Where and How Does Marketing Fit In?

Where to fit Marketing

Let's see if I can word this right. I am working on implementing an ISO 9000 system at one facility of a multi-location corporation. The problem is how to address the Marketing department. Marketing is a Corporate level department, handles all locations and products and in the Corporate flow is level with the VP running this facility. Marketing negotiates with the customer, finalizes the offer and accepts the customer order. The order specification is then given to the Product Manager (part of this facility), is reviewed by everybody involved here, questions/concerns are directed back at Marketing where they are resoved, amendments received, by Marketing, from the customer where necessary and Marketing generated amendments forwarded to the Project Manager.

So far it sounds to me that Marketing is my customer and could be treated as such. However...

The order specification shows the end user in the customer block.

Once the tool (multi-million dollar Ion Beam System) is manufactured it is this facility that directly corresponds and arranges with the customer for source inspection, install, service, warranty etc.

So, where does Marketing fit?


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Al Dyer

Marketing accepts a contract.

Please tell me where contract review and feasibility come into play?

1 person can approve and sign for a new product?

What is the involvement of the people managing and making the product?

Is a product accepted before any engineer, quality, shipping, receiving, safety personell have even a look at a print or specification?

Just some questions to ponder!:bigwave:


Marketing or Sales?


Our Marketing Group just develops marketing campaigns such as special sales, mail order sales, Interstate mailings, design flyers, Brochures, etc. They have nothing to do with material acquisitions. Sales Department take the calls, visit the customers and push the product. Quotations and orders are handled internally by the people within the organization responsible for what Al D. calls Contract Review, prior to order acceptance. You can call them marketing, I guess. When my wife shops, she's a marketer! I think your group is Sales, Expediters, Material Control and probably a few more departments, rolled into one. Marketing may be a misnomer? Actually you can call them whatever you want, but Marketing as I know it, may have a tie in to Customer Satisfaction Measurement. Such as developing surveys or other ways to communicate with the customer. JMHO:smokin:



I don't consider your marketing dept. as this one facility's customer. The customer is still the receiver of the product- the marketing dept is just taking the order for you, as would be expected of anyone's sales dept.

I would handle it just as if the marketing dept. was within the boundaries of your facility - since it is the function they play in your process rather than their location that is important. A lot of companies use home-officed employees and the same thing applies.

What you are interested in of course, is whether it is important that you ensure that marketing has ensured the customer's requirements are fully understood, or whether you can consider contract review as just making sure you understand what marketing has told you to deliver - right? It is whether you really have to worry about whether Marketing has done their job right.

I think that yes, you do. You should cover Marketing's responsibilities. Because no matter where they are located, or how many facilities they service, they are part of the full service between your company and the customer.

That is just MHO (see what a quick learner I am, energy?;) )


I see you!

Lucy, Ken

The reason I even mentioned the name "Marketing" is because we have a long and sometimes contentious thread on Marketing and Finance's role under ISO9001:2000. Its a good read. Just search those words and enjoy. I'd post the link but it's time to go home.

Lucy, You are one quick study!:rolleyes: :biglaugh: :smokin:



But it sounds like what Ken's company is calling "marketing", is actually "sales" or "commercial" since they are doing the order taking (contracting).

I'll read the thread on marketing (as the term is more generally used), but my initial thought is that marketing plays a role in catalog type sales (if we've advertised it and a customer orders it based on the advertised description of the product, then contract review has been completed by virtue of the offer and acceptance), but other stuff is peripheral.


You got it!


Yes, in the thread, Marc called my attention to the accuracy of the marketing material. part numbers, etc. Originally I figured they just went wild and did what they do. But, if an inaccuracy of their information causes an unhappy customer and results in a CAR, then they need to be addressed. Finance? I'm not convinced by anything I've seen. OK Matey?:vfunny: :bonk: :smokin:


money is king


Finance can have a role, if that is the department that handles the invoicing. Everybody can do everything right but then when the bill is sent to the client, if it is wrong the client will be mad. And if it happens constantly, then the client will find another company to do business with.

And someone pointed out somewhere (not sure if it was this forum) that if paychecks are done incorrectly or are always late, etc, then employees will get fed up and go somewhere else. That is a real problem when turnover (resource issue) increases.

It also is incorporated into our management's capital expenditure decisions. Which drives to the heart of resource management. Whether you upgrade your equipment, can afford the cutting edge technology, move to more accommodating facilities, etc.

Finance also ties into our procurement process, because we want to maintain inventory in the warehouse that will be "expensed" to different job accounts as it is used. We bought inventory software that will feed this information into the finance dept.'s reporting software. Based on the information we get back from finance, we can determine the proper inventory levels and buying cycles.

Our finance department is the one place that is already organized because they're used to standard practices and audits. They're developing training manuals for their tasks and want to be just as efficient and accurate as the rest of our operations. They will be included in our QMS in each process that they are involved in, as described above.

Convinced yet?:)




Very valid points. But, if I were a small company without a "Finance" department, my credit line and other business practices are, to me, off limits to auditing. I gather all my information from my managers as to capital improvements, materials, etc.. I then decide what I can afford to do or not do. In other words, how I feed my family is my business as long as they are fed properly. If we tend to stray beyond our stipulated 30 days for Supplier payment, due to cash flow problems, that's (to me) beyond the scrutiny of auditors. Just as long as I have the cash to give the registrar!:biglaugh: JMHO. I will resist. Just because it's not my company, doesn't mean I will follow the Pied Piper. He has to play a good tune. I will take advice from our consultant and future registrar before I embark on any "financial" type procedures and measurements. One can make a stretch out of most anything. Convinced, yet? Not quite!:bonk: :smokin:

Al Dyer

Considering that marketing is an up front process, what responsibility do they have to the final product going out the door? After contract acceptance it is all up to the people that do the deed.

Marketing and finance are (or should be) part of the business plan that is most respects and un-auditable document as long as you meet the minimum criteria of forward planning.

Can anybody see the looks on an owners face if a strange auditor walked into the office and asked him/her for their marketing and finance data?

One owner I workerd for would probably be in jail for "voluntary" manslaughter!:eek:
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