Leveling sales

An attitude toward customers that assumes that demand is relatively stable for many products but is often disrupted by production and sales systems. 

One example: influenced by monthly and quarterly bonuses for sales personnel, orders often accumulate at the end of the reporting period. And promotional activities, such as service specials at car dealerships, often create peaks and troughs in demand for service parts that have nothing to do with customers' actual requirements. Finally, producing large batches of goods far in advance based on forecasts almost always leads to surpluses of some goods, which must then be sold as special offers that "create" temporary demand. 

In the case of leveling sales, artificial sales peaks -- what Toyota calls "created demand" -- are eliminated by adjusting incentives for sales personnel, eliminating offers, producing in small batches that replenish only what customers have just purchased, and establishing long-term relationships with customers so that future demand can be better predicted and leveled. Any variations in demand that remain after biases in the production and sales system have been overcome are real variations. A true Lean production and sales system must be able to respond appropriately to them. 

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