In the perfect world, Product would always be in the warehouse awaiting sale so that the sales team can reach and exceed their sales targets every month. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the perfect world. Life gets in the way!!!
Our role as the production and operations teams is to ensure that the product IS in the warehouse for the sales team to sell, otherwise we haven’t done our job. I am not talking about compromising product quality or professional accountability, I am talking about Compliant Productivity, where we provide the product to the warehouse on time and in full, at the correct quality standards and within budget.
The most important aspect of Operations is that it is a team sport. Each member of the team plays an important role and no role is more important than another. Added to this is the fact that each member of the team is accountable to the other team members and all are accountable to the business. The Captain’s role is to support the team in their individual roles and the Manager must create the environment where everyone understands the game plan, has the tools and can focus on the game without worrying about outside interference. This team only wins when the product is in the warehouse available for sale.
Keeping with the sport metaphor, Are we amateurs or professionals? Amateurs all chase the ball at the same time, while professionals clearly understand the role they play in the team including the communication and relationships needed to optimize that performance.
So, how can we achieve this? Looking at it from a supply perspective, if you are expecting your sales team to sell product that you are still producing, all you are doing is placing unnecessary pressure on the planning, production, quality control, regulatory and maintenance departments. In this scenario, every order becomes a crisis and needs to be expedited. The bigger picture is even worse, a lost sale is lost and can never be recaptured.
Ever heard of the saying “More haste less speed”? Excessive focus on crises forces our eye off the ball, and very often to the man. When this happens, the entire team structure is jeopardised, team work falters and our deliverables become excuses. Sales can’t sell excuses!