Guest Column | January 5, 2012

Is Solution Selling Possible, With Operator Culture In Mind?

Walker Thompson

By Walker Thompson, VP of sales and marketing, WhenToManage Restaurant Solutions

Ever heard of Total Quality Management (TQM)? It was a buzzword in the 1980's. A management program for improving customer experience and manufacturing efficiencies. Business schools and companies adopted it rapidly, and then it went away. No one talks about TQM. Then came Six Sigma. Same idea, but instead of quality circles you had high-performance work teams. Restaurants create a product and serve it all in the same location (raw materials + add heat x number served = transactions). Ford motor company doesn't do this. They create (raw materials = location A) and sell later (dealership = location B). Restaurants are unique with this operational equation, and depend on efficiencies. Increasing margin per produced item is how money is made in this industry. But try forcing a restaurant to adopt an academic change-management model... Good luck!