Domestic Automakers Improving in Production Efficiency

For the past couple of years, Detroit’s automakers have took up 16 labor hours longer than their Asian rivals in building vehicles in North America. And that difference is being reduced to minutes attributed to the shrinking efficiency gap between domestic and Japanese automakers. Last year the gap shrinks to a tremendous level according to a closely watched study of labor productivity.

Although at present there are no domestic automakers that manage to topple down Nissan Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., and Honda Motor Co., — the maker of top-of-the-line Honda exhaust–from the top of annual Harbor Report but in fairness to the Detroit’s big three they have been posting improvements and that is a good sign, according to people familiar with the report.

Among the domestic automakers it is General Motors Corp. that has improved the most starting from 2005 to 2006 followed by Chrysler Group and finally Ford Motor Co. On the other hand the Asia automakers are headed by Honda that posted the biggest overall improvement while Nissan and Toyota slipped.

The Troy-based Harbor Consulting, which publishes the report, will release the data they have gathered to show how the car companies fared. This report especially the one pertaining to the automotive factory performance is important since it is widely used by automakers as a competitive benchmarking tool. The most significant figure on the report is the average number of labor hours needed to build a car or truck as it travels through an automaker’s stamping, engine, and assembly plants.

For that category alone the ranking of the overall productivity is expected to be similar to last year, when the Asian automaker (Nissan, Toyota, and Honda) were at the top followed by Detroit’s big three (General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford) in which Ford ranked last for the second consecutive year.

The domestic automakers have made steady gains in efficiency when they started cutting down jobs, idled plants, and negotiated operating agreements with the United Auto Workers Union. Ford has so far been successful with getting favorable deals with more than three dozen of its union locals. On the other hand, General Motors is still pushing for an agreement and have been meeting opposition in the process.

Improvements empowered the Big 3
Foreign carmakers have observed that their average productivity has either stay roughly the same or has slightly increased especially when they started building larger vehicles which are labor intensive.

Meanwhile domestic automakers still need more total labor hours per vehicle than their foreign rivals that is despite reports that they have lessen the gap between them and their Asian rivals.

Factors causing the gap in efficiency
One of the factors seen to be affecting production efficiency are the plants. Foreign automakers have newer plants and are designed to accommodate more flexible manufacturing processes them obviously more efficient explained Rebecca Lindland, a Global Insight analyst in Lexington, Mass. There are also other factors that cause delay in production such as new product launches which adds to the time it takes to build a vehicle.

Direct Marketing Products With Value

The internet has clearly delivered a marketing opportunity never before realized by businesses both large and small. The ability to advertise, inform and interact with the target market makes the internet second to none. Live TV marketing programs share some of this capability, but the internet is always on, and always has what the consumer wants to find. Network marketers including those associated with MLM companies are enjoying growth like never before. Entrepreneurs have a wide range of choices in the goods and services they can share online. A few of them have selected direct marketing products with value and focus their attention exclusively on the top tier of available choices.

The salesman in the desert selling water has a distinct advantage over the multitude of used sand lot owners. With a product that is clearly in demand, we would expect water inventory to remain consistently low. Yet because of the landscape it is sometimes difficult to see the water company behind the sand dunes.

Every time a new product or service is launched these days, an internet marketing campaign is included. Then it seems like another three or four companies spring up online the next day offering practically the same thing. The abundance of choices also brings an abundance of information. People who search online for anything expect a great deal of information and a multitude of choices. Entrepreneurs, who must decide which product to get behind from a business perspective, also approach the situation like a consumer.

We’ve all made purchases online that either met, or failed to meet our expectations. For the entrepreneur who is choosing to market a particular item, they need to know everything up front before making a decision. In a highly competitive market, selection for the prospective business owner is similar to that of a consumer. Buying into a business opportunity, however, involves a much deeper relationship.

Direct marketing products with value always serve the best interest of everyone. When true, measurable value exists in the product, it benefits everyone it affects. Any product or service of value, finds expression in various places. Exceptional services and remarkable products are always sought after. In order for companies to compete, they must rise to the same standard.

So the entrepreneur asks these important questions:

1. Is it valuable for personal as well as business purposes?
2. Does it ever lose or gain value?
3. What is the consumer reaction?

There are direct marketing products that serve both the individual and business owner alike. Any product or service that affects its user on a financial level would fall into this category. A household budget shares the same goal as a business budget. People desire to prosper and businesses must.

Educational material also serves both the consumer and business owner. When a direct marketing professional has an educational system for sale, chances are they’ve already reaped the benefits it delivers. As the overall knowledge of man continues to escalate at unprecedented speed, the demand for specialized knowledge grows in all markets. The ability to deliver valuable information is a rewarding experience for everyone.

Looking specifically at financial and educational material, it is reasonable to suspect that time can have an effect on the value of that information. As the knowledge base increases, some or all of that information may be subject to change. This is especially true for specialized educational products. Tax laws seem to change every year, and investment advice has to remain constant. Knowledge on how to repair a VCR may be ancient, but technical training for disk players, or TV’s for that matter, changes constantly.

If the product we purchase can’t be upgraded or enhanced, it is like any other product that begins to depreciate. Having a lifetime warranty on an electronic device would definitely affect our decision to purchase. Likewise an educational product, or financial service that absorbs changes without adding expense to the user, satisfies the demand for true and lasting value.

Finally we have to know if it works. Catchy slogans and entertaining advertisements aside, people need to hear from other people what they can expect. All the scientific evidence in the world isn’t going to convince me to buy some wonder tonic if my neighbor is telling me it gave him gas.

People trust people that aren’t trying to sell them something. The individual giving the testimony doesn’t gain a thing by convincing someone else to buy. TV has lost most of its credibility when it comes to parading ‘supposed’ consumers around with glowing, well scripted, endorsements; especially when the viewer can Google the product and read a dozen negative reviews in an instant.

Direct marketing products with value always have the endorsement of the marketing professional. Although this can seem like a car salesman claiming they own the same car, the value in the product can be measured apart for that endorsement. Even the addition of other consumers and business owners giving their reviews, only enhances the perceived value based on measurable criteria; namely, how it helps and why.

The internet market will continue to absorb any and every imaginable product people conceive. Rising to the top, the few truly valuable items will serve both the public lucky enough to find them, and the marketer clever enough to deliver them.

What Are the Major Challenges Organizations Face While Delivering Product-Based Training

Acquiring in-depth knowledge about products and services of a company is extremely crucial for its employees. With accurate product information, sales and marketing representatives of the organization will be able to offer valuable advice to customers depending on their requirements. Hence, imparting product training in the most effective and flexible way is of paramount importance. However, delivering product training is not as easy as it sounds. Organizations need to cope up with various challenges in order to achieve best results through training.

Let’s take a look at the major challenges companies confront while organizing a product training session.

Dealing with excessive information about different products

This is one of the most significant challenges companies deal with during the product training sessions. With an information overload with respect to each product, it becomes difficult for the trainer to impart knowledge in a compact and effective way. Moreover, with frequent new product launches coupled with the changing market scenario, employees need to keep a detailed track of these developments. From this point of view, it becomes often difficult for the trainers as well as the learners to deal with such a huge volume of information.

Dealing with budgetary and time constraints

Budgetary and time constraints often become a significant hindrance to an effective training process. Although organizations want their employees to have an in-depth knowledge about their products, yet they cannot dedicate the required time towards employees to pursue training. Most of the organizations cannot afford their employees taking leave from their workplace for an extended product training session. In addition to this, organizing a comprehensive product training session involves significant monetary investments. A lot of mid-sized and small-scale organizations fail to bear this additional expenditure. In such cases, the biggest challenges for the organization is to come up with cost-effective means of delivering product knowledge training to their employees on a continuous basis.

Product-centric training versus customer-centric training

For sales and marketing professionals, just having product-based training is not enough. They need to be perfectly confident of convincing the customer about the benefits of using a particular product or services. Most of the time, they need to face customers who seek value. They need to align customer needs with the benefits that the product provides. However, often, the corporate training sessions fail to cater to the diverse requirements for customer-centric trainings. Developing a training program that sells solutions to customers’ problems often becomes a major challenge for organizers.

Keep in mind that sales people are not intuitively interested in obtaining product knowledge. Make sure that you have adequate resources to deal with the problems that are likely to crop up during the product training session, so that you can steer the training sessions in a successful direction.