Working with our long-time multi-disciplined client, I introduced a new sales approach to the pioneering rental division. This division had been the laggard and reactive low performing division for many years.
We interviewed both Caterpillar and competitor customers to identify what they most wanted from a heavy machinery representative. We identified superior performers to determine what characteristics both behaviors and attitudinally they had to achieve their superior results.
We then took these findings and created a personalized sales management, sales skills and customer service e-learning measurement and reward system. The CFO was skeptical of this change and was highly involved in creating metrics and financial measurements around the impact of our change and training process.
By his numbers, our process led to a $400 MM increase in sales! For the next 3 years Cat Rental was the fastest growing and highest performing division in Caterpillar.
As sales were growing at a record rate, senior leadership noticed that both referrals and customer loyalty were also increasing at a compounding rate. Thus, deciding to export the process to every division globally at Caterpillar where we ultimately partnered with Cat University and produced the process in 18 languages worldwide.
Worldwide this process has contributed $1B in customer value and hundreds of millions in service innovations. This process has since been run successfully for many years and managed by Caterpillar University. They continue to enroll new sales managers and sales professionals each and every year.
This multi-year e-learning and engagement process transformed sales and service in such a way their business and service grew exponentially. Their internal support enabled Caterpillar to grow and manage during a recession in a way that maintained their customer's loyalty, and, in many ways helped save their customer's businesses.
Track Type Tractor
During this engagement with Caterpillar, we helped solve a union crisis. While working on this project, we went from having to cross the picket line to consult with senior leaders to two years later having a picnic on the lawn with the union and management to celebrate the success of turning around the plant and becoming a high-performing team. The learnings from this situation was then exported at every other plant at Caterpillar.
Dr. Carew developed an integration of Situational Leadership and group development specifically to deal with conflict (how to resolve conflict in ways where both sides could be productive). We installed Situational Leadership inside of Cat U, worked with three Caterpillar University Presidents, almost every group President and installed High Performing Teams, High Performing Manufacturing, productivity improvement, employee engagement, and customer service processes and programs worldwide over the course of 20+ years.
Cat Organizational Effectiveness and Engagement
In 2008, Caterpillar reached out to us as for first time they were experiencing decreasing employee engagement scores.
This was also a challenging time in that there was a global financial crisis and credit was not available for large machinery. Cat enacted the trough plan which required rolling blackouts and shutdowns at plants worldwide so as to not decrease the head count.
It was during this time we introduced our employee engagement training to every leader in North America. This training also incorporated and reinforced Cat's Coaching and Lean methodology. We focused on the people side of lean rather than the 5S’.
The results of the training were quite dramatic. Each manager in North America improved on their engagement scores against themselves a minimum of 16%, many in the 30% range.
Positive impact was made not only from the increased employee engagement but for the first time people truly took hold of the productivity and lean tools because of the focus on people!
This created results so significant in reducing scrap and waste, improving safety, and in fact having a zero-incident period that broke company records Cat leadership decided to export this process to every leader in every division worldwide.
Every leader was required to take a 5 module e-learning course prior to the Organizational Effectiveness and Engagement team engaging with that division on their improvement plan.
Caterpillar went from an engagement score that was decreasing to achieving world class levels of engagement in only 2 years while maintaining those levels for the next three years that we measured. Because of this the organization was able to maintain 100% of headcount while competitors we going through massive layoffs enabling Cat to take further market share from competitors who had weakened their customer relationships.
Our model combined with the leadership models of Blanchard was so successful that Holt of Texas developed their own academy so they could replicate the process for Cat dealers worldwide as well as bring our process to non-Caterpillar competitors in heavy machinery industry.