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Operational Excellence: Exceeding Customer Expectations

Written By: langdon on September 1, 2009 No Comment

Operational Excellence: Exceeding Customer Expectations

We are in the midst of changing times. Companies worldwide are experiencing a struggle for survival in increasingly difficult environments. Many companies, even the most successful ones are facing varying degrees of scarce resources, competition, recession, litigation, changing technologies, takeovers and government regulations.

Not every organization will survive this period. Some will go forward, more will be left behind. Those companies that cannot adapt and change will not survive. General Motors has recently decided to adapt and change. Their recent ads talk about the “New General Motors.” It is interesting that “New General Motors” is adapting principals and philosophies that have been around for decades and are the fundamental pillars of the Toyota Production System. As such, the survivors will emerge as changed and strengthened organizations that are able to deal with the market place of the 21st century. They will be living a system of continuous improvement to ensure customer satisfaction, market share, profit growth and long term survival.  

The competitive advantage  for successful organizations is the cultivation of a culture of Operational Excellence. It is the relentless pursuit of excellence each and every day. It is not a slogan on the wall but rather a way of life that requires Vision, Values, Leadership, Communication and Accountability.  At the core of this culture is the engagement and the active participation of team members at all levels of the organization, with an underlying focus on “respect for people.” Progressive organizations understand that an essential part of business strategy and competitive edge depends on the ability to transform the entire organization, at every level, to a customer driven business.  

The concept of customer satisfaction is not new. The ability to create and increase value for our customers is a key differentiator of good to great companies.  It is the fundamental component of the Toyota Production System or also know as Lean Manufacturing. Lean starts with customer service and ends with customer service. It is exceeding customer expectations by delivering to them exactly what they want, exactly when they want it, in the right quantity and in the right quality at the lowest possible cost. 

Cultivating a culture of Excellence is the challenge.  Energizing teams and holding them accountable is the way.  Exceeding customer’s increasing expectations is the answer.

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