Output Capacity

“Is is possible for sales to sell so much stuff that operations struggles to fulfill?” I asked.

“Yes, it happens,” Hector replied.

“So, what’s the problem?” I added.

Hector scratched the back of his neck. “Well, I would say that we have a communication problem. Sales isn’t communicating effectively with operations. Or, it could be a personality conflict that the sales manager doesn’t like the operations manager.”

“It always looks like a communication problem,” I replied. “But, more likely it is a structural problem, looking at output capacity. The output capacity of sales has outstripped the output capacity of operations. You can have all the communication seminars you want or conduct personality testing, but you will still not fix the problem until you understand the output capacity of each function. The solution is optimizing the output of each function so that it doesn’t outstrip the capacity of its neighboring functions. That’s integration.”

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