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Andre Ramsaran

K-C Corporation Europe

Training Manager EMEA

Read more from Andre Ramsaran

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An introduction to LEAN for Sales and Marketing staff


To the great and the good of TZ,

I have been asked to look at creating an introductory session for sales and marketing staff on LEAN working.

Whilst I am able to find resources geared towards those at the manufacturing end of the spectrum I am having trouble finding resources, especially workshop exercises that cater to such a demanding group.

Your help would be most appreciated in helping me to find any appropriate resources.

4 Responses

  1. Lean intro

    We introduced Lean to our customer service teams a few years ago. As an introduction you can’t get away from Lean’s manufacturing heritage and you should explain the differences between Toyota’s lean management model and Ford’s command and control model. Once this is understood you can start drawing parallels with your own business. We concentrated on understanding the key principles of lean – identification and reduction of waste, putting the customer’s needs at the centre of our processes, integrated decision making – and comparing them to the command and control principles they were more familiar with. We also looked at practical examples to show lean’s worth from other industries and from our own organisation. In later sessions we built on how we were actually going to utilise lean and integrate it with our culture but for the introduction the main point was to get people excited about a new way of working that seemed very alien to many.

  2. Yeah but…..

    Thank you for your comments thus far, this is probably the most taxing thing I have had to deal with for a while…… you can tell!

    I have a plethora of material available, covering the hard information about LEAN. Whilst I understand the importance of achieving buy in from these sales and marketing guys (and gals), they are going to be far from impressed if I talk about Toyota and more manufacturing related concepts, especially if it does not relate to their immediate role, (they are famed for having very short attention spans!).

    I have started to put my hard information together, but with that in mind, I just don’t want to talk at them for two hours, I need to keep them "amused" and make them aware of LEAN at the same time!

    I do take your point about about mental models…….but as the song goes, " the road is long and may be a winding one!"…..and certainly the LEAN journey is not a quick one!

     Still if anyone has any ideas for a short snappy exercise or two, please reply.







  3. Value and Failure

     Hi I work for a company that is geared towards Sales through Customer Service.  To quickly get the group to grips with one of the basic principles, (value/failure) ask them about what demand they deal with in their day to day role, and then get them to group these into ‘value demand’ and ‘failure demand’.  Then facilitate discussion around difference between the two, also why we would need to identify these.  Take group on to look at some of the value they have identified, map the process, is there any waste in the process that can be eliminated?  Also don’t forget to revisit the failure demand that they have identified and seek ways into how this can be reduced.

    You do not need to go into great detail with the above, or spend too much time on it, but may well help in getting the group enthused about the topic (if they want to make a difference in the company they work for)

    I know this is not what you are looking for, as is not short and snappy, but should really help in getting them to consider how it can fit in with their role and be relevant.

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Andre Ramsaran

Training Manager EMEA

Read more from Andre Ramsaran

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