Your Manufacturing Is Lean, But Are Your Communications?

A recent article over on Industry Week on how Lean Communication Strategy Can Bolster Marketplace Position asked a great question:

      How does a manufacturer implement external communication initiatives without compromising performance or proprietary information?

Because, as the article points out, those companies that can elevate their brands and voices can also leverage incremental revenue streams.

So how does a company implement these external communication initiatives? According to the article, the answer lies in a lean model that unites functions; mirrors the manufacturer’s approach to efficiency and effectiveness; and utilizes QC initiatives that ensure accurate information is dispensed while trade secrets are not. In other words, through a lean communication strategy.

So how does one implement a lean communication strategy? According to the author, it’s effectiveness, prioritization, and ongoing analysis to ensure that the answers to the following questions are always available so that the correct message is always conveyed.

  • What is the value of the story?
    Will it support new business initiatives, influence public policy, establish the brand, burst with innovation, or echo CSR?
  • Who needs to hear the story?
    A niche market, the entire industry, or the public at large?
  • What is the best way to tell the story to the intended audience?
    General press release? Senior officer? One-on-one interview with the innovator?
  • What is the best channel for the story?
    Traditional news sources like radio, TV, or newspapers? Industry specific magazines? Social Media? Sales collateral through targeted channels?
  • Is there a strategic time to tell the story?
    That would enhance a new product launch or business expansion?
  • Who forms the review, vetting, and approval team?

The answers to these questions allow for the development, and deployment, of focussed communications that gather attention without wasting time and resources (to flood the market with messaging that is indistinguishable from the rest of the background noise).

It’s a logical application of lean. And hopefully Supply Management is involved to direct Marketing to the right innovations to focus on.