What Sales Can Learn From Lean Manufacturing — Part 4

By Dave Brock

Lalmch / Pixabay

We’re almost through the 14 principles of lean manufacturing that underlie the Toyota Production System (TPS). If you haven’t read the three preceding articles, you may find them helpful: What Sales Can Learn From Lean Manufacturing, Part 2, and Part 3.

So far we’ve looked at the Philosophy of TPS, which provides the foundation for everything. It’s interesting, while these 4 philosophies are the foundation for the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing, they have nothing do do with manufacturing. They are sound business practices. Supporting the 4 philosophies are the 14 principles. We’ve completed the first 9, today we’ll wrap up the remaining 5 principles.

Principle 10: Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your company’s philosophy. It’s become clear that TPS is a very people focused process. So often we think of lean manufacturing as representing the ultimate in factory automation and technology utilization. But the developers of TPS recognized that people are at the core of making any of this work. Principle 9 focused on the leadership roles. Principle 10 extends this to the entire team. It recognizes the importance of several things in driving the highest levels of performance: You have to get the right people, you have to develop them to achieve the highest levels of performance, and it’s critical they be aligned with the culture and values of the organization.

It’s easy to see how this principle applies directly to building the strongest teams of marketing and sales professionals. But too often we overlook elements of these–as a result, we aren’t optimizing our ability to market and sell. We can see, if we don’t execute this principle well, it has adverse impacts on many of the other principles, ultimately creating problems or challenges in achieving our goals.

Principle 11: Respect your extended network of partners and suppliers by challenging them and helping them to improve. This is very important for sales and marketing. If you go back to principles 2 and 3 (create continuous flow, use pull systems), TPS basically linked very complex series of process steps dependent on each other. The station downstream of your work station was your customer. You produced your work based on the your customer’s need or pull. Your goal was to provide a defect free product to them, so they in turn could add their value providing a defect free product to the next station, and so on to the ultimate customer. Likewise, you are the customer to the station upstream from yours. Their job was to respond to your demand (pull) and provide a defect free product to you.

You can trace these steps all the way back to the beginning of the manufacturing line. But it didn’t stop there–where did the inputs come from? They could have come from outside suppliers, they could have come from other parts of the company. As a result, to optimize the production systems, there is a huge dependency on Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

Be Sociable, Share!