At the root of lean principles is the ability to define and provide the exact needs of the customer.
Lean Learning Center offers professional guidance for businesses with a desire to better themselves. Lean principles are not just for new businesses trying to implement efficient processes, nor is it solely for failing businesses in need of help. Lean is intended for all companies looking for improvement, whether it be increasing bandwidth, improving skills and tools, strategic and leadership coaching, or solving a specific problem. Lean Learning Center is able to help by assessing customer needs and developing definitive processes to reach and exceed those needs.
What Does Your Customer Need?
Though every business is different, there is one common objective shared by all: satisfying the customer. It may sound cliché, but the most significant key to creating a successful business is providing customer satisfaction. Not only must we ask, ‘what do our customers need?’, but also, ‘what do they expect?’
In the most general sense, customers expect value for money. They expect what they are paying for and what they are receiving to be balanced or tilted in their favor. In order to assess whether your business is currently providing that, we must address four key factors that comprise ‘value’:
- Cost – Do you offer competitive pricing in your market?
- Service – Are you attentive to customer needs?
- Quality – Is your product/service provided without defects or failures?
- Delivery – Do you make an effort to provide convenient delivery to meet their schedule?
After examining, we can ask ‘Is your company satisfying customer expectations by delivering value for money?’ For Lean principles to be effective this question needs to be asked often. Implementing Lean principles into your business does not create a finite goal. Lean demands continuous assessment and improvement that will lead to providing customers precisely what they want without problems, delays, hassles, errors, firefighting, etc. It’s important to monitor all processes with customer satisfaction in mind. Developing and improving processes involving cost, service, quality, and delivery is how a business begins a Lean transformation.
Implementing Lean Principles
Traditionally, there are three major steps to any Lean transformation beginning with defining customer needs and expectations.
Step 1 – Correctly define the purpose you are trying to achieve through the perspective of your customer. Put yourself in their shoes and ask, ‘What do I value?’
Step 2 – Create processes that deliver this purpose seamlessly. Lean principles don’t help if they’re only applied to one department. Every process should flow smoothly into the next creating a company-wide collection of horizontal processes.
Step 3 – Properly utilize your staff to ensure efficient management of the processes and constant improvement upon them. Don’t be afraid to spread responsibility.
Every business is different and every Lean program is customizable, but it is universal that the customer is at the root of your business’s failure or success. With Lean principles, you can rise to the top of your market and become the first choice for your customer-base. Contact Lean Learning Center to learn more about what you can do to increase customer satisfaction in your business.
Lean Learning Center
The Lean Learning Center was founded in 2001 to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful and sustainable lean transformation. In addition to the advanced curriculum, the Center has developed a learning environment designed specifically for adult learning utilizing techniques that include discovery simulations, case studies, personal planning, and reflection – ultimately engaging people at a deep and personal level. We bring our unique lean understanding in creative ways to executives, managers, supervisors, change agents and front-line employees.