Lean Frontiers: Are they differences in getting middle management on board from getting executive management support?
Are there differences in getting middle management from executive management on board for 1) developing the lean enterprise and 2) direct engagement on their part? What are the differences, if any?
Posted on May 9, 2015
Archives by Tag 'sales'
Dave Brunt

Dave Brunt: Purpose, Process, People in Sales

By Dave Brunt, - Last updated: Thursday, December 20, 2012
My initial reaction, when first reading this question is to quote the famous phrase from the Training Within Industry materials – “If the learner hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” However this is a good question and one that deserves some discussion. As someone who has spent 14 years helping create examples of lean in car dealerships I have some hypotheses and some experience of the challenges of implementing lean in sales. Obviously understanding the root cause of failure is situational but here are my general observations. 1. Purpose is not always clearly understood. Different customers are at different stages in their ...

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Jeff Liker

Daniel T Jones: Why is lean in sales so hard?

By Jeff Liker, - Last updated: Thursday, December 20, 2012
I have struggled with this question ever since we compared the striking differences between car distribution in Japan, Europe and North America in the “Dealing with Customers” chapter of The Machine that Changed the World. I spent the next decade researching every aspect of car distribution in the International Car Distribution Programme (www.icdp.net) and helping the grocery retailer Tesco to pioneer lean in grocery distribution and sales. My colleague Dave Brunt spent time as the lean champion at the Porsche sales company in the UK and has more recently had considerable success in coaching lean dealers across the world, based ...

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Samuel Obara

Sammy Obara: Lean in Sales starts with Genchi Genbutsu and PDCA

By Samuel Obara, - Last updated: Monday, December 3, 2012
Interesting notes from different perspectives. The little I know about sales and its TPS practice comes from joint efforts when they were teamed up with us, production engineering, in my old days at Toyota. 1)      They did genchi genbutsu to its full extent.  A few examples:  Once, we went w/ sales people to the port of Santos in Brazil to follow up cars arriving from TMC to be sold in the Mercosur market.   Also, when in Japan, their first several weeks on the job included selling cars door to door.  Another example when I ...

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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: If we focus on eliminating the wastes associated with the selling process first, we can capture the imagination that lean and sales are great partners!

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: Monday, November 26, 2012
Lean failing to capture the imagination of the sales team…what a question!  Our sales team loved the fast lead times. Our sales team loved the improved quality. Our sales team loved rapid pace of new product offerings. We loved to leverage the web for selling.  But just as every other department outside of manufacturing, the improvement cycle was not grasped without some tangible structured introduction of the power of eliminating waste in the process.  The sales team was certainly interested in activities that would make the sales job easier:    getting marketing ...

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Arthur Byrne

Art Byrne: If the CEO sees lean as a business strategy, he/she will involve sales from day one

By Arthur Byrne, - Last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012
the answer to your question has to go deeper than just trying to explain “why lean has failed to capture the imagination of the sales team”. The issue isn’t so much sales but rather a lack of understanding of lean. If you think of lean as “some manufacturing thing”, and probably 95% of all companies and CEO’s view it this way then this should not be surprising. Heck, lean is most commonly called “lean manufacturing” so even manufacturing companies are confused about what lean really is. Lean is a business strategy. You can think of it as a time based ...

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Orry Fiume

Orry Fiume: Get field sales people to participate in shop floor kaizens!

By Orry Fiume, - Last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012
I agree with the observation that the Lean movement has failed to recognize the importance of the sales team in capitalizing on Lean as a growth engine.  And I believe that the answer goes back to when we in the western world first started to become aware of what the "Japan, Inc" (AKAToyota) was doing.  It first manifested itself as "Just In Time" and we interpreted that as "just in time inventory management".  Later we recognized that JIT was part of something larger and we called that the "Toyota Production System".  But we ...

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Joel Stanwood

Joel Stanwood: Why has the Lean movement largely failed to capture the imagination of the sales team?

By Joel Stanwood, - Last updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Most management teams who testify to having implemented Lean will describe financial impact in terms of shop floor efficiency improvement – direct labor productivity, overtime reduction, inventory velocity, floor space utilization, etc. Paradoxically, in terms of company economics, the most alluring promise of Lean is to boost sales, delivering ever higher variable contribution margins while delighting customers and winning in the marketplace. Yet the language of Lean to unlock the growth engine of the company rarely enters the sales vernacular, and in general, sales professionals are far less likely to ...

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Art Smalley

Art Smalley: Satisfy the Customer in the Long Run for Sales and Profits

By Art Smalley, - Last updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012
I think we are falling into the trap of discussing “production tactics” as a root cause solution without really understanding the problem. Apologies in advance but I would have to back track first and clarify the situation in greater detail before I could answer the question. I will provide some context for what I mean and some thoughts on the short term and long term in terms of actions required. For starters I’d like to point out the Toyota Production System aka “Lean” sets out to satisfy the customer and provide maximum profits for the company in the long run. ...

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Jean-Baptiste Bouthillon

Jean-Baptiste Bouthillon: how to follow Takt with falling sales?

By Jean-Baptiste Bouthillon, - Last updated: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
We have all learned that overproduction is muda, and that production must follow the takt of customer demand. Is there a lean way of dealing with falling sales ? Should we just adjust production to customer takt time or stabilize sales by giving rebates ? Is it important to level sales and give some stability to production or should we just adjust the production takt time ?
Michael Balle

Michael Ballé: Quality = Sales is the hardest lean lesson for management

By Michael Balle, co-author of The Gold Mine and The Lean Manager - Last updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Thanks for asking the question – the difficulty in getting senior executives to focus on quality has to be my number one frustration with teaching lean (number two being people engagement). I have been puzzled for years how come all our Toyota teachers always started with quality, but somehow we never took that onboard as we did lead-time reduction or spot waste elimination. To my mind, the question is: why can’t we capture senior management’s interest on quality? The first issue appears to be the mindset of price = volume. In Ohno’s terms, I’m increasingly convinced that this is a misconception. ...

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