Building on Orry’s points, the Toyota Business System is about growth – and not simply efficiency.
And you can’t grow unless Sales is engaged.
The system comprises three ‘loops’ in fact: Design, Make, Sell.
As it happens, one of my favorite Toyota senseis, Shin-san, was a sales & marketing executive!
Most Lean transformations focus on the Make loop — and sub-optimize therefore.
A chaotic, lumpy sales profiles will force even the most splendid Lean factory out of its ‘sweet spot.’
We’ll have to buffer with inventory, lead time or capacity.
Engaging Sales, as Wiremold did, entails uncovering invisible governance obstacles.
Incentive structures are perhaps the most common.
Why do I produce a lumpy, chaotic sales profile? Because I get a big bonus thereby!
We also have to engage other non-Operations groups — Marketing, Design, Engineering, Planning & Scheduling…
(Pardon the plug — that’s what The Remedy – Bringing Lean Out of the Factory is about.)
A big challenge, but that’s why we have managers.
(As Shin-san use to say, “No problem, no need for managers!”)
Tip of the hat to Orrie, Art Byrne and the Wiremold leadership team, who saw all this a few decades ago!
So what’s this mean for Lean practitioners?
Like Wiremold, we need to zoom out & see the entire chessboard.