Is a supplier an external customer

Customer-supplier relationships in the company

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1 Customer-supplier relationships in the company Arun Gairola Summary The article deals with the changes within the corporate environment and their effects on the relationship culture of globally operating and, at the same time, decentralized companies, i. H. the development of internal customer-supplier relationships. To this end, the first question to be clarified is the extent to which the design of business and political relationships between companies and society or within the company itself has become an important success factor. Building on this, the theoretically possible types of customer-supplier relationships and their characteristics are to be examined in more detail. The article concludes with the description of the Customer Focus process (Customer Focus and the associated content are subject to trademark protection), which is illustrated in more detail using the application examples of employee surveys, internal customer satisfaction analysis and internal key account management. 1 Significance of internal customer-supplier relationships Two essential changes shape the constellation of the corporate environment and processes at the beginning of the 21st century: the steady increase in complexity of products and markets and A. Gairola (*) Schweinfurt, Germany the achievement of saturation or Degeneration phase within the life cycle curve of the Tayloristic organizational principle. Additional potential for influence can be seen in the change from a seller's to a buyer's market and, for some companies, in the strong decentralization and the associated development of profit centers. A more detailed description of the consequences resulting from this on the organizational structure, processes and the behavior of companies is the main focus of the following remarks. # Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2016 D. Spath, E. Westkämper (Eds.), Handbuch Unternehmensorganisation, Springer Reference Technik, DOI / _60-1 1

2 2 A. Gairola 1.1 The complexity trap For a global player, the increase in the complexity of products, processes and systems has a particular impact on organizational structures. In a classic organizational structure designed under functional aspects, an increase in the product complexity automatically leads to an increase in the process and the associated structural complexity, which in turn has an increasing influence on the products and processes (Fig. 1). It is therefore a self-reinforcing system that, once triggered, leads to a permanent increase in complexity. Above a certain level of complexity, the level of complexity can no longer be managed with the aid of the existing form of organization. Either a more suitable organizational structure is found or the existing system collapses. A distinction must be made between two forms of complexity: A reduction in complexity in area A means an increase in complexity in area B (e.g. Taylorism: the strong division of labor led to an increase in complexity in the organizational structure; today: a reduction in the Complexity in the organizational structure means more personal responsibility for employees in production). Measures of this kind do not represent a real solution alternative on their own, as they i. Generally only equivalent to a shift in complexity from one corporate area to another. So there is a shift in complexity and rarely a reduction. A reduction in complexity in one area also means a decrease in another area (a reduction in the number of product variants, for example, leads to a reduction in the complexity of the process and organizational structure). Measures in this area are of a preventive nature, as they already take effect at the source of complexity (e.g. product design, process design, modularization, standardization, vertical integration) and relate in particular to internal company processes. In practice, however, the last-mentioned case rarely occurs because the company is constantly being presented with increasing complexity from outside (customers, market, technology, society and politics). When restructuring their organizational forms, companies have to base the restructuring of their organizational forms on a significantly higher level of complexity than the existing one, in order to gain long-term customer / market reinforcement Increase in complexity of products increases complexity of processes increases complexity of organization Complexity spiral new organizational forms process-oriented modular fractal old organizational forms hierarchical functional Fig. 1 The self-reinforcing spiral of complexity

3 To develop customer-supplier relationships in the company 3 competitive organizations and not just to chase after the constantly increasing complexity. One possible solution is to set up decentralized organizational units, which, however, can initially strengthen the so-called box thinking and therefore particularly require the creation of a customer-oriented corporate culture in order to enable holistic management. In Fig. 2, the processing of a plant business in which three different companies are involved is shown in simplified form as a linear, three-stage business process. It can be seen that the quality level, which at first glance is acceptable for a single company, and the adherence to deadlines from 95% to the external customer to a no longer acceptable 85.7%. Achieving an overall result of 95% requires a process reliability of 99.4% with only nine internal process steps. The plant business is i. Generally based on a very high number of internal and external processes. Since the process quality must not deteriorate significantly over the large number of interfaces, the aspect of internal customer-supplier relationships must be given special priority. The figure also shows that every company and every department, including its employees (in the following, from a purely linguistic and pragmatic point of view, no differentiation is made between employee and employee is only mentioned in the following), has a double function because it is always a customer and a supplier at the same time. This creates customer rights and obligations on the one hand, but also supplier rights and obligations on the other. In order to be able to establish clearly defined business behavior between individual companies or departments in view of the resulting diversity of relationships, it is necessary to draft external contracts as well as internal contracts (so-called contractings) in which the respective rights and obligations from both customer and are also clearly defined from the supplier's point of view. This is based on the following observation horizon in the form of a process chain: sub-supplier Æ supplier Æ company Æ customer Æ customer of the customer. The required level of customer satisfaction and thus acceptance in the buyers' market can only be achieved through precise knowledge of customer requirements across the entire process chain. For this purpose, regular customer surveys and supplier assessments are to be carried out. The areas including their performance criteria, which are mapped in a customer satisfaction analysis (both externally and internally between the companies and departments), are divided into the areas of order object (products or services), order-independent relationships, order-dependent relationships and service handling of a plant business three linear business processes external customer GmbH X GmbH Y GmbH Z Quality 95% 95% 95% Adherence to deadlines 95% 95% 95% 0.95 * 0.95 * 0.95 = 85.7% 0.95 * 0.95 * 0 , 95 = 85.7% Fig. 2 Multiplication effects in linear business processes

4 4 A. Gairola split (Fig. 3). Optimizing the former results in success factors, often referred to as soft facts or soft issues, such as image, awareness and identity, the characteristics of which ultimately influence the long-term success of a company and can therefore also be seen as the foundation of a company. At first glance, the time, personnel and thus financial expenditure of a customer survey is quite justified when you consider that it costs five times as much to win a new (external) customer as it does to keep a customer. Furthermore, satisfied customers pass on their experiences and thus contribute indirectly to improving the company's image. This basic consideration can be transferred to internal customer satisfaction with a similar meaningfulness. Fig. 4 and 5 show the value of customer satisfaction and the costs of customer dissatisfaction using the example of internal customers, companies and employees. There is a tendency to find again and again that, in the case of dissatisfied employees, the desire to change the situation seems to take a back seat to the need for personal justification in front of others (or confirmation from other employees). Is the cause for this misconduct now on the employee side, since the chance of a restructuring process is not actively used, but passive or, in the worst case, destructive behavior can be recognized? Or are we as entrepreneurs no longer able to convincingly convey the feeling of value of an internal customer to the employee? The solution to this conflict represents a serious business challenge, as an unsatisfied product Reliability Performance Functionality Product range Order-independent relationship Communication quality Consulting quality Offer quality Flexibility Order-dependent relationship Availability Delivery quality Processing quality Contract conditions Service time to deployment Repair quality Defect diagnosis Information support Fig. 3 Sections of a customer survey Customer satisfaction Customer benefits Value of satisfied companies More loyal customers More long-term employees Value of satisfied employees More positive recommendations More positive feedback (internally and externally) Larger core business Greater core competencies Lower sales costs Lower employee acquisition costs High returns Lower costs due to high performance motivation Lower risk Lower opportunity costs due to the distraction of satisfied employees Fig. 4 Benefits of satisfied internal customers

5 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 5 Costs of dissatisfied companies Customers are lost due to poor quality Customers are five times more likely to be lost due to poor service than due to cost reasons or poor product quality Unsatisfied customers do not complain to business partners Costs of dissatisfied employees Employees quit due to reasons Inadequate working conditions Employees are more likely to go because of a lack of prospects and a lack of company values ​​than unsatisfied employees for reasons of wages, but rather to their colleagues or friends and describe their problems there. On the one hand, when the dissatisfaction grows so much that he feels compelled to leave the company and on the other hand through a possible internal resignation, which means that his work has to be supported by colleagues. As a result, a formerly satisfied employee may also become a dissatisfied one in the medium term due to the additional burden. In this context it is frightening how little importance the satisfaction of our internal customer employees is still. We are all aware that such a narrow-minded view can hardly be transferred to our external customers. One more reason to shape the internal customer-supplier relationships using the same design and evaluation criteria as the external ones. 1.2 The organizational cycle curve The functional organizational system found in most companies, which is based on a deterministic approach, seems to be in its saturation or degeneration phase. This is shown in the fact that it can no longer do justice to the new environmental structure, which is largely shaped by chaotic forces, the market and its customers. If one transfers the ideas of the life cycle curve or S-curve from the classic area of ​​company / product planning to the design of systems and organizational forms, every change measure is limited both in terms of its increase in efficiency and its effectiveness over time [1, 2]. Fig. 6 illustrates this relationship based on the change processes restructuring (restructuring of business) holistic process design (reengineering of business) revitalization (reshaping of business). In concrete terms, this means that restructuring processes only lead to short-term and, at the same time, low increases in efficiency. Due to the relatively low effort with positive results that can be achieved quickly, which can be derived from the implementation of restructuring measures, this process is used again and again. Medium-term improvements are expected from Business Reengineering [3, 4]. The success of business reengineering projects is largely determined by whether it is possible to master the increasing complexity by using the creative potential of our employees. For this, in addition to the organizational and systemic requirements, an environment must be created that enables the shaping of the company's future through innovative solutions and constant learning. Reshaping of Business. A company will only be able to achieve long-term increases in efficiency and the associated competitive advantages if all three measures are efficiently combined with one another. To do this, a company must know its core competencies and be able to develop them together with the existing corporate culture. As part of the reshaping of business, the customer-oriented

6 6 A. Gairola Fig. 6 S-curves of the change processes Increase in efficiency Reshaping of business competencies Core ability Design of customer-supplier relationships Culture Reengineering of business Organization processes Restructuring of business short-term medium-term long-term Concept can be further improved. If this is a declared and widely recognized corporate goal, fundamental changes can be introduced in the corporate culture. The understanding and the consistent development of internal customer-supplier relationships are promoted. Fig. 7 shows that the focus on the customer and the corporate culture is of particular entrepreneurial importance, in which the efficiency increases over the imitation protection for improvement measures with regard to product properties, manufacturing processes, process and organizational structure, customer strategies as well as in the corporate culture are plotted. In addition, the tools required to achieve the set goals are listed in this presentation. It can be seen that the concentration on technical skills, i.e. H. the optimization of products and production processes cannot lead to the hoped-for quantum leap, since both the competitive strength that can be achieved and the protection against imitation are of little importance. On the other hand, go with the development of technical skills, i.e. H. lean and agile structures as well as process-oriented company processes, i. Generally higher potential for exploitation. The greatest competitive advantages and the greatest protection against imitation, however, lie in the effective use of the mostly hidden human potential and in the company's business style, which is shaped by the underlying values ​​and behavior. 2 Typologies of internal customer-supplier relationships 2.1 Historical development Customer-supplier relationships exist in every company, but these are mostly lived unconsciously rather than consciously. These relationships are primarily characterized by processes and communication flows that have evolved over time. The companies have a large number of hierarchical levels and the top management (board) issues directives and instructions to the top management in the classic sense of the top-down principle, which forwards them to the middle management. This in turn gives the directives and instructions

7 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 7 Fig. 7 Achieving competitive advantages Types of know-how Creating and establishing competitive strength. Its formation is not based exclusively on the product-related and at the same time department-related or division-related economic indicators (such as increased returns), but can primarily be derived from a measurable customer benefit. Since this does not only refer to a single company or department, but always includes the entire company, a holistic approach is taken as the basis for the formation of values, not only in terms of speech, but also in action. In this context, the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) is defined as a corporate goal and further measures, such as B. Time Based Management (TBM Time Based Management), Supply Management (SM Supplier Integration), Environmental Management (EM Ecology Management) and Change Management (CM Change Management) are initiated. At the same time, regular external and internal (see Section 4.2) customer satisfaction analyzes are carried out, from the results of which new goals and concepts can also be derived. The new corporate structure can therefore no longer be functionally oriented, i. H. overloaded with an overhead but is process oriented and customer driven.A new measurement Human skills Conceptual skills Technical skills process-oriented lean & agile Mutual appreciation Recognize customer benefit Structural organization Process organization Production processes Product properties Human potential Behavior, values, culture Market and customer orientation TQM Supply Management Time Based Management Six Sigma Benchmarking Teaming (years) sung to the front -End-People, d. In other words, production, sales, service, etc. continue without showing a vision or the sense of the path taken. The result is often a lack of consideration of customer expectations and, as a result, a large number of excuses and consolations from customers. Since such a structure of internal customer-supplier relationships cannot increase the (external) customer benefit, the vision of a customer-driven company must emerge. In this context, it is important to recognize that improving the quality of internal customer-supplier relationships is only of entrepreneurial relevance if it serves to increase customer benefit. It is about the design of a process of customer orientation, which can be seen as a central success factor with a lasting effect. While companies used to think for their customers, today they want to think together with their customers in the interests of their customers. What are the prerequisites for a successful customer-supplier relationship? First of all, a new value and measurement system has to be implemented in the company

8 8 A. Gairola system for assessing superiors is also being introduced in this context: Employee surveys are carried out in the individual companies, which are intended to reflect customer (employee) satisfaction on the one hand and an assessment of direct superiors on the other must allow direct customers (employees) (see Section 4.1). After the implementation of the new value and measurement system, the down-up principle can be consistently implemented, which is characterized by the greater importance of the front-end people. The middle management, the top management and the board see themselves as service providers for the front-end people and provide them with information geared towards external customers, such as company vision, strategic goals, strategic success positions, etc. In concrete terms, this means that the entire F ohrung can be made much leaner and thus more dynamic and creative, as they largely hand over the operational activities to independent, team-minded front-end people (Fig. 8). 2.2 Overview and characteristics A global player and a decentralized company have a large number of external, but also internal, customer-supplier relationships. Fig. 9 gives an overview of the various relationship typologies and the associated characteristics. The Customer Focus concept described below is intended to make a particular contribution to improving internal and external customer-supplier relationships. 3 The Customer Focus Concept The Customer Focus Concept is a comprehensive approach that involves the entire organization. In this context, other companies often speak of customer orientation, corporate reengineering, lean management, continuous improvement (CIP), etc. Customer Focus, which has been successively developed in three steps, takes up the yardstick for the quality of internal customer-supplier relationships Increase in (external) customer benefits Secondary focus on internal customers Primary focus on external customers Segments Regions ABC BA BA BA Internal Customers Vision XYZ Board Top Management Middle Management Front-End-People Production / Service etc. Suppliers SM external TQM customers Value formation TBM employees CM EM Gesellschafter Gesellschaft Results of a customer satisfaction analysis Fig. 8 Effects of an initiated customer orientation on corporate structures

9 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 9 Customer-supplier characteristics global local external internal tools direct customer company TQM TBM SM company company EM EU eco-audit supplier company SM TQM partner company TBM business area business area TQM TBM SM company at location X Company at location Y TQM TBM SM employee company CM employee company at CM location X Fig. 9 Typologies of customer-supplier relationships Corporate culture these concepts refer to and tries to unite them: Step 1: Introduction and development of a decentralized matrix organization, alignment of the individual companies on local markets (think global, act local) and the dismantling of hierarchies and superfluous bureaucracy. Step 2: Reorganization of product responsibilities and increase in internal efficiency by shortening throughput times (TBM) and increasing the quality of products and work processes (TQM). Step 3: Further development of these activities and design of the customer focus process. Integration and worldwide networking of all entrepreneurial activities with a view to increasing customer benefit and customer success. With the main motive of developing outstanding competence for customer-oriented solutions in all fields of work, on the one hand a significant expansion of the core competencies to increase competition on the global and local market is to be achieved. On the other hand, a sustainable improvement in the cost structure is to be achieved. An important prerequisite for being able to act and react on dynamic markets in an appropriate time and at the same time to increase customer and own benefit: Customer Focus integrates all previous individual programs and is set up worldwide. The vision is the customer driven company. The goal is the ability to solve customer problems in all areas of work in an excellent manner. The way is the complete involvement of all employees at all levels in the concept. Customer Focus is by no means to be seen as a worldwide regulation of a single solution; rather, the individual, in some cases considerably different regionally, Customer Focus projects are adapted to the specifics of the respective markets and customers, the cultural differences and the level of development of the individual companies

10 10 A. Gairola adapted. However, they are all based on a customer focus model, which consists of six elements, the basis of which is a customer and employee-oriented corporate culture. As with any change process, the success of Customer Focus is also heavily dependent on the integration and acceptance of employees, as this process requires changes in the way people think and act and the results achieved are always aimed at specific people. A customer and employee-oriented corporate culture is therefore the key factor for successful change processes. In addition, it harbors the highest degree of competitive advantages and at the same time has the highest protection against imitation against the competition (see Fig. 7). In contrast to the differentiating features in products, processes, organizational structures and market strategies, which could be copied by other companies, the corporate culture represents a business and working style that can only be imitated to a limited extent with considerable expenditure of time and money To include (change) processes so that all employees can achieve an increase in customer benefit and the associated customer satisfaction. Specifically, this means that, on the one hand, the necessary freedom for creativity and increases in creativity must be created and, on the other hand, the respective skills of the individual employees must be further developed. This can be done, for example, through increased team building, whereby it must be ensured that strict organizational and hierarchical structures are filed. An important change process in this context is e.g. B. the expansion or intensification of the service concept in the personnel departments of the individual companies in order to be able to move from classic personnel administration to efficient personnel development. An important tool for assessing the quality of previous measures is the internal employee satisfaction analysis, which includes an appraisal of superiors. In this, the aspect of high-quality personnel development is taken into account to a large extent. 3.1 Market and customer-oriented strategy All measures to improve internal company processes are based on the success-critical competitive factors of our customers in their markets, i. H. every improvement goes hand in hand with an increase in customer benefit. Here, among other things, the links between the own value chain and the customer value chain are taken into account [4]. In this context, it is also important to pursue market and customer-related overall strategies in which existing skills, both across departments and across companies, can be brought together and expanded if necessary. The development of holistic and sustainable strategies in which customers are participatively integrated is a basic requirement for the success of Customer Focus. In addition, these strategies have to be communicated with or by each individual employee in order to control the activities in day-to-day business. 3.2 Market and customer-oriented communication Knowledge of customer values ​​and the central tasks and problems of customers can be seen as key information with regard to a potential increase in customer benefit. The information must be prepared in such a way that it is not only available at the immediate interface between the company and the customer, but can also be interpreted by as many employees as possible for their field of activity. This promotes the ability of all employees to think and act entrepreneurially. To assess the efficiency of these activities, both external and internal customer surveys are carried out at regular intervals, the results of which are communicated consistently and on specific work packages

11 Customer-supplier relationships in the 11 company. Information technology aids such as Group Ware offer efficient solutions for the storage, distribution and use of such customer information throughout the entire organization, e. B. as a project database or as a database on business potential. 3.3 Market and customer-oriented organization Form the core of a market and customer-oriented organization: a high degree of market proximity, rapid decision-making and implementation as well as independence and personal responsibility of the individual companies through a decentralized organizational structure, in conjunction with integrated market cultivation in segments. This means that the joint search for market opportunities and the bundling of the mostly widely dispersed skills for the benefit of our customers and thus for the benefit of the entire organization is the focus. Overall entrepreneurial success is always given priority over isolated partial successes. A matrix organization offers consistency across department, division and company boundaries. It creates seams instead of interfaces and thus supports the bottom-up effect as an essential feature of a customer-driven company. To support the internal customer-supplier relationships z. B. so-called. Capture teams formed. All globally distributed companies that work together on a project take part as team members. In the individual team meetings, current information is exchanged, joint decisions are made, responsibilities are defined and contractual conditions are agreed. The advantage of such a concept is that, on the one hand, those involved know each other and build trusting relationships. On the other hand, they have the same level of information and the same understanding of the tasks to be performed. This avoids misunderstandings, exchanges information quickly, makes tasks transparent, and above all a common feeling is developed that everyone is responsible for the success of the overall project, regardless of the (distribution) of tasks. 3.4 Time Management Time Based Management (TBM) When developing and implementing holistic, process-oriented concepts as part of the corporate strategy, the time factor is a key factor in gaining and expanding market shares, reducing the amount of capital tied up in the logistical chain, speed and the flexibility in converting customer requests into competitive products and processes and thus ultimately for the competitiveness and profitability of a company. This knowledge provides essential impulses for the TBM concept, which is a strategically oriented, customer-related approach to the restructuring and reorientation of companies with the help of the measure of time. The main goal pursued with this concept is to shorten the lead times in all sections of the service creation process with the involvement of customers and suppliers. The main focus here is on improving the process properties. In addition to this instrumental, TBM also has a visionary character: In this sense, TBM includes all performance levels and change processes. TBM is thus

12 12 A. Gairola Time t 1 Get to know each other Create a common information base Build and promote common understanding Develop and use common procedures, methods, techniques, structures and processes Time t 2 Fig. 10 Implementation steps of Time Based Management (TBM) the dominant variable in time competition against its competitors in the market, be it with regard to the restructuring, reorientation or revitalization of a company [6]. When implementing TBM concepts, it must be ensured that there are interactions with existing TQM concepts and cost reduction measures, which must be of a positive, reinforcing character in order to be able to achieve the desired holistic successes. The actual time consumption in the process of service creation is essentially determined by the sequence and coordination of the main processes, the respective run in the sub-processes as well as the networking and availability of information in all process steps. Existing, mostly artificial buffers in the power flow are an expression of a lack of process control and thus cause avoidable costs. The necessary implementation steps for successful TBM activities are shown in Fig. 10. This procedure is not limited to the implementation of a TBM concept, but can in principle be used when introducing new concepts. 3.5 Total Quality Management (TQM) The quality of products and services is not defined by us, but by our customers. The quality standard is thus defined via the degree of customer satisfaction and not via the company's own quality criteria. In order to measure the quality of both the products and the processes internally, criteria must be developed that are part of total quality management and are significantly shaped by the so-called Six Sigma philosophy. Due to the strong correlation between product / process quality and customer satisfaction, the establishment and implementation of the TQM concept is often the focus of entrepreneurial activity. There are a large number of measures that a company can use to achieve higher customer satisfaction and which also act as indicators. Fig. 11 shows an excerpt from the extensive catalog of measures and underlines the importance of the two concepts TQM and TMQ (Total Management Quality). Only the combination of both concepts leads to an increase in customer satisfaction. TQM = attitude + knowledge + tools + measurement parameters TMQ = commitment + leadership + delegation + support TQM + TMQ = customer satisfaction This approach applies to all holistic concepts and thus also to the customer focus concept. 3.6 Supply Management (SM) In particular due to the increasing trend towards outsourcing, a large part of the value-adding activities has been ceded to the supply industry in recent years. Specifically, this means that currently z. In some cases, more than half of the company's sales are for deliveries and services

13 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 13 Visible management service Listening Factory as a marketing arm Supporting rapid learning Teams training Increase the amount of time that is spent outside the office with the customer Check compliance with the existing rules for customer satisfaction and, if necessary, promote Informal listening , Increase the number of calls to the customer per week Increase the number of customer visits to the factory per month Increase the number of awards for interesting errors and for constructive deviations from the rules Percentage of employees who work in a team Hours / hours spent on training Fig. 11 Measures to increase customer satisfaction are issued by suppliers. With the instruments of supply management, the relationship between company and suppliers should be designed more effectively. This requires, among other things. Continuous evaluation of suppliers, increased standardization of the materials used, the development of global procurement markets (which only become increasingly attractive through corresponding procurement volumes), early and continuous integration of suppliers into their own process / value chain and a long-term partnership. Only when these points are fully established can throughput times, quality and total costs be positively influenced for the benefit of the mutual customers. The mutual customer perspective is particularly important in this context, since customer satisfaction, but also customer dissatisfaction (resp.also from their customers etc.) not only has a positive or negative effect on one's own company. Due to the high external value of the products and services, customer satisfaction / dissatisfaction largely depends on the process capability of the suppliers (and sub-suppliers) and thus has a direct influence on their processes and profit margins. The knowledge that the suppliers are in the same boat as one's own company, customers, etc. is the basic requirement for holistic management. 3.7 Customer Focus Process (SM) An overview of the fields of activity that are dealt with in the Customer Focus process to support the elements described above and their relation to the specifications for customer orders (as a minimum requirement), customer requirements and customer expectations is shown in Fig. 12 . Only reaching the last category represents a real increase in customer benefit and gives the company a long-term competitive advantage. While the fulfillment of the requirements according to the customer orders is primarily determined by the product itself, the fulfillment of the customer requirements can essentially be derived from the processes and the fulfillment of customer expectations or the increase in customer benefit largely from the optimal use of human resources. Derive the company's resources. In all activities, the aspect of the measurability of activities is of great importance. This is not surprising insofar as the measurement, in addition to the actual states, also records potential disturbance variables, thus fulfilling a feedback function and the technical one

14 14 A. Gairola Fig. 12 Fields of activity and reference to customer-related specifications in the Customer Focus process Customer orientation Supplier integration (SM) Simultaneous engineering, company integration Benchmarking Delivery orientation Location determination (SA) Computer-integrated production (CIM) Six Sigma product orientation Customer voice Production-oriented design Time-based management (TBM) Holistic quality management (TQM) Change management Customer satisfaction index Customer expectations in general: Creating values ​​for the customer Customer requirements Timely delivery Quality price Customer orders (product) functionality (product) performance (product) reliability is a prerequisite for setting up a control system. In addition to these technical aspects, the soft factors are of great importance when setting up a metrix system (measurement and control system). For us, these are primarily: increasing the motivation of the employees involved in the improvement process through feedback from customer satisfaction analyzes, communication of activities internally and externally, classification of companies in rankings: these should have a motivating effect for good companies and less good companies. For the former in the form that they further expand their leading position and for the latter as a motivational boost to improve performance and demonstrate what is feasible. The prerequisite here is that the less good companies are not played against the wall and portrayed as black sheep, an essential feature of a customer-oriented corporate culture. 3.8 Customer satisfaction analysis The structure of the customer satisfaction analysis should be set up in such a way that it can also be used to determine so-called benchmarks (Fig. 13). The subsequent benchmarking primarily serves to identify critical success factors and, in addition to internal and external customer / supplier surveys, also includes the assessment of the competition and companies from outside the industry. The results from benchmarking studies are freely accessible and naturally require careful interpretation with regard to implementation in your own company. Often the (mental) mistake is made here of copying the concepts of the best in class without adapting them to the company's specifics. In this context, it is also important that the results from the internal benchmarking are adequately taken into account, as they depict the strengths and weaknesses of the company processes and indicate possible interface problems. The description of the stairway to customer success is the conclusion of this section (Fig. 14). The customer success, d. H. a noticeable increase in customer benefit can only be achieved and maintained if there is a balance between a holistic customer

15 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 15 External survey (customers, suppliers, competitors, people outside the industry) What is the decisive factor for my success? Which factors are causing the greatest difficulties? What specific problems does the organization have? What is the difference between the organization and the competition? Customer satisfaction Team spirit Delivery time Flexibility etc. Willingness to perform Quality Insufficient know-how Costs Explosion of costs Competitive pressure Lack of innovation Insufficient qualification Fluctuation Quality defects Time to market Quality Supplier Service Price Strengths or qualities that are necessary to be successful in the market Internal survey (companies, departments, employees ) Fig. 13 Benchmarking Determination of the objects to be examined Fig. 14 Success steps to increase customer benefit Holistic customer focus concept Methods & techniques Qualifications & expertise Business procedures & processes Inner attitudes & behavior Critical success factors Increase customer benefit Tools & applications Budget & resources Crit. Success factors & measurement parameters Holistic management quality Focus concept and holistic management quality is in place. To do this, the first step is to sensitize the employees to the necessary inner attitude (willingness to change management) and to train the resulting behavior. Once this usually very laborious change process has been largely stabilized as a basic requirement, the next step is to examine the business procedures and processes and to optimize them from the point of view of customer orientation. During process optimization, existing qualifications that need to be developed or are still to be developed are shown. For this purpose and to optimize the company processes, various methods and techniques are required which i. Generally not completely available and therefore z. T.

16 16 A. Gairola must be redeveloped and then maintained. 3.9 Total Business System Review (TBSR) After completing these work packages, the company usually has sufficient detailed knowledge to be able to make initial statements about critical success factors and the establishment of a system to measure the increase in customer satisfaction and the effort required for this. From this stage onwards, a sensible allocation of resources and provision of the corresponding budget can take place. The development of higher-level tools (e.g. Total Business System Review TBSR) as well as the definition of their fields of application form the conclusion of the ladder to success and initiate the second cycle. The TBSR structure can be divided into four main areas (driver, system, target and measurements), whereby in the holistic view all system elements are interconnected and interdependent. TBSR serves the continuous improvement of all business processes and the further development of the corporate culture across all organizational levels and therefore has a strong (self) assessment character. By supporting the TBSR process by questioning all employees from different hierarchical levels involved in business processes, a well-founded statement can be made about the existing strengths / weaknesses profile of the business process under consideration. Fig. 15 shows the TBSR structure and the various system elements. 4 Application Examples 4.1 Employee Survey and Supervisor Assessment The employee survey is an effective means of regularly measuring the satisfaction of internal customer employees and the progress of change from the employees' point of view. In order not to cause unnecessary signs of wear and tear when using this aid, an employee survey should not take place annually, but at intervals of 2 3 years. The results of such surveys are distributed internally to all employees. The information from them flow directly into the planning of specific projects to improve the corporate culture. Sometimes implemented immediately or implemented by the next survey. This means that the feedback from the employees and to the employees Fig. 15 TBSR structure and elements 1. Driver Customer Focus concept and management (quality) 2. System business strategy Change Management> Personnel (skills)> Processes (skills) Total Quality Management Supply Management Time Based Management Environmental Management Innovation Management Information Processing Problem Solving 3. Objective Customer Orientation and Satisfaction 4. Measurements Measurements of process improvement and operational results

17 Customer-supplier relationships in the company 17 are of great importance, and that this must also be credibly exemplified by the projects initiated. Results from an initial survey can e.g. B. the increasing importance of teamwork and the strengthening of the decision-making competence of employees through the formation of innovation teams and the organization in production islands. Furthermore, especially in the plant business, the new use of a so-called customer focus mobile, which regularly drives to different project construction sites, can force the distribution of current information. In addition, after the first survey, a company brochure should be drawn up that contains a commitment to a partnership-based management style, an important step towards a corporate culture characterized by trust and open communication. In the process of change management, it is also becoming more and more important to clarify the extent to which executives actually drive cultural change or only pay lip service from the point of view of the employees they lead. In order to be able to give the individual executives specific and differentiated feedback, an appraisal of superiors can be included in the employee survey. The corresponding questionnaires are not evaluated internally, but externally, and the executives assessed receive a summary assessment of their managerial behavior, which they should discuss with their employees. The anonymity of the answers of each individual employee is, among other things. This ensures that a minimum group size of three employees is provided as a prerequisite for a supervisor assessment. 4.2 Internal customer survey using the example of a service company The results of internal customer satisfaction analyzes should, in principle, be as important as the results of external customer surveys. Only the equal treatment of internal and external customers makes it possible to comprehensively grasp customer needs and to develop appropriate skills. The first thing to do here is to design binding contractings between suppliers and internal customers in order to create a basis of trust with regard to the common goal of customer satisfaction. Only then does it make sense to carry out an internal customer satisfaction analysis: on the one hand, to pursue the achievement of the goals agreed in the contracting (differentiated consideration of customer satisfaction) and, on the other hand, to show strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of internal customers. Recommendations for action are derived from the knowledge gained and the underlying range of services is optimized. In the run-up to the analysis, the self-assessment by the company under consideration is particularly important, as this is the only way to make a comparison between external and self-assessment possible. If there is no self-assessment in the run-up to the analysis, there is a risk that the self-assessment will be adjusted afterwards to the results from the external assessment and thus the feedback function will be lost. In addition to the self-assessment, the general corporate goals, the demands placed on the processing of the business, the success-critical factors for the respective business process and the core competencies to be developed should also be defined in advance. The inclusion of these facts in the questionnaires is a prerequisite for gaining clues from the analysis for the redesign of both corporate processes and corporate culture. If one's own expectations, competencies and the weighting of these parameters match those of the customers, then it is actually a customer-driven company. A comparison with external providers completes the picture of your own company. The questionnaires should