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The Cash Machine: Using the Theory of Constraints for Sales Management Paperback – July 15, 2004
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Still, it is extremely refreshing and a relief to see TOC explicitly applied to a sales setting, as is done in The Cash Machine.
The book focuses on sales, but acknowledges how the processes for for other areas as well (engineering, customer service, etc.) and how they are all inter-related. It also shows how what would normally have been conceptually difficult to determine and apply could be eloquently formulized as the problem and henceforth solutions are made, particularly using the concepts of TOC and its related tools and concepts (Critical Chain comes into play with significant attention).
It would be ideal if the reader were already familiar with TOC (particularly having read The Goal and one of its succeeding books such as Critical Chain), though not necessary (even though the concepts may be a tad challenging to grasp for the uninitiated, it's not an absolute necessity).
I was concerned at first because of one of the reviews noting the storyline being bland, but that isn't the case at all, and though it may not be as gripping a story as the likes of the Borne Identity, that is absolutely not its point, and the story only complements the concepts in a way that the reader can appreciate its application in real life (albeit from a fictional story), and it succeeds in stellar fashion.
I had long wished for such a book for the various functions of a business, and this one is a splendidly executed, insightful teacher.
This is a strong view since you could imagine the same scenario for different aspects (eg. I am planning to track my son's study before local SAT exams).
Novel covers different aspects of business and personal relationships as well.
This is a similar view of cash-to-cach cycle, close to lean approach.
I found their ten steps to Steps of Sale (SOS) helpful as they used a funnel metaphor to describe qualified prospects to closed orders. As they work with sales, they also tie in the marketing function as marketing is partially responsible for "bringing in as many relevant people or companies to the stage of becoming a lead or "hot" prospect."
As I work in administration and support sales I enjoyed the chapter called "End of the Quarter Syndrome". We deal constantly with the backlog and push at the end of the quarter to get the payout. TOC may be helpful to many companies, especially in sales and admin in releasing end of month and quarter burdens.
The authors have constructed a plot that provides an adequate expositional framework, but the main character's facile, unexplored results may not prove persuasive to the uninitiated. Coupled with abrupt story transitions, uneven pacing and sloppy editing (missing verbs, oddly-constructed quotes), the result demonstrates that authors can understand their subject without having the tools to explain it well.
Get "The Cash Machine" for the useful information it contains, but don't expect "The Goal".