Over the last few months we were dragged, at times kicking and screaming, back onto the road that is our lean journey. I try and incorporate lean into every aspect of my life. Yet honestly, I fail with staggering frequency.
Having ‘Kaizened’ most of my personal affairs, I now live leaner. It is actually liberating to own, and subsequently manage and maintain, less stuff. More on “stuff” in this post! I am now so organized that I know where all of my tools are. Admittedly, this is both a function of my drive to embrace lean, particularly 5S, and the fact that my boys are grown and out of the house, resulting in lower tool pilferage and misplacement metrics.
So, lean at home – going great. But applying lean to work processes requires both rigor and discipline. While I have been accused of being bright and creative, those who know me will agree, rigor and discipline are not yet part of my core DNA. I say ‘yet’ because I’m still working on it. Being lean is also about embracing the fact that lean organizations (and lean leaders) are learning centric. Still working on that too!
We mentioned LeanCor in a previous post. LeanCor is a growing and going Lean Supply Chain practice that helps multiple global brands streamline their end-to-end supply chain operations. In the words of CEO Robert Martichenko, during his acceptance speech for the Distinguished Service Award at this year’s CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals): Supply chain management professionals help organizations, “… create the environment so all the people in the world can have the right stuff, at the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity, with the right quality, and all at the right price.”
Seems simple enough?
I watched Robert deliver the opening line of a presentation to the same association ten years ago, in which he again heralded the virtues of ‘stuff’ with this zinger: “Lean is about not doing dumb stuff.” Martichenko is clearly a gifted pragmatist.
But, before I digress, here’s what we’re going to dive deeper into over the next few posts:
How the ‘getting the right stuff, at the right time, in the right quantity, with the right quality, at the right place, and all at the right price’ — applies to Marketing. Just like the excerpt from the acceptance speech above is dramatically over simplified for comedic effect, getting the ‘right stuff’ moved around for your sales and marketing teams may seem easy — but, it is not easy. The “stuff” that marketers use today is data. Data from a multitude of sources. Data that is dynamic and unstructured, in an environment that is perpetually changing.
In the 60 days following the deployment of a HubSpot Enterprise level Marketing Automation solution and a social campaign, page views increased dramatically with no drop in Time On Page, or increase in Page Bounces. During our engagement with LeanCor we got a lot of things right. In about 30 days we deployed HubSpot’s Marketing Automation solution, integrated it with their Saleforce.com CRM, and got the first Inbound Campaign in flight. In the 60 days that followed, active inbound campaigning with social marketing efforts resulted in page views climbing by 42%, with 75% of that traffic driven organically.
In spite of those successes, we also stumbled with incorporating some lean practices into our daily work (part of LeanCor’s culture), achieving mastery quickly with automated campaigns, lead nurturing with HubSpot, and staying within project scope. Also underestimated was the timeline for getting lead, to marketing qualified lead, to customer conversions hardwired — and the inter-dependencies that exist between lead nurturing and conversion.
There were lots of lessons learned, including why site optimization and understanding the visitor’s journey needs to get done first. We’ll share more on what went right, and what we’re working to improve upon, in the weeks to come.
In the interim, if you want to learn more about lean personally, or on behalf of your organization – there’s some ‘best of class’ materials’ on the subject here. As one would expect, LeanCor’s organization is lean. As a function of being lean, it is a learning organization. Given that it is a learning organization, they have become flat out effective at knowledge transfer, and their online course ware is filled with video, real-life examples, and interactions. It’s good ‘stuff’!