“Well, I guess you’re a manufacturing company.”

Years ago, in a discovery session with a manufacturing company, my peers (manufacturing, planning, and production are not my forte) poked and prodded as we walked about the facility, asking insightful questions about the customer’s operations, the challenges they faced, how they ran this and that process, when they resorted to manual lists and spreadsheets, when they made decisions with autonomy, when they went up the hierarchy; they even discussed the most economical approach cutting small pieces of steel out of a large piece of scrap.

In short, my peers proved themselves to be not just product and solution experts, but to truly be subject matter experts.

The moment that most impressed me was at the end of the day when, gathered around a table (okay, a folding-table like you get at Sam’s Club) in a conference room just off the manufacturing floor, one of my peers exhaled a sigh and summarized her day with, “Well, I guess you’re a manufacturing company.” Chuckles and agreement all around. Obvious but true.

This is winning the deal in discovery.

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