Developing Workforce Development Strategies

Friday December 2nd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

A man is in a hot air balloon that is slowly losing altitude. He ends up hovering over the side of the road in the desert. Another man happens by. The man in the balloon calls down to him, "Sir, could you tell me where I am?" The man looks up, assesses the situation, and responds: "Yes, you are about 30 feet in the air on the side of the road in the desert." The man in the balloon, unamused at the response, calls down, "Thanks Einstein ... you must be a workforce development consultant." "What do you mean?" responds the other man. "You just told me everything that I already knew and were no help whatsoever." The fella looks up at the man in the balloon and says, "I would guess that you work for a company that’s in serious trouble." "Why do you say that?" responds the man in the balloon. "Because you have no idea where you are, no idea where you are going, and no idea how to get there from here."

This is a somewhat humorous anecdote for the application of Workforce Development (WD) strategies. I wouldn’t say that WD consultants only reveal everything that employers already know; nor are employers always totally in the dark about their plight. However, when information is qualified through a data-driven analysis, it usually comes as no big surprise for employers where their weakest workforce links are located. Lack of training (critical skills and basic skills) often haunt a company until data is presented that validates what many already suspected.

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How to Think “Strategically” about Workforce Planning

Friday November 18th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jennifer Giannosa - Senior Consultant

Have you heard the phrase workforce planning? What about strategic workforce planning? This catchphrase is changing the HR game and offering a glimmer of hope in the war for top talent. It’s also creating some important and interesting dialogue within the C-Suite.

How is this possible, you ask? Strategic workforce planning (SWP) helps connect a company’s core business goals with its most important asset: people!

In its most basic form, workforce planning determines what an organization needs in terms of the size, type, experience, quality, skills and knowledge of its workforce in order to achieve primary business goals. The term strategic further defines the timeframe of the planning activities. Think system-wide organization and strategy vs. work-unit issues at a supervisor level.

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WIOA - Integrated Services in One-Stop Centers

Wednesday October 5th, 2016 at 7:37am
Written by Terri Kaufman - Workforce Development Specialist

One of the most significant changes in WIOA is the requirement for the “integration of services” in One-Stop Centers. What does this mean? It means aligning services and resources to better service job seekers and employers. Integration of services in the One-Stop Center helps clients because it is customer focused, not program focused.

Why have an integrated One-Stop Center?

  1. WIOA requires it
  2. Provides better client services
  3. Increases performance
  4. Leverages resources
  5. All of the Above

Every partner within the center must support a common vision and support a process that is designed to serve clients (both job seekers and employers). Centers must focus on delivering high-quality career services that may require aligning and streamlining services. Centers must make this monumental shift to better service clients.

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Education and Workforce Development Partnerships

Monday October 3rd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

There’s been a national call-to-action for two-year community colleges and career and technical high schools. Ultimately, educators are responsible for meeting the demand for skills in the global economy.

  1. There is consensus that the foundational academic knowledge needed for postsecondary education and for careers is virtually the same, with growing recognition that academic skills, employability and technical knowledge and skills are essential as well.
  2. We’re seeing widespread agreement that lifelong learning and ‘learning how to learn’ are key drivers of success in college, careers and civic life.
  3. Research shows collaborative efforts in states, districts and communities to strengthen their collective capacity to deliver results that matter.

The plan is for greater student success. It needs to be bolder and broader – “cradle-to-career” strategies – comprehensive, data-driven plans that begin early on and focus on improving measurable progress to career readiness. This new formula shows the most promise for success. Follow-up on the student’s outcome is also important to obtain the metrics to grow this philosophy.

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Eight Things You Must Do When Creating a Turnaround Plan

Friday September 9th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Is your company struggling financially?

If so, it may be time to create a turnaround plan. Turnaround plans assist companies in identifying the cause of underperformance; reverse it and return to profitability. There are a few essential elements to any financial turnaround business plan. Following are some basic actions and best practices to consider.

  1. Don’t waste time. If the company is performing poorly, don’t procrastinate. I’ve seen far too many financial disasters occur simply because managers and advisors are passive. If things are degrading, act now. Time can be your friend, or it can be your enemy. For turnarounds, unfortunately, it is too often the latter.

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Customer Relationship Management Is Not Just Software

Wednesday July 6th, 2016 at 7:15am
Written by Ray Eibel - Director of New Business Development

Recently, I was researching different Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software systems. At one point, while making the comparisons, I just shook my head thinking customer relationship management is not software, it is a philosophy. Sure, CRM software can be a good tool, but that is all it is, a tool.

I think the key word in this philosophy is “relationship” and I can promise you, no software system out there develops relationships; people develop relationships. Developing business relationships is not much different than developing personal relationships. It takes time, trust and respect to build any kind of relationship. Once you have this mindset, I think the rest comes easy.

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Is Running a Business like a Sport?

Monday May 16th, 2016 at 10:10am
Written by Chuck Mouranie - Partner and Managing Director

I find it interesting that everyone knows who won the big game, but few people know how their business is truly performing. I am not sure if this is a lack of availability of information, devoid of individual ownership, or simply a lack of interest.

Every team must have a goal. It could be winning the Stanley Cup, World Series, or increasing sales. Strong teams and companies both agree on a goal and laser focus their attention to attain the objective. All decisions are made within the backdrop of this target. They are similar of focus and every team member is on-board, driving to the bottom line --- winning.

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Are We in a Recession?

Wednesday April 13th, 2016 at 8:16am
Written by Chuck Mouranie - Partner and Managing Director

I find the talking heads from Fox Business and Bloomberg to be quite entertaining. They appear to have vast business and economic backgrounds, yet can’t agree on whether we have entered into recession or are on a path of expanding growth. They both could be right.

Traditionally, a recession is deemed to have occurred if the gross domestic product (GDP) shrinks for three consecutive quarters. This theory may no longer apply to a world economy. China’s GDP has declined to approximately 6.5% growth from double-digit territory. This is suspect as the Chinese Government restricts data defining the economy. In addition, Japan, Russia and the European Union economies have been in the tank for years. These reductions impact the US, and commodity prices (raw metals, oil, consumer goods, etc.) fall as these major world producers demand for these goods drop.

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How to Develop a High-Impact Succession Plan

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 at 9:01am
Written by Jennifer Giannosa - Senior Consultant

In its basic form, succession planning is a way to identify and develop professionals entering a leadership position. Transition is undoubtedly something every organization experiences - the ebb and flow of people entering and exiting various roles. Some organizations have mastered a process of continuous succession planning. Yet, many small and medium size businesses remain unprepared for sudden or imminent changes that require immediate action.

EDSI has identified a succession planning process to successfully address changes like retirement and loss of key people. The process focuses on the collection and analysis of specific data, allowing for highly customized solutions. One major focus of this process is certainly communication. Communication builds trust and subsequently reinforces a message to employees that their skills and experience are valued.

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Reflections on Dan and Chip Heath's Concept of Bright Spots

Wednesday March 16th, 2016 at 7:45am
Written by Kevin Watson - Director of Business Development

I was recently introduced to Dan & Chip Heath’s concept of “bright spots,” and I wanted to take a moment for reflection.

To watch Dan’s four minute video and read the article about this topic on Fast Company, please click on the following link:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1634997/dan-heath-how-find-bright-spots.


Here’s a small excerpt to illustrate the concept introduced in their book, Switch:

Let’s say your kid comes home one day and shows you this report card.









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When to Use an Asset-Based Lender

Tuesday January 26th, 2016 at 7:30am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Virtually every mature company has gone through rough financial times. If you’re around long enough, your company will go through rough times again. When this happens, you may get moved to your bank’s “Special Assets Group.” Many banks have different names for this group, but in generic terms, they are all “workout” groups. The purpose of a workout group is to reduce the bank’s risk. Typically, this is accomplished by getting rid of accounts that have become too risky. In some cases, the workout group will work with the company to remediate it, then return the company to the original lender. Unfortunately, this scenario occurs infrequently. Most workout scenarios require the company to find an alternative lender, then pay off the current bank.

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Using the Theory of Constraints as a Key Element in Your Growth Strategy

Wednesday August 26th, 2015 at 8:30am

Written by Jim Bitterle - Managing Partner with EDSI 

jbitterle@edsisolutions.com

 

As we work with clients to develop Growth and Diversification Plans (Strategic Plans), we consistently find constraints that limit a company’s ability to grow. Given this, it’s imperative that the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is integrated with your company’s strategy.

If you don’t know what TOC is, here it is in a nutshell. It’s a five-step process to identify and eliminate bottlenecks while achieving corporate goals. Here are the five steps:

  1. Identify the constraint (the process that limits the company’s throughput)
  2. Exploit the constraint
  3. Subordinate everything to the system’s constraint
  4. Elevate the system’s constraint
  5. Identify the next constraint
 

When applying TOC, we often find internal constraints such as equipment, working capital, skilled labor, etc. limit throughput. However, once these constraints are broken, the “market” becomes the next constraint. What does that mean? It means the company needs more sales.  

When sales become the constraint, it is important that the organization becomes entirely sales-oriented. Functions and processes that require modification often include:

  • Pricing
  • Quoting
  • The mix between new business development and account management activities
  • Promotions
  • Go-to-market strategies

If sales are your constraint, remember to apply TOC methodologies to keep everyone focused on elevating the business’s constraint. And if you’re creating a Growth and Diversification Plan, be sure to include TOC into your plan.

Click here for more information about Operational Improvement on our website. 

Founded in 1979, EDSI is a national leader in workforce development, customized training and consulting.

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Human Resources Today

The Tooling and Manufacturing Association would strongly suggest EDSI be selected for any workforce related initiative with the goal of developing a structured pipeline of employee candidates or improving the productivity of incumbent employees. Daniel Kiraly; Director of Education - Tooling and Manufacturing Association

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