Change is Not Always So Simple- It Takes a Team (Not a Village)

Leave a comment

Over the weekend as I was catching up on some LinkedIn posts, one really caught my eye and made me smile. I happen to work at Honeywell, an organization that truly believes in change and fully embraces, a culture of change. So when I got to the third picture within this cartoon, I know that doesn’t represent Honeywell. As a Honeywell employee, my only ‘constant’ is change. We are always looking to improve our efficiencies and effectiveness to drive increased revenues and shareholder value which is at the core of our Six-Sigma-based process improvement culture.

who wants change

It made me think about an ongoing global process improvement effort to ensure that businesses leverage existing Honeywell technology internally, when logical and a business case can be justified. It’s amazing that so many companies never internally evangelize their own technology. As an almost $40b company, we have lots of amazing technology that can help our more 127,000 employees drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness and help increase our value to shareholders. And in true Six-Sigma process improvement style, we measure everything.






The chart below shows the results that numerous internal Honeywell “customers” have achieved through implementing various Honeywell technology solutions this past year. I’ve removed the project team and “customer” names to protect the internal information. However, my point is that Honeywell is able to measure the positive impact of ‘enhancing’ its technology infrastructure.  While culturally, no one wants to “change”, making ‘enhancements’ and seeking to get more out of an investment is an easier way for some to accept what is at the core – change.

Honeywell using its own technology for process improvemet





In addition to being a business that embraces change, I think Honeywell’s success is due to a few reasons:

First, we always equip the “team” leading the change with the resources needed to enable success. Second, we provide visibility to the ongoing efforts well beyond the core change team. Keeping additional internal stakeholders and teams updated is critical to ensure we can measure performance and endeavor to understand the results. And finally, we look to use these measurements to improve our processes to extract greater results from our efforts for our customers.

Change is a way of life at Honeywell – it’s the way we all challenge ourselves to be better; it’s the way we ensure we never become complacent; it’s how we win market share; and at the end of the day, it’s what excites the really talented people at Honeywell.

How do you handle change?



Manufacturing Excellence in America- the converging of the digital and physical worlds

Leave a comment

I spent the last few days visiting with Honeywell Value-Added Distributors and numerous Honeywell customers using our market leading sensing products. While many of us know that the manufacturing industry in America has been hard hit by the changing global economy, there is a manufacturing evolution occurring that is quite impressive. And after my visits this week, it’s easy to understand the growing excitement and momentum in United States manufacturing.  Momentum that is happening with very little media coverage.

I wanted to see how IndustryWeek, a leading publication covering the $2 Trillion U.S. Manufacturing Industry was providing coverage and was surprised to learn that they are now predicting that the United States will once again take the top spot globally in manufacturing by 2020 ( .  Pretty amazing forecast.

IndustryWeek 2020 US Back to number 1 in Manufacturing
















My meetings helped me believe that this forecast is real and credible. Manufacturing in the United States is being driven by advanced technologies and as IndustryWeek states, “the converging of the digital and physical worlds”.

  • Revenue up 19 percent from prior-year period
  • Segment operating profit up 27 percent
  • Order backlog up 39 percent year over year

Impressive statistics. The numbers I share above are from one of Honeywell’s customers using our market leading sensing products. It’s a customer, who by the way, that anyone who flies these days have seen in action… the deicer below is from John Bean Technologies ( and one of the many products from JBT that use Honeywell sensor technology. I must admit, this is one of their products that I hate to see. It means my flight will be delayed.  Ever fly through Chicago in January?

JBT Cargo loader JBT deicer






It was interesting to learn how JBT uses sensing technology to provide superior performance in the field. I was really impressed on my visit to learn each of the cargo loaders is built to order per customer specifications. I had thought that every cargo loading deck was the same. Boy did I learn.  Amazing technology.

At the other end of manufacturing spectrum and another great example of the converging of the digital and physical manufacturing worlds, is Velocomp ( Velocomp is unique because they have developed for those using bicycles (think about the size of that total global market opportunity) a “power meter” with their PowerPod product that not only measures your power, but helps you learn WHY and HOW you produce it. And with the help of Honeywell sensing technology, a pretty amazing product with a very bright future…PowerPro Image on Bike







The product also provides great analytics. I was fascinated to learn that the blue graphic image below shows the impact on  power usage when “drafting”.  For those of you familiar with NASCAR, you always see the drivers drafting to increase their power usage. Well, Velcomp has technology for the bicyclist.

PowerPod Metrics








I enjoyed myself this week learning more about how manufacturing is really leveraging Honeywell sensing technology and thriving to win.

It’s clear to me that US manufacturing is staging an amazing comeback lead by innovation.

Surprised?   Let me know your thoughts?

I Finally Went to the Masters- Excellent Example of Brand Management

Leave a comment

I was able to live a lifelong dream and be one of the lucky ones to visit Augusta National and attend the Masters tournament last week for the Sunday round.

And to prove it, here’s a picture with my “entry badge”.  By the way, you do not take them home… they are returned to the owner.

Scott Deutsch at 2016 Masters

For those of you wondering about attending the Masters, it is everything you think it will be and then some. As a marketing professional (at least I think I am…), and you wanted to how to best manage a “brand”, this is the place to go and learn. It’s a shining example of how a brand manages every facet of their communications and customer experience.

Let me give you some highlights that I witnessed first-hand.

  • No wires! I have been to many golf tournaments and some have been majors (I have been to 3 U.S. Opens) and many smaller events (such as Doral, Honda, Bridgestone) and none of them can compare on how Augusta National grounds are presented.   At Augusta National you never see any of the wires around the course that is required to support the TV broadcast and there are no camera cranes or blimps (sorry Goodyear or MetLife). All the wiring is buried at August National and beautifully done. The camera stations are all permanent, so all CBS has to do is bring in their cameras and plug it in.
  • No litter! I was amazed at how clean the property was. Thousands of people and a spotless environment.   People were cleaning up everywhere and plenty of trash receptacles around the course.

Augusta National Image of clubhouse

  •  $1.50 sandwiches! That’s not a typo. Wow. What a pleasure to be at a place that had sandwiches for $1.50 to $2.50. And the quality was first rate.   By the way, my first pimento cheese sandwich.
  • The birds really do sing. If you ever watched the Masters on TV, you will always hear birds chirping. Well, I am here to report that the birds really do chirp at Augusta. Those microphones are probably in the woods, but you can hear the birds singing.
  • No cheering for a single player. What is that you say? While clearly everyone has their favorites and “cheers” for them, I have never been to a tournament where you are asked to “please refrain from cheering for a single player”. They literally have people walking around within the crowd to ensure proper “behavior” from the attendees.   By the way, I doubt anyone yelled “baba booey” at Augusta National.   They would have probably been promptly escorted off the grounds. (Howard Stern fans will understand that reference).
  • No porta potties here. The nicest restrooms you will you ever see at an event with this scale. Well managed, well maintained and running water with paper towels.
  • Organized seating. The course had ample seating.   Ranging from well-organized and roped off areas for those with “proper masters chairs”… only Masters chairs allowed… to plenty of well-placed grandstands.
  • Scoreboards everywhere. I love those traditional scoreboards vs. the digital scoreboards you see at every golf tournament. These are part of the Masters tradition. I hope they never change…
  • Easy access to branded merchandise. Ok, the first thing I did when I got to August National at 8:30am was buy my shirts and stuff (I love that Masters’ logo!). Here’s what I was impressed with. Right as you got on the grounds they had a smaller store that had enough of a selection to meet my needs.   I do not think I was in line more than 5 minutes to pay. If you ever have been to a golf tournament, you know this is an amazingly fast. Now here’s the best part: I was able to walk back to my car (about a 10 minute walk) and put the gifts away for safe storage and not worry about carrying them the rest of the day. Nice. Oh, and yes, the main store (it is very large) was on the core Augusta National grounds with longer lines.
  • Beautiful grass and grounds everywhere. My final thought on building a great brand experience was how spectacular the grounds were outside of the fairways. The areas you walked were as manicured as the main golf course. I think the areas you walk around the course are probably better fairways than 90% of public or private courses. It was that well maintained.

Augusta National does not miss much when it comes to brand management. And I suspect the players and their families love the environment almost as much as the audience does.

Now I could not end this without talking about golf at the 2016 Masters.

My day started by walking around to see “August National” before settling on sitting on the grandstands at hole #11 green, which is where you also watch them play #12. This is such a pretty and a scary spot…I think I sat there for almost three hours and watched 33% of the players put a ball in the water…more on that later. Any golfer can picture for themselves almost every hole that they have watched on TV over the years.

Biggest surprises at August National:

  • How hilly the course really is.
  • How small the “landing areas” are on the putting surface to give yourself a chance at making a putt.   After seeing the course myself, I wonder why there are not more 3 putts.   The movement on the putts was even more pronounced than I thought they were from watching on TV.
  • Those greens are fast! What other tournaments to you constantly see pros hit the ball 4-5 feet past the hole with consistency?
  • The roars on the back nine that they always talk about are real! It is amazing to hear from a distance the building of the roar to the final crescendo. The roar from 3 holes-in-one that Sunday was amazing.   It was another really neat part of the Masters atmosphere.

Jordon Speith after birdie on 9th hole








After sitting at #12 for two hours, I decided to follow the leader.   I followed Jordan Spieth, the leader and defending champion from #2 through #12…  Here’s a picture of him after making his 4th birdie in a row at #9.  An amazing run. By the way, he really took his time before hitting each and every shot.  On the 9th fairway, he changed clubs 4 times.

It was unfortunate to watch him bogie #10 and miss a 4 footer on #11 for two bogies in a row… but now the rest of the story.

Remember that I said that I had been sitting on the tee box for #12 and watched a third of the shots end up in the water?

Jordon Speith painful second drop image








Well, Jordon was added to that list. He hit his shot so fast compared to all his other shots that day. And then his second shot also ended up wet.   His 5 shot lead was gone. His hope for victory gone. His march toward history on this day, gone. And my day. Over.
Jordon Speith painful image on 18th with Caddy

Everyone was in a state of shock. I recall watching Jason Day and Dustin Johnson watching the scoreboard as they walked to their balls on the 16th fairway. They both looked and looked again and then at each other. They too were stunned.

This picture is from the 18th green with his caddy trying to console him.

I will never forget my day at the Masters. Nor will I ever forget the stunned silence after Jordan hit his second ball in the water. 20,000 people and total silence. You could feel the anguish. People were in tears… in disbelief. Shock.

Augusta National is magical in many many ways.

I am so glad I had the privilege to attend.


Working in an Agile Digital Marketing World

Leave a comment

Deutsch_Scott_25aThe greatest change that has occurred in marketing over the past two years is the need for “real” agile digital marketing. While everyone talks agile, too many marketing activities still follow traditional waterfall (serial) approaches. This approach for certain marketing efforts just takes too long to determine execution effectiveness quickly. Welcome to a world where readers have 10 second attention spans and 140 character communications are standard.

The need for speed and feedback was addressed by many technology development teams over the last ten years by adopting an “agile methodology”. This was in response to bloated and delayed projects. If your business is using an agile development methodology, they probably have “SCRUMs and Sprints” as well.  Here’s a link to learn more about the agile SCRUM methodology To align marketing with the business, many of us are adopting this approach. One of the most effective areas that I am personally seeing great success leveraging this agile methodology approach is in the areas of public relations and marketing communications.Agile Image for Scott Blog April 2016Our efforts now are focused on obtaining feedback early and often. Being in market quickly and getting results really makes a difference. Perfection in marketing is not realistic or acceptable, as it often takes too long for that last 5%. And the lost time in market becomes our greatest obstacle to success. I found the graphic below (I cannot recall the source- or I’d give them the credit…let me know if you locate it) which helps begin to crystalize the changing communications behavior needed to complete and win in today’s fast changing online world.

Agile Change of News Cycle- Scott Blog April 2016

I found this graphic to be a wonderful example of how agile digital marketing really makes a quantitative difference. This is the approach we are working to standardize across Marketing Communications at Honeywell S&PS. The exciting aspect about this for me is that it really challenges the team to execute rapidly and forces decisions fast.  I’d rather fail fast than spend weeks and months reviewing elements that at the end of the day, really will provide limited impact on our results.  It’s amazing how projects get side tracked for really no good reason. This approach is helping our marketing team learn and learn fast.

By the way, our product management and development teams now smile at my marketing communications team when we talk scrum and sprints. Who ever thought Marcom could learn best practices from a development team?

Cost Savings Roundtable with Canada’s Leading Supply Chain MM&D Magazine

Leave a comment

Scott Deutsch- Honeywell- Voice SolutionsI had the pleasure last week participating in a 90-minute roundtable discussion lead by Editor-in-Chief Emily Atkins, Materials Management & Distribution magazine ( on the subject of  cost saving. Any time for a conversation around talking how to save costs in a warehouse is a good time for me, since it is a cornerstone to the Vocollect Voice value proposition.

MM&D did an excellent job at bringing together diverse perspectives on how businesses could save with various approaches. What I found to be unique about this discussion was that we had point of views ranging from real estate (Colliers International) to automation (Dematic) to floor design (3D Storage Solutions). We also had a leading Canadian 3PL (Direct Distribution Centres, a division of Canada Cartage System) at the roundtable representing the customer view. These various areas of expertise made for an excellent roundtable engagement with lots of opinions.

Emily Atkins- MM&D Magazine Editor at a PanelWhile different in our perspectives, a common set of themes seem to resonate with the group. The core themes we discussed  were about:

  1. Business flexibility- We discussed this subject in terms of real estate and facilities, as well as having flexibility within the four walls to support a changing future driven by the growth of omni-channel and ecommerce. The group also discussed the need for shorter (and less costly) investments that had paybacks greater than 24 months. It was especially noted that the lack of modern facility inventory with 36’ clearance was also forcing businesses to think about investment options.

Scalability– The warehouse of the future is driven by customer change and no one has 100% confidence in knowing what exactly the future holds. The growth in the “world of eaches” has forced businesses to think differently about how they organize their facilities. No longer could businesses view their ecommerce order fulfillment as a stepchild. So “hiding it” in the corner of the facility was no longer going to be viable option. Ecommerce is here to stay and will only grow as a percentage of overall business, for most. We discussed the need for a business to be able to scale up and down to meet changing customer needs as well being able to cost effectively support the demands of business seasonality.  You would be correct to the linkage of flexibility and scalability going hand and hand. As a group, we did agree that inflexible infrastructure investments would have fewer business opportunities.

Workflow process optimization– We spent the largest amount of time talking about how outdated processes are a barrier to lower operational costs. Changing the status quo is never easy, but necessary in order to challenge the business to perform operationally more efficient…. now. One of the points I raised was that sometimes it is a matter of perspective. If we could show how we could improve their “as-is” state from an audit of operational processes (often capturing video of their actual processes) and compared it to a possible “future state”, how can a business say no? The use of re-engineered and optimized processes with technology such as voice has gained wide market acceptance (and growing rapidly) because we are able to show a true and quantifiable ROI breakeven in less than a year. An interesting point was made that very few businesses in Canada have the business scale to justify large-scale projects with a multi-year payback. I do not think this perspective is limited to the Canadian market.

Measure for success– It was resoundingly agreed that measuring activities was vital in order to ensure that key KPI’s were achieved and the business was able to focus on key areas of success. The ability to properly measure with engineered labor standards was viewed as a good operating procedure to help a business reduce costs and ensure their worker output was maximized. One of the beauties of voice is that we measure and track very detailed task results. This data is extremely useful to help the business better understand their facility layout and organization.  One of the benefits of voice is that it helps provide great feedback to help annually reslotting activities to help reduce wasted travel time.

Safety and Worker Performance– While everyone was in favor of cost savings, it had to properly balanced against potential safety risks. This has always been a core strength of the Vocollect Voice solution ( value proposition. The heads-up and hands-free nature of a voice solution helps keep a worker focused on their task and helps reduce their distractions. This also positively influences damaged inventory as well as worker safety.

As you can probably tell, I enjoyed myself. It was group of very knowledgeable industry professionals and I am glad to have had the opportunity to spend quality time to meet and discuss a subject that I am passionate about. Thank you to Materials Management & Distribution (MM&D) for having Honeywell at this industry thought leaders roundtable.

Lean and Six Sigma with Best Practice Workflow Processes

Leave a comment

7b7d1-deutsch_scott_07aI was reading an article by Martha Heller in CIO Magazine the other day, in which Carlos Cardoso, CEO of Kennametal, was talking about their successful implementation of an ERP system. What was interesting to me was his attitude toward his ERP project. Instead of making the project an IT effort, he first made sure that the team focused on better rationalizing their business and workflow processes.

Taking stock of how you currently operate is a major philosophical mindset when looking to implement and configure new technology solutions. At Kennametal, they found more than 6,000 active processes and after rationalizing them, came up with a core library of just 600 processes. This is a staggering difference and I think more common than many would expect.  So many processes were put in place years ago and today are followed because “that’s the way we do things”. Unfortunately, many of these processes are not optimized for today’s business and are robbing you of potential operating efficiencies.  

By using Lean and Six Sigma approaches, you will be able to streamline processes and reduce operating inefficiencies. When Vocollect engages with a new customer about the potential utilization of voice technology, we start with this approach. At Kennametal, they mapped their processes against the standard processes available from their ERP supplier and found that 92% of their processes could be supported by adapting the standard “best in class” processes.  Mr. Cardoso stated, ”With thousands of companies using the ERP product already, our processes should not be so unique that we can’t leverage standard software processes.” When prospects review the potential adoption of Vocollect Voice, they also find our best practice workflow processes map very closely to their desired future state.

Solutions today that support best practice workflow processes help to better streamline operating environments and enable the reduction of overall project support costs. It surprises me when I hear of a project that starts with a white boarding of ideas. If a solution has been successfully implemented with thousands of customers and more than a million users, why would anyone discuss a detailed workflow process without starting with best practices? I understand the question of “what would you like to do”, however, this question should be more around what business issues are you trying to address. But, I still hear stories where the review of workflow processes begins with a whiteboard. What could possibly be the business justification for using this approach today? What executive would justify the funding of this type of technology investment? This “custom” mindset sounds great to the line of business owner, but does not consider the future solution, nor does it consider the opportunities lost through the potential leveraging of new features and capabilities made available from their solution provider. As Kennametal learned, if you start with best practices and map your updated processes to them, you will be surprised how close your processes may actually align to industry best processes.

When you think about improving your operational processes, I recommend you take the opportunity to review what you do, how you do it and why you do it. Question whether individual steps in a process are really needed. Challenge the business value that certain steps in a process provide the business and your workers. Take the opportunity to map your processes in detail. When you undertake this effort, you will find that “emotional owners” will begin to “defend” processes. In order to remove as much emotion as possible, I’d recommend that you video tape certain processes. This will enable the team to talk through the reality vs. the emotion. Lean processes are emotionless. You do what’s best for the business and your workers. And it’s important that you quantify the value of various process enhancements, since so many of these processes are repeated thousands of times each year by many workers. Having gained a better understanding of your processes you will then be able to better map your processes against industry best practice workflows.

When you start with best practices, you focus the team on what enhancements are required to support the business. You will find the team will have a mindset that challenges the business to change vs. a mindset of “that’s the way we do it”. Supporting unique business processes is vital and important, however, as Mr. Cardoso observed, “The IT solution comes last”.

Omni Channel Order Management- A Personal Experience


Deutsch_Scott_07aI have been writing and talking about omni-channel order fulfillment for the past year with passion. I’ve been one of many leading the discussion around how businesses need to improve systems and infrastructure to support the demands of their customers. The other day, I participated in the execution of an omni-channel order fulfillment process and, boy, was I smiling.

My story begins with me deciding to buy a new TV on a rainy Saturday, so much for sunny South Florida. Knowing that others would also use the rainy day to run various errands, I really was not in the mood to fight the crowds.  For months, I’ve been doing research on what to purchase, now it was time to do some pricing research for the TV that I wanted. After 30 minutes, I found the best price at a well-known and trusted large retailer. 

Normally, I would have just jumped in the car, but this time I decided to try something that I have never done before. I wanted to see if the nearby store had the desired TV in stock. I just did not want to go there and find out that that they did not have it in stock. Think about it, consumers have now been trained to check stock online and they actually trust online information. Linking real time inventory is the heart and soul of successful omni-channel order management. So, I started to place an order and check stock availability. Bingo, the store had the TV I wanted and it was in stock, and I believed them.

Previously, I would have simply abandoned the online order and went to the store to pick it up, but this time I decided that I wanted to have it waiting for me when I went to the store. This store unfortunately is known for its long and slow checkout lines and I was not in a mood to wait 20 minutes to pay for it. So, I decided to select the order option to pick up the web order at my desired store. I also could have had it shipped to my house the next week at no cost, but I wanted to set up the TV that Saturday while it was raining.

To the store my wife and I drive. As I enter the store, I ask where you pick up web orders. The “greeters” were quite helpful and gave me clear directions on where you pick up web orders. As we weave our way to the back of the store, a large sign can be seen clearly indicating that this is where you pick up online orders. Next, I simply give them my receipt that I printed out at home after placing and paying for my online order. Two minutes later, out from the back of the store warehouse comes my TV.

Label from omni channel pickup

It would not have been any easier an experience. I also was impressed that this store had dedicated people in this area. I marveled at how seamless the retailers systems worked. Two years ago, this just was not the case. When people talk about omni-channel order management and fulfillment, this retailer gets it.

A world of Change has occurred in Retail.

Omni channel order fulfillment

As the graphic above shows, our industry has gone through tremendous change in order to reach the present day omni-channel state. My own experience helped me witness first-hand some of these changes. Many of these changes we take for granted. By my TV buying experience, here are some example changes that we take for granted:

·        Real-time linkage between a website and a retail location

·        Access to real-time accurate inventory

·        Back-of-store inventory fulfillment processes

·        In-store signage supportive of another sales channel for the retailer

·        Dedicated staffing from a different channel within the retailer

·        Willing customers to pay for something online and believe it will be ready for pick up as expected

I am enjoying my new TV and was fascinated by the personal experience. I think the next major retail battleground will be brick and mortar retailers fighting back against pure e-commerce retailers and leveraging their local inventory to provide them a competitive advantage.  But, that’s for another column.  By the way, I was not alone picking up an online order. The person before me picked up two new tires.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: