it before you can be it, you must be it before you can do it, you must do it before you can have it and only when you have it can you then claim it – SUCCESS!!

10. Work with a sense of urgency. You must understand that we do not have unlimited time! Everything has a time limit and nothing last forever. Lead with a sense of urgency and purpose knowing that what you are currently working on now is only a stepping-stone to the next opportunity that lies before you and your team.

11. Build a team ego – inflate the people around you. Put the group first. Make the people around you feel better. Make people proud to be a part of the team. Let people know they are “making history” everyday. Center success around the teams’ accomplishments. Build a team culture with shared values.

12. Do not just go through the day GROW through the day so tomorrow you can achieve more. Everyday look for or create opportunities for the members of your team to develop and grow. Remember the more they become, they more they can offer to not only the team’s success but their personal success as well.

13. Meetings: get in – get out! Enough said, literally!

14. Promote and support a balanced worklife. Realize, people don’t live to work; they work to live. Therefore, embrace the fact that they have a life outside of work, and so do you. Lead from the knowledge that people live within a holistic system that includes what happens inside and outside of work.

15. Show appreciation. Personally recognize. Understand that your team is the most valuable resource you have. It is what makes your leadership and the ability to succeed as an organization unique. Recognize that your team is uniquely qualified to deliver success to the organization. What you do with the unique talents, experiences and expertise that resides within your team will make all the difference between success and failure. There is no other team like the one you have on this planet, so lead like it.

16. Communicate what you want. Know the dangers of assumptions. Have one-on-one meetings to keep people informed. People cannot be blamed or held responsible for what they do not know. Make sure the message is understood. Do not simple assume people know what you want.

17. Be your own messenger. Be hands-on, talk to the team (everyday), reaffirm the vision, and constantly keep it out there. Be visible and let others see you lead. Let your team hear you and see you leading from the future, versus holding onto the past.

18. Act decisively – be an “intentional leader”. Decide to succeed on purpose and do what it takes to make that happen. Forget about “trying” because there is no such thing. You either get the results you want or your don’t. So decide to be a successful leader. Learn the methods of other successful leaders. Learn what works and what doesn’t and find what works best for you.

19. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take personal ownership and pride in all you are responsible for. Failure is part of the leadership package. Do not be afraid to be wrong, do not be afraid to fail, its part of the process. Failure is just another class in school. Just remember, when you fail, fail fast, learn from it and then keep moving forward.

20. Always “be of service”. Everything you do as a leader must be geared towards nurturing an environment that makes peoples lives better. Stay in service to others and those that are depending on you for your leadership.

[ad_2] Source by Angela Chammas

Strategic Business Planning – Using a Cost Benefit Analysis For Capital Expenditures


Businesses know, that in order to increase market share, service customers, reduce costs, and gain a competitive advantage, they must at some point expand, and that often involves a large capital expenditure. While it can often be a nerve-wracking experience, using a cost benefit analysis approach, can make that decision to buy, that much easier. So, what is the process by which a company can systematically reduce the possibility of error, and ensure the decision to buy is the right one?

For this example to have some relevance, let’s assume there is a manufacturer that wants to purchase a new CNC lathe machine, and needs this purchase to increase their production throughput. The company has the demand for their products, but simply can’t manufacture product fast enough. Securing the orders isn’t the problem, meeting the delivery dates is. Looking at their forecast, they know there will be more orders coming, and must do something to make sure they are able to increase their production capacity.

1. Assess Product Lifecycle and Market Trends

Essential to any decision to move forward, must include a thorough analysis of the product’s lifecycle in the market, and where the market itself is going. This involves an intense product and market trend analysis whose purpose is to clarify the future demand for the product in 1, 5 and even 10 years in the market. Is the product in its initial stages of introduction, in a growth phase, mature phase or in a decline phase? Each of these phases means a different approach. For instance, the company may be faced with high demand for a product in a decline phase, where the product’s useful life in the market will soon end. The high demand is an anomaly, and just indicative of competitors who no longer offer the product, leaving but one source. Does it make sense to move forward when the demand will soon end? The questions answered by the product lifecycle and market trend analysis should be the following:

• What is the product’s current lifecycle phase in the market? • Is the market itself going in a new direction due to customer demand for a different product? • Is the current spike in demand an anomaly or a sign of more to come? • Is the technology in the market advancing, or stabilizing?

2. Assess Machine or Equipment Reputation

No business ever plans on purchasing something with the intention of having to dump it later. However, even in situations where a company has done its homework, there is still that ever present margin for error. A company could do everything right in this case, and still be faced with a situation where the market changes, and it must sell their equipment. If that equipment has a bad resale value, or a bad reputation, the ability to sell that equipment in an emergency, will be extremely difficult.

3. Determine Cost of Ownership

No matter what is being purchased, or how good the equipment is touted as being, there is always a cost of ownership and upkeep. There is also a cost to the company in terms of training employees on its use. For manufacturers, their gross profit margins are always impacted by these costs. The cost of ownership must always include an assessment of the consumables needed to keep that machine running. If the costs of upkeep, replacement parts, or those consumables, is simply too high, then the purchase is ill advised.

4. Determine Time to Pay & Assign Value to the Purchase

In this case, the company knows the machine will increase their production throughput by 30%. This production increase must be turned into a value the company can use to assess its benefits. What does this 30% increase in production capacity mean for the company? How many extra units will be made per day, and what is the current gross profit per unit? From this value, the company can then determine the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly additional gross profit derived by the increased productivity. If the company has done a good job in determining the product’s lifecycle, and market trend, and takes into consideration the cyclical or seasonality of their customer’s demand, they can realistically determine how long it will take to pay off the machine.

While each of these four steps summarizes the approach that needs to be taken, each requires much more in-depth and intense analysis. The purpose of this is to remove, as much as a company can, the possibility of failure. It’s not an easy decision to make, but taking the time to thoroughly analyze each of these aspects, will make that decision to purchase that much easier.

[ad_2] Source by Ian James Johnson

Customer Satisfaction – It’s All About the Personal Touch – 5 Easy, But Powerful Steps


In order to increase customer satisfaction, it’s important to remember this – Customers are not buying your product or service. They are buying a relationship with you. Train your staff toward excellent customer service and customer satisfaction. Enhancing the customer relationship by adding whatever personal touches results in increased customer loyalty and your customers will go out of their way to do business with you.

The most important and obvious is learning and using your customer’s names. Everyone likes to be recognized and the use of the customers name without having to be reminded shows effort and interest on your part.

Learn how your customer uses your product or service. By finding out how your customer uses your product or service, you can tailor it to their needs. You will also be viewed as an invaluable resource by suggesting other products or services that will enhance their purchase.

Discover their preferences. When you discover the preferences of your customer and incorporate them into the process, your customer will feel valued. Whether it be day of the week for deliveries, straw or no straw in the drink at your restaurant, the type of folder they prefer their reports bound in, just paying attention to their preferences displays that you value their business and go out of your way to have things just as they prefer them. As an example, an exclusive hotel chain puts out a questionnaire to all of their new hires asking for their food, beverage and snack preferences. When they show up for their first day of training, the stated preferences are ready and waiting for each individual. This sends the message that if the hotel is so concerned about the preferences of their staff, then they will be equally, if not more so, concerned about the preferences of their guests.

Touch base and follow up on individual requests. By accommodating individual requests, customers realize that you will go out of your way to meet their needs. This displays the value you are placing on them and their business.

Follow up and say Thank You. A personal note of Thanks speaks volumes. Sending a personal handwritten note is a tried and true favorite that has fallen by the wayside with new technology. Email is better than nothing, but a professional thank you card with a short handwritten note gives that personal touch.

To give an example that ties in all of these points – I do most of my professional clothing shopping at particular national chain which has a retail outlet in our local mall. Any time I walk in, the manager comes over to me and asks how I am and my business. She asks if I have any big presentations coming up and if she can help me get a new outfit. She pulls out the card with my sizes and color preferences and says that she will start getting some outfits together for me while I browse. She checks in with me while I try them on and gives helpful suggestion on accessories. She leaves the clothes on hangers automatically for me because she knows I like to just take the clothes out of the garment holder and just hang them up. And the next day comes the finishing touch – – a handwritten Thank You note written on the company stationary. Even though I may get better prices at the anchor store in the mall, I go back to the place that pays personal attention to me every time.

[ad_2] Source by Kristina Evey

Supply Chain Management 101


Answering the question of what Supply Chain Management is, is as simple as breaking down the phrase into its component parts. Supplies are those inputs that a company relies upon to produce the product that will ultimately reach its customers. The chain is the group of suppliers that bring those inputs to a company and the process whereby those inputs are integrated into the company. And finally, management is the coordination and organization of all these inputs and their implementation. So put it all together, and Supply Chain Management is the science and art of improving the processes that bring suppliers of raw materials together and move those materials through the company until they reach the endpoint, the customer.

What SCM Involves

If defining the term takes a full paragraph to cover even in its most basic sense, you can imagine how complex the industry surrounding Supply Chain Management truly is. It involves managers who map out the entire process and look for inefficiencies and others who develop and maintain relationships with suppliers to ensure a steady supply of inputs. It involves the actual process of manufacturing or value add in which those inputs become the products that will be sold as well as “logistics” or the process of getting those value added products to customers. And finally it involves dealing with and compensating for supply chain returns, such as defective products. Supply Chain Management covers every aspect of the business from input to output and as such requires an extensive array of tools and strategies to help managers to coordinate and organize a company.

The Dilemma of SCM Software

One of the most innovative and revolutionary tools in use by managers involved in the supply chain is Supply Chain Management Software. While I have outlined five general sections that make up Supply Chain Management, each of these sections is unique to a particular business. As such, no single product has been developed to handle the software needs of a company from start to finish. As a result, when industry insiders talk about Supply Chain Software, they are really talking about a combination of many different programs that, when applied together, help manage the supply chain. While literally thousands of different products are on the market today, they all fall into one of two broad categories, Supply Chain Planning (SCP) or Supply Chain Execution (SCE) software. Supply Chain Planning software covers those programs which use advanced mathematical algorithms to map out the flow of products through a company and to identify any inefficiencies. The ultimate goal of this type of software is to help reduce faulty products, to speed up the time to market, and to reduce inventory. Supply Chain Execution software is designed to automate different components of the supply chain. For example, Supply Chain Execution Software might update inventory listings in a central directory as soon as inputs are brought in from a supplier or are sold off to the customer. In this way, SCE software eliminates the costly and time consuming task of tabulating the total current supply so as to know when to place the next order.

The Goals of Supply Chain Management

Ultimately the goal of Supply Chain Management is to bring greater efficiency to a company by reducing errors, maintaining steady inputs, and reducing excess inventories. With the growth of the internet, however, it is transitioning into a means of collaboration between companies. By concentrating their efforts on better communication with suppliers and customers, inefficiencies are ironed out not only within the company but in those surrounding it as well. The internet has made the communication between firms necessary for this to take place possible. Consequently, the hope for Supply Chain Management in the future is not only to create a more efficient and profitable business, but to contribute to a more efficient and profitable global marketplace as well.

[ad_2] Source by Dan Johnson

Project Management – Risk Management


There are some factors to consider when identifying risk in a project. A risk is known as some future happening that results in a change in the environment. It has associated with it a loss that can be estimated, a probability that the event will occur, which can be estimated, and a choice on the projects manager’s part as to what to do, if anything, to mitigate the risk and reduce the loss that will occur.

During the project planning process, the risk assessment which is normally completed during the development of the Business Case is reviewed and updated by the project team. Risk assessment is formalized subjective assessment of the probability of project success. Risk assessment has an obvious impact on the management style, team structure, use of methodology, strategies for system development, and, most importantly, the business decision to approve the project.

Simply, the greater the risk of the project, the higher the probability that estimates, schedules, and planning will be incorrect and that the project will move “out of control”. The risk of a project can be established by considering the following criteria;

  • What are the risks?
  • What is the probability of loss that results from them?
  • How much are the losses likely to cost?
  • What might the losses be if the worst happens?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • How can the losses be reduced or eliminated?
  • Will the alternatives produce other risks?

The business decision is to assess how the expected loss compares to the cost of defraying all or some of the loss and then taking the appropriate action.

It is mandatory that, throughout the system development process and especially during project planning, the project manager consider these project risk criteria using a formal questionnaire and develop a risk mitigation list. If the project manager considers the combination of any of these factors is significant and contributes to the degree of risk of the project, he or she is encouraged to consider the following actions;

  • Take steps to limit the scope of the project to reduce its complexity
  • Document the areas of complexity in the Project Plan and allow for additional time/resources
  • Raise a formal Risk Memorandum that details the high-level factors, identifies their possible impact and actions/options available to reduce that impact or reduce the risk factor.

It is imperative that the management of project risk is seen as a proactive process. For example, prior to the commencement of the full development cycle, the project manager should negotiate with the Steering Committee, key stakeholders and sponsor to minimize the high-risk factors.

To increase the likelihood of project success, the project team must put in place a program that identifies risks and steps to mitigate that risk. The management and minimization of project risk is the responsibility of all involved parties in the project.

[ad_2] Source by Daniel L Cerone