Avoid TIM WOOD – At all costs!

Tim Wood is a dreadful chap.  We should all avoid him at all costs, for the sake of your sanity and bank balance.

Tim, of course, is not a real person, it is an acronym for the 7 wastes as identified in the Lean Manufacturing philosophy.  Although LM is directed at manufacturing, obviously, we can all learn from it, even selling.  These are the wastes.

T is for Transport.

When selling it is obvious that you need to reduce your transportation costs.  Use the cheapest reliable delivery method you can.

I is for Inventory.

If you sell 10 widgets a week and your wholesaler supplies with a 2 week lead time then why ever hold more than 30 widgets?  Holding lots of inventory is bad for your cash flow.  Businesses fail through not understanding cash flow, understand yours and hold the correct inventory levels.

M is for Motion.

Hold everything you need to complete the sale close together.  If you are working from home then you need your stock, postage labels, wrapping paper, envelopes close together to avoid wasting time and motion.  Make completing sales a chore and it will not be long before you stop selling.

W is for Waiting.

In selling terms this is close to Inventory waste.  Understand your suppliers’ lead timescales so that you are not waiting for inventory to complete sales (a sure way to get bad feedback – and bad feedback kills on eBay).

O is for Over Production.

There is an option when using Paypal to create postage labels to print 2 sheets (the label and certificate) or just the label.  Unless you need a certificate of posting don’t bother.  Do not add anything to your product that does not add value, in the eyes of the customer.  You may like the special packaging, but does it add anything for the customer?

O is also for Over Processing.

What records do you need?  I rely on PayPal and eBay records for order details.  I do not need another ledger full of old orders.  I do need a stock list that is updated asI make sales.  That is because I need an easy way of seeing what my stock levels are, and when I have to reorder stock.

D is for Defects.

Obvious but bears saying again.  Defects are deadly, especially if you offer free replacements as I do (and I would recommend you to).  The offer of a free replacement should a product be faulty is good for business, unless you do not keep an eye on the quality of your stock.

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  1. Michael Moran Said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

    I noticed that you referred to TIMWOODS as a way to remember waste. I created TIMWOODS in January of 2000 and was hoping that you would reference this when using it for educational purposes. I can send you the entire PowerPoint slide show if you would like. It is about 9 pages and includes an illustration of Tim himself. I was known as The Moran3 Company back then and it would be nice to see that legacy of TIMWOODS continue and include his illustration.

  2. phil Said,

    July 28, 2009 @ 7:06 am

    Hi Michael,

    I did not know the origin of Tim Wood (the version I was taught does not have the “s”). I would be very pleased to upload the original version of your presentation for evryone to read.



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