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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Mobile payments 2013 - Part 1

News

Industry Update

Bergeron steps down at VeriFone

New battles erupt in mobile wallet wars

LevelUp reaches 1 million users

Farewell to Mike Duffy

Trade Association News

Features

Research Rundown

Selling Prepaid

Selling Prepaid

Prepaid Expo features ducks on a pond

ISO opportunities at Prepaid Expo

Views

No changes in line for debit caps

Patti Murphy
ProScribes Inc.

Education

Street SmartsSM:
Don your 'brown shoes' and differentiate yourself

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Be a true expert adviser

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

The rewards of lean thinking

Dale S. Laszig
Castles Technology Co. Ltd.

It's time to change the conversation

Adam Moss
Charge Card Systems Inc.

Company Profile

projectprepaid

New Products

Big data for SMB market

Tranzlogic
Tranzlogic

Cloud-based business manager

Starter program
PaySimple

Inspiration

How are other people influencing you?

Departments

Readers Speak

Resource Guide

Datebook

Skyscraper Ad

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 25, 2013  •  Issue 13:03:02

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The rewards of lean thinking

By Dale S. Laszig

What do salespeople have in common with factories? Remember that without salespeople, no orders would be placed. And without orders, factories wouldn't operate. We have something else in common: both factories and salespeople are expected to produce, quarter after quarter, and year after year.

As the first quarter of 2013 draws to a close, it's time once again to ask ourselves how we're doing, to take stock and to evaluate performance. As we all know, it's not easy to step away from our fast-paced, high-pressure jobs to analyze last quarter's results. However, most merchant level salespeople (MLSs) find quarterly reviews essential to effective territory management.

Learning from earnings

Look at any earnings report, and you'll see a thorough evaluation of what went well, areas in need of improvement, and a near-term forecast. Most forward-looking statements are based to a certain extent on input from people like you and me, who manage territories and close sales. MLSs who don't work for public companies would still benefit from self-evaluation, asking tough questions, such as:

Follow the lean manufacturing playbook

Manufacturers recognize the importance of performance analysis and accurate forecasts. The concept of lean manufacturing, derived in the 1980s from the Toyota Production System, grew out of the idea of conserving energy while minimizing waste. The concept gained popularity with the 1996 book Lean Thinking, by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones.

Womack and Jones describe lean thinking as "a way to specify value, line up value-creating actions in the best sequence, conduct these activities without interruption whenever someone requests them, and perform them more and more effectively. In short, lean thinking is lean because it provides a way to do more and more with less and less - less human effort, less equipment, less time and less space - while coming closer and closer to providing customers with exactly what they want." So how does lean thinking lead to lean activities, and what strategies can MLSs use in their day-to-day routines that will help them do more with less?

Following are the five steps of lean thinking:

Being of value

Let's face it: We all have days when we feel like we're on an assembly line, cranking stuff out and trying to make our numbers. But we should also admit that we have great days - glorious, even - in this business.

To return to my original question: What do salespeople have in common with factories, besides making them possible? Whether we're building devices or relationships, both salespeople and factories play vital roles in creating value for our customers.

Dale Laszig is a writer and payments industry executive specializing in business development and sales performance improvement. She manages channel sales at Castles Technology and sales effectiveness programs through IMPAX Corp. and C3ET Credit Card Consortia for Education & Training Inc. She can be reached at 973-930-0331 or dale_laszig@castechusa.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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Spotlight Innovators:

North American Bancard | Harbortouch | USAePay | IRISCRM.COM | Humboldt Merchant Services