How to Make Inventory Easier on Your Business

Dear CFO,
As the controller in a very small manufacturing company, taking inventory is the worst job in the world (ok, maybe not the worst, but certainly tedious). The process itself is hard, but the reconciliations are even more difficult. My team uses information provided by the shop floor and sometimes I’m not sure if they really counted. What can I do to make inventory easier?
Inventory Not Managed in New England

You aren’t alone in your frustrations. New ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems can make inventory easier with real-time tracking. But keep in mind, these ERP systems are still dependent on good information. You know the old saying – garbage in/garbage out?

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Employee Onboarding & Orientation: How To Prepare Your New Hire for Success

In today’s tight labor market, employee onboarding has never been more important. It’s often challenging to find and hire the right people for your company. When you finally hire, it’s essential to have processes in place to help him or her succeed.

So, you’ve hired the perfect (or near-perfect) employee and they’re ready to start their new and exciting position with your company. Now what happens? Effective employee onboarding is critical to seamlessly integrating new hires into everyday operations and company culture.

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How Can a CFO Establish Formal Closing Procedures?

Dear CFO,
I am the CFO of a mid-sized manufacturing company with three divisions. I am required to have “final” numbers to Senior Management by the 5th workday. It’s like pulling teeth to get the required information from everyone involved. I’m the one who looks bad when the numbers are late. How do I get the accountability without much authority?
Tired of the battle, Scarsdale, New York

I can empathize, having been in a similar situation. In my case, I was at Corporate and the division accounting people reported up through the division presidents; therefore, I had no direct authority to address the problems.

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Deliberately Creating a Company Culture

All companies have a culture. Since nature abhors a vacuum, it’s better to select and cultivate the culture you want. Sitting back and allowing your company culture to develop naturally, may result in an unintentional, unprofessional environment inevitably derailing your business. As Steven Covey says, “Start with the end in mind.”

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Improving Profits Through the Use of Quality Control

Quality control extends well beyond checking for defects of a manufactured product or service prior to delivery. Effective quality control is ubiquitous in an organization. It supports the complete and effective performance of each job while ensuring every interaction with the customer is successful. Expectations made clear for every position as to how each job should be performed and the ways departments should communicate/interact is key to successfully embedding quality control into your organization.

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Improve Your Delegation Skills: Common Traps and How to Avoid Them

Delegating effectively can lift the performance of both you and your company. Strong delegation skills are a vital tool, offering benefits for both the person who delegates and the team member delegated to. However, not all delegation is effective. Here are the common traps and how to avoid them. 

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No Time to Grow Your Business? Try Delegating Tasks

What is holding back the growth of your company?  A surprising answer may be a lack of delegation. Yes, even Superman had limitations. You, along with your team, only have so many hours in the day.

If the entrepreneur doesn’t learn to delegate tasks, the growth stops as soon as her plate is full. When the entrepreneur alone holds the reins, it limits the company’s growth. Effective delegation enables individual and company growth. Delegation allows business owners to focus on the most important goals of the company.

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