Wednesday, March 27, 2013

7 Questions I Have for an Operations Perfessional

We all know the old adage "Closed mouths don't get fed" and I am the queen of asking questions so here are 7 questions I want to know from Operations perfessionals who work in or partner with the fashion industry:

  1. What made you want to get into operations? 
  2. What classes do you recommend a student who is interested in working in operations? 
  3. What would you say is the difference between operations and logistics if any at all? 
  4. What advice would you give to small business owners about operations in the fashion industry? 
  5. Are there any distinct differences in operations for the fashion industry verses other industries?
  6. Is there any software that business owners should be aware of/familiar with? 
  7. If you could change one thing or make the operations industry more efficient what would it be? 
So far these are my questions and as I meet more professionals in fashion operations I will post my findings.  Until next time...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Operations and Small Business

"That is only something for big businesses to worry about, my business doesn't need to be concerned with that now."

This is definitely a phrase I have heard multiple times from small business owners regarding their lack of knowledge of operations and logistics, but the fact of the matter is it is more important than they are willing to realize for multiple reasons. So here are 3 reasons why small business owners should get comfortable with operations and logistics:

  1. It could save your company a lot of money - Efficiency in operations means that your business is getting the maximum outcome for a minimum output. Not to be mistaken with finding the cheapest way of doing things, investing more money in services that will streamline your business needs like payroll, invoicing, and PO processing can really make a difference in the long run. 
  2. It leaves you room to grow - Not all small business plan to stay that way. Many owners would come into our office with big dreams of being sold in all doors of the major department stores, but had no real idea of exactly how to execute that after the first couple of shipments. Learning the importance of operations and logistics now while taking heed to #1 and streamlining your business for efficiency you will find that as you expand it is a lot easier to maintain. 
  3. It can keep you out of a lot of unnecessary legal trouble - US Customs Services is one part of the government small business cannot afford to mess with. From holding shipments, to paperwork filing, on down to delivery to distribution centers, it can be a lot for one business owner to handle. It can be very expensive to have to fight the government who is holding your cardigans that look a lot more like a jacket than a sweater. 
I know that getting started is really difficult for many small business owners who are already swamped with loads to do and oversee, so I recommend getting on LinkedIn and see what groups and professionals you can "link" up with that will get you started looking in the right direction. First things first though, if you are a company of one, it might serve you well to get a part time assistant to help take the load off. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Marie Clare on Executive Presence

Happy Wednesday Travelers!

I hope your Christmases were awesome! I am spending it with my mother and as we speak, she and I should be on our way to Disneyland for the first time for both of us. (I am pre-writing this post so I will have to come back to confirm this)

Now, we all know that since I am in B-School I am obsessed with fashion and business (well, I have been more than normal anyway), and I have come across the article that was written on fashion magazine Marie Claire's Executive Presence panel they had a few months ago. You can read on it: Here. I have only read through it once so I will need to go back over some of the advice again, but I really do think that this is great for young women who are looking to get into the business world, not necessarily fashion but still if you have executive suite dreams then this is a good place to start taking notes on bad habits to chuck, styling tips, and success stories to start you off on the right foot!

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!!
photo source

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Articles Along the Way

Hola Travelers!

Along the course of the semester I don't have the time to really sit and write a blog post on every article that I read so here are a few articles that I came across along the way that I hope that you enjoy. The blog Business of Fashion does this all the time called the Daily Digest, I love that idea! So here is a "digest" of some articles collected throughout the semester.

From Forbes:

From Financial Times:
From Maria Shriver's Blog:
Happy Reading!

10 Lessons Learned from My @LMUMBAProgram Semester 1 Year 1 - Down

Happy Winter Break Travelers!!

I am done with my first semester of my first year of my MBA program. It has been a week since I have taken my last final and instead of giving some random recap I want to give you 10 lessons that I have learned this first semester that I will be taking into, and possibly forgetting by next fashion week (that should say finals week). So let's dig in:

  1. Editing is not just for Magazine Editors - After a certain point in the semester I was really overwhelmed with how much homework was assigned, on top of that I am an intern, and a research assistant for an undergraduate professor, so I still had work that was due for them as well. I had so much work due in one week I thought that I was going to throw up. So I had to edit. I have come to the conclusion that the objective of an MBA program is not that you do all the work that is assigned to you, but to teach you that you can't do everything so do you have the foresight to determine the important vs the urgent, and discern your basic needs for success, from there you will be able to edit your workload and become a better manager.
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is NOT the Way to Show How The Price Rate regulates itself in the Long-Run - I really am not a fan of the standard read-straight-from-the-bullet-points presentation style, so in my Econ class I decided that I was going to do the fun story-telling did not go well.....
  3. Paying Attention to Your Classmate's Learning Styles Pays Off - There is a lot of group work in the MBA program and it pays off to pay attention to your classmates learning styles, also class participation styles, and what works best with your personality You will be working with pretty much the same group of people for the next several years, as awesome as it would be to work with your new friends, the weird balding guy that sits in the back that you never talk to will definitely be the one with the 96 on your Econ exam while you and your friend are praying you don't get C's. Pick your study groups wisely!
  4. You Can Never Have Too Many Flashcard Apps - I have Chegg, Flascardlet, and Brainscape (a Flaschardlet supplement). Each of the apps quiz me in a different way and serve a purpose for different times of the semester. Now that I have them figured out I know that Chegg flashcards work best for me during the course of the semester between chapters, but for my exams Brainscape is more effective.
  5. Dropbox will save Your Group's Life - From class notes, to recorded lectures, updated group powerpoints, and exam study charts we really needed that DropBox folder and it was way less annoying than emailing back and forth a million times. I also keep all my other documents there so that I don't lose them if something happens to my computer, plus I can access and print them from my phone for whatever reason. 
  6. Recording Your Classes May Not be a Bad Idea - I listened to my Business Law classes over and over. I may not have gotten an A in that class but I do know that my grade would have been much worse if I was not able to go back and reference what the professor said.
  7. Rome May Not Have Been Built in a Day, but Sometimes Your Term Paper Will Be - And going back to professor totally did not like the paper that I spent weeks researching and after reviewing my draft said "You might what to pick a new topic" ....this was AFTER I had already presented on my current topic 1 week before the paper was actually due. So what did I do? I wrote a brand new paper in a week that I am sure was not my best work, but met the requirements of the assignment per his instructions.
  8. Just Deal with How Long You will Be There - I keep trying to take more classes than I should in one semester to get done with the program makes no difference and the cost will still be the same. Don't speed to the destination, just enjoy the journey (that's what this blog is all about anyway)
  9. Talk With Your Adviser - I really like our adviser, and I think that engaging her in our journey makes her a more effective liaison to the administration that builds our program. Tweet her, schedule an appt, I really think that when we have access to someone who can see the whole picture we are able to better navigate the part of our journey that we see.
  10. Do Not Feel Guilty about After-Finals Sloth - I have only been out a week and I feel like I should be doing something. Granted there are only two weeks between the other semesters so I won't have as much time to sloth about as I do now, but still. Take the pressure off and give yourself some time to be a bum. 
So there we have it. My first 10 lessons of graduate school. Have you learned any? What are they? Feel free to share them with me.

Happy Travels! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grey's, Growing ,and Galvanizing Greatness

Let's just dig in...

I have said it before and I will say it again, Shonda Rhimes holds my emotions in the palm of her hands with her shows Scandal and Grey's Anatomy on ABC, and it is yesterday's episode of Grey's "Beautiful Doom" that has inspired this post. I will not give details of the episode for those who have not seen it, however there are some amazing words of mentorship and encouragement that Dr Thomas (who we still call Mr Feeny) gave to Christina Yang (which I hope will be her comeback b/c I need some of that in my life) that resonates so strong with me. I won't post the entire speech but here is just a tidbit:

"Mediocre surgeons will see you and fell themselves wilting in your shadow; do not shrink to console them. Do not look for friends here, you wont find them. None of these people to have the capacity to understand you, they never will..."

Such powerful writing.

One reason why I personally love this show is for the growth of the characters. We have seen them go from interns all the way to attendings and to see the new career struggles (like Dr Bailey giving Meredith her babysitter list) have to be tackled. That is so true for us, but maybe we miss it. Being a research assitant for a professor who dedicates so much of her career to mentoring I have a greater appreciation for the above words of encouragement. For seasons now I feel like there has been a small pebble in the shoe of Christina's career and so now I am hoping that this episode will reignite the force that is Dr Yang. We all need something to galvanize our greatness as we move forward to building our careers.

I was speaking with my coworker as well as one of my sorority sisters (separately) about my current life and they both interrupted me and said "and you're bored" lol!! I am though..I wasn't expecting that but I am. I am bored, I am also single and accountable to only myself. I think that there was a community I was searching for, endorsement from an unknown source, and validation from fictional superiors, but I can't "look for friends here." My "here" is a different path, even I am still trying to figure it out which is why I blog.

So as I prepare to conclude my evening I encourage you to not shrink to console those that are wilting in your shadow, to not look for friends, but to find your greatness, be a teacher to those you see greatness in, and allow yourself to be taught by those that see greatness in you.

Night Travelers...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Well This Could Have Saved Me a Couple Thousand Dollars!

Happy Tuesday Travelers,

(I am going to stop calling you that...I'm over it) While doing research for a blog post I came up on FastCompany (a magazine I know very little about) and their vlog section "30 Second MBA." In this section FastCompany gives the CEOs of various corporations 30 seconds to answer the questions on topics ranging from conflict resolution to meeting preparation.

I have not watched too many of the videos but I thought I would put one here for you to enjoy and get something out of. Here is Mark Zuckerber, founder of FaceBook, answering How do you generate innovation?

Happy viewing!

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