The article titled Fixing Leans Sales Problem (Tips from a Recovering Salesperson) discusses the fact that proposed new strategies including those which incline towards lean production can only be embraced by an organization if the managers accept them. It exposes the difficulty that one has to contend with when convincing managers to embrace lean manufacturing even when it is effectiveness has been proven in other fields. In essence, the author places the organization management at the center of lean manufacturing since their stances, decisions, and choices determine the course that the institution takes. It underscores the burden of making organizational management to deliberately adopt the lean process. In fact, he condenses the burden of selling the lean concept to manufacturing organizations into one direct statement that lean has a sales problem.
The author invokes psychological concepts such as the fact that even the most rational argument cannot be easily adopted by individuals if they do not emotionally embrace it. The writer provides a subtle explanation of how winning the support of senior management helps entities in selling even the most expensive, disruptive and risky techniques such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The article points to some fundamental strategies that can be used in influencing organizations to embrace lean manufacturing. While loathing the benefits of lean production, he asserts that for a complete paradigm shift towards lean processes to be adopted in organizations, the consulting firms and lean advocates must focus on winning the express support of senior managers. In essence, the writing illuminates the pervasive role of management in operation of firms hence shows where lean advocates should focus.
From the article, it is clear that the business management controls virtually every internal operation hence their support of lean manufacturing is the only plausible way of introducing the approach into any organization. Therefore, lean advocates must align their sales agenda to the corporate agenda of the target business as a way of getting the approval from the senior managers. Other factors that a successful lean advocate must consider in making businesses embrace the lean production strategy include aligning the advocacy to pressures controlling the industry in general, activities of competitors that can be leveraged through lean manufacturing, the backgrounds of execute officers tasked with controlling corporate activities and the factors that influence the decision making process of top management. Without these considerations, it is likely that a firm will become adamant to adopt the lean process.
One critical information from the article is that the identification of sources of challenges, which are also called pain points in the operations of a business helps lean advocates in aligning their advocacy to the most pressing needs. Through identifying these pain points, the lean advocate attains a high probability of winning the corporate goodwill. Some of the sources of these challenges include poor financial management, low employee morale and unsustainable productivity, interdepartmental dysfunction, and rising costs of production amidst declining quality of produce. In doing this, an advocate builds a strong case as to why any reasonable management should adopt lean adoption. Therefore, the advocate should present lean strategy as an effective way of easing the corporate pain.
Based on the information from the article, lean is an approach is a means to an end but may not be adopted by the business if the managers are not convinced about it. Therefore, it is important that lean advocates provide practical applications of the concept in business operations instead of merely focusing on the outcomes of its application such as increased productivity, high-quality products or minimize losses. The campaign for lean should be specific, informative, precise and unambiguous. For instance, one should focus on tracing how lean results in better financial management, improved employee morale or competitive production levels.
Stoller J. (January 23, 2018). Fixing Leans Sales Problem (Tips from a Recovering Salesperson). The Lean Post. Retrieved from https://www.lean.org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=838
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