Customer Centric Approach (E)
Why is the customer so important for the overall business? What aspects of your supply interests the customer mostly?
Posted: Mar 2010
The processes within the company are organized according the business policies and business priorities defined at the short term ( annual business plan ) and the long term ( mission, vision, procedures ). The overall success of the company depends of efficiency of processes set up. More efficient processes of every function, the more efficient overall result of the company will be.
But besides efficiency of the company regarding process inputs, outputs and value adding of every step, there is one, the most vital factor within the overall efficiency of the company – The Customer*. Processes need to be aligned with customer needs. If processes do not have the focus on customer, the most efficient organization cannot be effective too. If you have optimized logistic process from perspective of costs, but not aligned with customer needs, than this process cannot bring maximum value to the company. If the customer finds your service not to be aligned with his interest, he may switch to another supplier, or at least he could minimize the scale of business with you.
The customer is the most important asset. The basis of the business strategy of the company should be to meet all requirements, needs and expectation of the customer and to transfer it to the product and service quality. The delivery of the product is not the only task, but superior service and continuous support to customers as well. The ultimate goal is to enhance the customer's satisfaction beyond competition and expectation of the customer. Only then it will be possible to exploit all business opportunities with the customers. Fully satisfied customer is the one with whom the cooperation is raised from plain supplier to customer level to the level of partnership.
Product portfolio is the important aspect customer centric approach. Every company has many products within different categories, with different sales volumes, seasonality, competitors and consumer preference. Portfolio layout should not be based on wishful thinking. Portfolio that customers can not resell and consumers do not want to buy is not of the interest to the company as well.
Profit is important for the company, but for customer ( business partner ) too. Product that does not satisfy the customer in term of unit profit and turnover will not be profitable for the company too.
Support should be the integral part of the product supply. In order to re-sell the product, the customers need the marketing support, marketing material and merchandising equipment.
Service provides the timely and accurate delivery, of quality, undamaged product within the agreed shelf life.
Customer centric approach should be the base for the strategy of the company. When the product portfolios, profit mix, support and service level are aligned with customer needs and expectation, they will provide continuous and sustainable market growth and competitive advantage.
Customer – the business partner who buy the product from the supplier and resell it to Consumer.
Consumer – the individual who buy the product from Customer and consume/use it.
This classification is typical for FMCG product categories.