Un-Lean Lean Companies

By Ron Published on April 6th, 2007

I recently purchased some Value Stream Mapping software and got a kick out the experience. Here I was buying software to help me battle waste and inefficiency, right? Well I go to this company’s website and click “buy now” next to the product I wanted. Credit card in hand I expected to be done with the transaction and ready to download my software in a few minutes.

Not so.

Instead, I got this stupid message saying some sales person would be in contact with me. I needed the software that day for some things I was doing at work and became very irritated. So I called up some old friends who also sold this software (they are reps). Luckily I actually spoke to a very helpful (and friendly) gal who made some calls and got me the software in less than one hour.

Fast forward a few days.

While checking my email I saw an interesting message. Guess who it was? It was my local sales rep from the aforementioned software company! Bless him… he was introducing himself 3 days after I was ready to buy his product! Unbelievable.

This company is arguably one of the leading software companies out there for things like Value Stream Mapping software, etc. I wonder how much business they lose due to their crappy sales process?

It is sad to see companies who market products to make you lean and more efficient be so inefficient and un-lean themselves. Perhaps they should do some hansei (reflection) and look within and use their products to clean up their own house.

  1. Mark Graban

    April 7, 2007 - 3:39 pm

    Did it get you questioning if you needed specific software for VSM?

    I tried one package… seemed to add very little beyond Visio (it was more expensive and harder to use).

    I was on the way to getting a “Free Trial” on another package… it wasn’t compatible with Visio 2000. Then, I went through the hassle of getting Visio 2003 and the trial had timed out, I couldn’t download it a second time. Their tech support people said it was “impossible” to get a 2nd trial attempt because the trial was locked out based on the specific hardware.

    So, I said to hell with it.

    If you make it hard to do business with me, I’ll just forget it.

    I do fine with paper/markers and Visio.

  2. Ron Pereira

    April 7, 2007 - 5:44 pm

    I have used this same software before in my previous company and actually prefer it when creating training material (cleaner that way). But I am a pad and pencil kind of guy when I hit the floor. I have tried Visio before and it made my head hurt. I will tell you the name of the company I am talking on our next coffee meeting! Perhaps one day I have more guts to throw companies under the bus… but I am still just a blogging rookie!

  3. Anonymous

    April 12, 2007 - 5:36 pm


  4. Ron Pereira

    April 12, 2007 - 6:58 pm

    Why thank you… oops didn’t catch your name anonymous. Hee hee. Just messing with you whoever you are masked man or woman. I yelled at a poster once this week… you won’t make me crack again you son of… (breathing deep) ahhh… feels nice to not be mean. The therapy is working. Seriously, thanks for stopping by!

  5. Lorene Barnes

    November 12, 2008 - 7:02 pm


Have something to say?

Leave your comment and let's talk!

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.