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A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play

February 4th, 2011 admin No comments

As a kid I watched an awful lot of television (albeit less than the youngsters of today) and there were some marketing slogans which are etched in my mind decades later. And Mars actually had me believing through their adverts that Mars Bars were good for me. There’s probably a link between this and the fact that Mars Inc. offered me my first job as I rolled out of university. They certainly had the reputation of being a good company to work for.

How happy I was therefore to attend a presentation yesterday from a couple of young ladies working in the Mars Lean team. They did a fabulous job, and Lean Thinking really does seem to be anchored firmly at all levels of the organisation. Other presentations, for example from a large aircraft manufacturer, used the right words but you didn’t actually get the feeling that there was anything behind them. Where was the difference? Size, obviously. Private v ‘public’ ownership also. However, reading through the Corporate Philosophy originated by Forrest Mars gives a deep insight into why Mars is probably a very Lean company indeed.

The 5 principles are

Quality – The consumer is our boss, quality is our work, and value for money is our goal

Responsibility – As individuals we demand total responsibility from ourselves, and we support the responsibility of others

Mutuality – A mutual benefit is a shared benefit, a shared benefit will endure

Efficiency – We use resources to the full, waste nothing, and do only what we can do best

Freedom – We need freedom to shape our future. We need profit to remain free.

And the introduction to the presentation?

“We are going to talk to you about someone who is very important : the customer”.

Now I know why Mars have been part of my life since I was very very small.

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