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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems

Helping Customers achieve Operational Excellence Guest was Tricia Bhattacharya of Xerox

Related Podcast: Xerox Operational Excellence Program

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia Bhattacharya is currently a Worldwide Segment Marketing Manager for the Xerox Graphic Communications Business Group. In this role, she is responsible for developing marketing programs focused on in-plant environments. Tricia holds a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Her 19-year career at Xerox has spanned roles from product development to marketing and she holds several patents for technologies developed while working on high-speed color product innovations. She earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College, an ME in Mechanical Engineering from RIT, and an MBA from the Simon School at the University of Rochester Tricia authored the Xerox Guide to Operational Excellence. It introduces a five-step plan to help in-plants remove waste like overproduction and idle time. The five steps are: 1. Understand the Goal 2. Measure the Current State 3. Analyze Data 4. Develop a Plan 5. Implement and Track Results.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe Dager: Tricia Bhattacharya is currently the Worldwide Segment Marketing Manager for Xerox Graphic Communications Business Group. In this role, she's responsible for developing marketing programs focused on in-plant environments. She has developed a guide to operational excellence. Tricia, would you complete that introduction and tell me what you do at Xerox. And, what prompted you to write “The Operational Excellence Guide�. Tricia Bhattacharya: "The Guide to Operational Excellence" was really conceived based on my experience as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and my experience at Xerox. I've been with Xerox for almost 20 years; it'll be 20 years next year. In that time, I've had a lot of experience with in-plant print shops; which are the print shops that serve another organization, their own organization. So this would be a print shop that serves a university or a school district or a company or a non-profit organization. What I've found over the last few years is that these print shops due to the economic crisis worldwide, that their parent organizations are looking at them as cost centers, which many of them are, and really scrutinizing them as far as the value that they bring to the organization. So one of the things that they have to do is make sure that they are operating in the most efficient way possible; and I thought with Xerox and all of focus on Lean Six Sigma, why don't we develop something that print shops can use to help themselves run a little more efficiently. As a Black Belt, I thought some of these concepts are not really too difficult, Lean Six Sigma has almost a stigma attached to it that it's very difficult and very hard to apply to a smaller business or a medium sized business. I kind of took some of the simpler concepts out of a Lean Six Sigma tool set, put them in this guide, and kind of renamed it "Operational Excellence." Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: Well the first thing anybody thinks of Six Sigma is the parts per million and accuracies and variability and the things you're try to overcome with it. It seems like a huge undertaking. So what you're saying, just the normal guy can use Six Sigma practically. Tricia: Right, that's what I believe. I believe there's a lot of value in really taking a well thought approach to looking at problems, measuring problems, solving problems, developing solutions. I believe that there could be a disciplined approach to that, that Lean Six Sigma brings, or a Lean Six Sigma process brings. Without getting into advanced statistical tools, like Minitab, ANOVA, things like that, that would be something beyond an average person's capabilities. I believe that there are many other tools that can be used effectively in a way that will improve an operation. Joe: I always thought Six Sigma did themselves a disservice by putting the Six in front of it. 'It is a good methodology, but it made it seem unobtainable to the masses. Is that kind of a fair way to look at it? Tricia: Yeah, I do think so. For example, one of the first things that we were taught, here at Xerox is develop a SIPOC; which is Supplier Input Process Output and Customer diagram. To understand who the inputs into your process are and what do you output, who really your customer is. So, that's an example of something, that I think anyone can grasp, anyone can understand, and fill out that worksheet. I think it brings a lot of value to an organization; the process of doing that type of activity. Joe: I think you started out with just what people shy away from when they hear Six Sigma; 'there's so many acronyms applied to it. Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: A SIPOC is a chart, a diagram. In the guide we actually give a template that people can fill out, and it basically says: a column with 'S' for Supplier, a column with an 'I' for Input, a 'P' for Process, an 'O' for Output, and a 'C' for Customer. What we're asking the in-plant to do is say, OK you have a certain process for delivering your output, and you have certain inputs into your process. Now as a team, make sure you understand what your process is, what your outputs are, who really are your customers; and then what do you require as inputs into your process and who supplies those. It's a great way to visually understand what the in-plant does, what the output is, who really the customer is. And it gets the team on the same page with understanding the role of the organization. Joe: Do you go into the value-stream mapping or process-type mapping things then? Tricia: We do, yes. We do get into process mapping. That's one of the key components of the guide; because we want to make sure that our customers look at their processes and break them down into business value-add, non value-add, and customer value-added steps. They can look at different processes within the in-plant and really lean them out to create a process that's much better than the original one. One of the things we found is the many processes exist because they've existed, and they've not necessarily been optimized or people don't always understand why certain things occur in the way that they occur. Of course, sometimes there are bottlenecks that occur in any kind of production process; which an in-plant print shop is a production process. So the idea of looking at their processes that they think might need a little bit of help, and really breaking them down into their components and analyzing their components is another key concept within the guide. Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: What I liked about looking at the guide is that even though you put the SIPOC, and process mapping steps; you gave examples of it. You also gave questions that prompted someone to walk them through the process. I thought that was interesting, 'just giving someone a blank piece of paper, it's like, where do I start. You kind of started that conversation for them. Was that intentional? Tricia: Absolutely. We wanted to try to give example of potential things that can improve upon, to give them ideas of how they could start to improve their operation. Some of the things we said there's turn-around time, but there's things they may not have thought of; like an issue with safety violations or service levels, response time, things like that. That they can improve upon. We've also found that a lot of in-plants aren't even sure of where they are, with respect to a lot of metrics like this. We're encouraging in-plants to really, if you think you may have an issue in a certain area, start to measure where you are with that; with that particular metric. You think about how you might measure it, and then start to measure that. One tool we talk about is control charting, it is amazing how many in-plants aren't looking at the volume they produce and plotting that to look at maybe what some cyclical trends might be, or future trends of, for example, black and white and color. What we're finding is that color is really, really taking off, and in-plants may get to the point where the type of equipment that they have in their print shop may not meet future needs. So, things like control charting help them to understand trends, as well as cyclical types of activities or things that might be affecting their operation. Joe: When you say "in-plant", what specifically do you mean by that? Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: An in-plant is a print shop that serves the needs of their own organization. So if it's a government agency, it's the print shop that is located within that agency. If it's a university, it's the print shop that's part of the university or school district. Things like that. Corporations, many times, have in-plant print shops that create materials for the corporation, such as collateral or presentations or signage. Any type of print that the corporation needs or the organization needs, that in-plant serves the needs of the organization in that way. Joe: Let’s just walk through the guide. You started out and went through a high-level SIPOC process map and a project charter. Then, you jump down into the steps. The first one was understanding your goal and, how do you start? Just kind of walk me through the guide, if you could a little bit. Tricia: Sure, the first step, instead of doing the traditional DMAIC or DMADV types of approaches to Lean Six Sigma, we wanted to make this something that anyone could understand. We didn't want to get into heavy Lean Six Sigma speak, let's say. We said the first step is to really understand your goal, or understand what you might want to improve upon, and we give some examples of things they might want to look at. As part of that, we say well, the SIPOC is important, brainstorm what kind of metrics that you might need to understand. As part of this, you might want to do a high level process map. A very important tool is a project charter. It's a written document of what the problem is, what the business impact is, what your goals are, what's the scope of the project, what's the team, and what's the plan for getting an improvement done? Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems This project charter is so important to keep every in agreement, to keep the team energized with what you're trying to improve. But also, for an in-plant to communicate to their senior management the steps that they're taking to make sure that they are operating in an efficient manner. When the senior management is looking at the in-plant and saying, well, is this a cost to my business, or is it really a cost savings to my business? The senior manager can get an assurance that the in-plant is working to make themselves the most efficient in-plant that they can be. That's really the first step about understanding your goal and characterizing where you are and what you're trying to accomplish. The most important thing is to understand that, document it, and create some team focused on it that everyone is on the same page with what you're trying to improve. Joe: So really, it's like, why do we exist, and what's the purpose of proceeding with this whole documentation and this effort, right? Tricia: Yeah, exactly. That's exactly what it is. Joe: As I mention before, I liked that it was written in simple English. I think that's a lot of the problems that people have when they see them names of Six Sigma, and it kind of backs them up. The same example with Lean, when you see all the Japanese terms it seems like you're in a different world!

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: It absolutely does. The other thing we tried to do is put in examples of the concepts. One of my favorite examples, it happens in step three, which is "analyze your data." But we included a few other things in there, such as five S and what we call "spaghetti diagramming “or "work distance travel chart." One of the examples we threw in there, that I think everyone can relate to, is when you plan a kitchen -- kitchen geometry. You want to make sure that your sink, and your stove, and your refrigerator are planned out in such a way that's an efficient work triangle. That concept, I think, translates itself to a work environment. But you want to make sure your work environment is organized in such a way that you don't have wasteful movement. We tried to incorporate real-life examples that people could relate to, and then apply to their everyday or their work environment. Joe: One of my favorite blog posts I did was “A U-shaped work cell, the kitchen”. It really does draw that out, some very simple things like that. It makes you think about your office environment. Do you really set it up in an u-shaped work cell? Tricia: Very true. I'm sure my office could improve in that way as well. Joe: You've got the project charter, you've got the vision, you've got the goal, and you kind of define the scope of the work. You go to the second step. I think you said it is, understanding the current state or what you're doing now. Is that difficult for people? Tricia: Many times. I believe that it is, in terms of sometimes the data is not easily available. Or, they may have a lack of resources to take the data and do something with it, even if it is available. The important take-away from this step, which we call "measure Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems your current state," step 2, is how do you understand if you've made any improvements if you don't really know where you're starting from. It's extremely important to take those metrics that you've figured, that you've brainstormed in step 1, and try to baseline those metrics so you know whether or not you've made any improvements throughout this process. If you don't do that, you have no idea whether or not you made any improvements, what those improvements are. It is very important for in-plants these days, is communicating those improvements with senior management. Joe: In the guide you've got a little thing on the side where you show a process, a little picture or a little story, that I thought was real interesting, on the why and the how of that exact step. In the current state, it was on reflections on a cup of coffee. I thought that was a very good added thing, because it simplified the process for someone, versus making it seem like these are huge issues that you've got to overcome to understand your process. Tricia: Exactly. Within each step, we tried to include real life situations that reflect upon what we're trying to teach. In that particular example, we talked about how, within a Seattle-based coffee company, how it doesn't matter where you go in the world, but that if you order a Caramel Macchiato in London versus New York City versus Los Angeles, you're always going to get the exact same caramel macchiato. The reason why is because they have well-documented processes and process controls in place that allow for very little variation within their process of producing a cup of coffee. We tried to include those types of examples throughout the guide, so it brings what we're trying to teach to a realistic level. Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: We still need data, and one of the things you talked about was control charts. But control charts isn't this big word, it's pretty simple. It can be just a monthly volume or something. Could you define a control chart, so it doesn't seem so overwhelming to some people? Tricia: A control chart is a pretty simple concept. It's plotting whatever you’re interested in plotting, such as print volume, or safety violations, or timeliness, things like that. It's plotting whatever metric you're interested in through time. It could be monthly, it could be daily, and those are probably the two biggest, the two most common metrics. Eventually, what you would want to look at, if you have a process that you want to keep pretty consistent, if you want to do...you'd want to set upper limits and lower limits on that control chart. So you know when something goes out of, what we call, out of control. If you're in the case of safety violation, you want to make sure that it's below a certain threshold. Plotting those gives you an idea of where you are today, as well as any trends that may be in play due to daily trend or monthly trends and that type of thing. Joe: It's a great idea to see really some of the variants that happens during the month or week. If you're just writing on a control chart daily, you can see spikes on Friday, spikes on Thursday. Well, that would create other issues, and maybe use other resources differently. Tricia: Absolutely. And a great example is, with certain times of the year, in certain industries, there are month-end spikes, there are quarter-end spikes, there are year-end spikes. In the case of a university, there's a huge push to get, recruit new students at certain times of the year, which means there's huge spikes in print volume. The print shop Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems has to make sure that their staff appropriately for those times, or they end up sending work out and maybe paying a lot more to have that done. There might be times of the year where print volume can drop dramatically. Then it's time to look at some of the resources in the print shop, and where they can be utilized in a better way. Such as equipment maintenance, or helping to market the print shop internally, things like that. One of the most important things that I try to talk about when I talk about making processes and operations efficient in a print shop, is to make sure that people understand that this isn't a plan for getting rid of people. This is a plan for utilizing people in a much better manner. I think that's another thing that a lot of folks may be afraid of when they hear about lean or lean techniques. That it means that they're going to reduce their headcount, or reduce their staff and that's not at all what this is about. It's about utilizing your staff in a more efficient manner. Joe: I think that it is really important for people to realize. In my opinion of if you're not and you don't operate at the highest efficiency you can, that's when the place disappears and it's outsourced someplace else. Tricia: Oh, absolutely. There are a lot of commercial printers out there trying to win the business that is going to the print shop. So there's many commercial printers calling on the parent organization, and telling them that they can do it. That they can print much cheaper or in a higher quality manner. The in-plant needs to be very, very cautious and Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems understanding that they need to operate in an efficient manner in order to deliver those benefits to their organization. The benefit really is cost savings. Because they're part of the organization, they should be able to deliver print at a rate that's less than what the organization should buy outside. Joe: We just naturally flowed into step three. We started analyzing the data. Before we get there, do you see the tendency that you start problem solving and start analyzing before you're really done with step two? Until you're really done and have the current state constructed well? Tricia: Absolutely, there's certain analysis that happens in step two and there could be quick wins identified in that step; which I think that people should go do. But it's important to have some discipline in going through the steps, and not to draw conclusions too quickly. Allow the process to work; which includes in step three analyzing your data, involving your team, understanding those detailed process maps and really looking at processes and identifying steps that are not value add. Another tool that we include in this step is what we call "5s"; which is an approach to simplifying a workspace. It stands for Sort, Set and Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. It's a systematic approach for maintaining an organized and high-performance workspace. This is something that I've actually seen 5s checklists at our local grocery store. I've seen 5s checklist at a local craft store, that's actually a nationwide craft store. So it is starting to enter mainstream America, with some of these Lean Six Sigma concepts. Joe: You really get serious about workflow. Because that's really the crux of it, isn't it? Isn't that something that you really grab a hold of and is really the essence of this project? Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: Well the core is around processes and the lean side of things, reducing waste. 5s and spaghetti diagram, I call them tools to use to improve your workspace and how you're work is flowing. Joe: I think you've got a great spaghetti diagram example in there, but then you go into a process map. It's pretty complete. Was that taken from that spaghetti diagram? Tricia: The spaghetti diagram was a real customer that had both offset and digital printing, and was looking at improving their shop. Then the process map that we included, we tried to include what we call a bindery process. Which is after you print all of your stacks of paper, then how do you bind them and what kind of process does it go through. In the guide, it shows that it's pretty extensive; the bindery process can be very, very extensive. If you have to crease a page or cut a page, and bind it, trim it. There are many steps in binding. So we just wanted to show that as a typical process in a print shop, and where there really is non-value added activity that can be optimized. Joe: How do you know the level of depth to go with the process map? Do you include everything, from when someone's walking from here to here? How do you know what level, really, to go to in a process map? Tricia: That's a great question. We tried to include the most important; we tried to get to a pretty good level of detail. But, walking from here to there is important, because it's time that is wasted, potentially. It's not only time that's wasted, but its energy that's wasted. So, we do get down to a pretty granular level of detail in the process mapping, but there has to be some kind of judgment that comes into play. I think that a lot of that is based on Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems experience of folks. As they start to utilize these types of tools, they can figure out the level that they need to get to. Joe: So you've done this, I mean you're sitting here looking at it, and you've straightened out, I guess you've evolved a plan to implement. Is that the next step? Tricia: The next step is developing your plan, and there are different tools that we talk about in this step. So, things like brainstorming. It's a pretty simple thing that most people understand, but we talk about the rules of brainstorming. Because many people need a little reminder about how to encourage creativity and things like that. Simple tools such as benefits/efforts matrices. So, looking at different solutions and plotting them on a scale, where you're Y axis is the benefit of implementing that solution and your x axis is the effort involved in implementing that solution. This tool is pretty powerful, because it shows which solutions may be implementable within the next couple weeks, which require much longer lead time to implement. What I found in using this tool actually, is sometimes those high benefit/high effort solutions are the things that you want to strategically plan for in the next year or two with your budgeting or the strategy of the print shop, maybe in terms of acquiring new software or tools or new equipment even to help efficiency. Joe: I think it's a great visual aid, because you're exactly right. I mean, the higher the effort, doesn't necessarily mean you don't want to do it, it's just you have to plan for it.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: Exactly, and part of planning it also, in some of these solutions, when you implement them, you might have to change your process a little bit. And one of things we talk about in this step is, the importance of if you do develop a new process, the importance of looking at those critical steps and understanding how they might fail. Because you need, in order to develop a robust process, you have to almost plan to fail, and make sure that you're mitigating that as part of your process. Joe: So what your saying is that you've got to kind of draw a worst-case scenario, or what may go wrong with whatever you change? Tricia: Yeah, we actually explain a tool called "failure mode and effects analysis", which is probably the most complicated tool in this whole guide. We tried to bring Lean Six Sigma down to a very layman's understandable level. But the failure mode/effects analysis really is a rigorous tool to show how key inputs or key process steps could fail. And what controls or procedures are either existing or could you put in place to make sure that doesn't fail. Are there any sensible checks in the process? Can you safeguard against it? Things like that. So, it's making sure that people understand that when you put in a new process, that you need to make sure that you're safeguarding against failure as you're doing that. Joe: To minimize the risk of it I think is so important, because that's where people...it's kind of like the old home run thing. The guy that leads in home runs also leads in strikeouts normally. Tricia: Very true. As a Phillies fan, I can attest to that. Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: You have to be careful there, because maybe he's not the guy you want up in the ninth inning? Joe: The last step, I really want to compliment you on the guide here, because so many people, especially in books. I'll read 300 pages about the whole process about what you should do. At the end there are two pages on hot implement it. You left room at the end of the guide on how to implement it You gave as much space to that section as you did the others. So that's a compliment, because most people stay away from that. They usually sum it up and say, "Now go out and implement it." Tricia: Right, and it sounds simple, but it's always the reminder, that now that you've done all this work, now you need to make sure that it gets implemented. You need to have a process for doing that. We just created a very simple action plan, and an example of implementation plan. We give suggestions on how to keep that on target, on track. Then finally, the other point that we're trying to make in this section, is when you finish, you're not really done because this is a cycle. So, then it's time to look at the next thing that you want to improve. So it's a constant process. It's not that it ends at step 5, it just brings you back to the beginning. Then the last important point that we want to make in this step, is to communicate those impacts to senior level. Because, it is so important for an in-plant to keep their operation in the minds of senior management as an asset to the parent organization. Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joe: How does Xerox use this document? What's the purpose of it at Xerox for creating and using this document? Tricia: Well, the purpose is that we value our customers, and we have a lot of customers in in-plants. For those smaller customers that may need a little help in this area but don't necessarily want to hire a consultant, or may not have the funds to hire a consultant or a black-belt to come in. We wanted to give them some tools that they could really learn on their own, and implement on their own. So it's part of the value of being a Xerox customer. Joe: This guide is available to Xerox customers, and they can request it how? Tricia: They just ask their sales rep for a copy of the guide, and it's free to them. Our sales rep will order it out of our inventory and deliver it to them to help them improve their operation. Joe: Does Xerox offer any services to explain the guide? Or is your salesman trained in the guide? They don't necessarily have to be a black-belt, but do they understand what's going on in the guide that they can explain some of the steps for you? Tricia: We do have Business Development Reps who can explain some of the steps if they need it. We also offer a Brainshark, that is online training for the guide. So if people don't want to read the guide, they can go online it will explain everything step by step as well. Joe: Is there something that you would like to mention that maybe I haven't asked about or talked about in the guide? Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901


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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Tricia: Well, I think one thing I'd like to mention is, this is just part of a whole host of tools that are available for our Xerox customers that help them with their operations. So, this is the operational excellence guide. We have over 100 business development tools as part of our profit accelerator program. They're all free of charge and part of the value of being a Xerox customer. Joe: I would like to thank you very much, Tricia. I've always been impressed with Xerox because of the fact that they, to use a worn out term maybe, is that you can always talk the talk but Xerox actually walks the walk. You apply the principles and things that you believe in internally to the external benefit of your customers. I wanted to thank you very much for taking the time with me today, expressing and explaining the operational excellence guide. Tricia: Well, thank you very much, Joe. It's been a pleasure.

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Implementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: jtdager@business901.com Web/Blog: http://www.business901.com Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joe's ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box" thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectively and with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with." James R. Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providing direction in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, Product Launches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performance planning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a single flexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result better execution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus the plan. An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with a consulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtual assistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities to plug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. As proficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting the process as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processes will become a habit and not an event.

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Helping Customers achieve Operational Excellence  

Guest was Tricia Bhattacharya of Xerox Xerox Operational Excellence Program Copyright Business901 Podcast Transcription Implementing Lean Ma...