Developing the Customer Relationship with Lean


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In a past podcast, I asked a General Sales Manager of a global Fortune 300 chemical company of how they used Lean when a customer seemingly can find any product at any time for any price, and you can’t take the statements literally but there’s a little bit of truth in that. Have you seen how Lean can help in a demand economy?

An Excerpt from the Podcast:

Eric:  The Lean is the tool that creates the customer-owner-vendor relationship. That customer-vendor relationship at the end of the day can really provide a lot of stability. Because organizations or at least large organizations as they operate their business, they always have to factor in the risk part of it, right? We have many customers that could get our products that are faster, cheaper tomorrow, but maybe only for tomorrow. The risk part is not understanding how well the other competitors out there can react to what the current supplier reacts. So as you become a more entrusted supplier, I honestly believe that all other competitors become less competitive because that history and that limited risk allows the current set?up, the current customer, the current vendor to be much more focused on creating value for both organizations.

Understanding that every part of Lean is not about getting that answer, it’s about making the process or the Value Stream better. Once you’ve figured out how to make the process of the Value Stream better, the next step is to figure out how to do it again. We focused a lot of times in our world at finishing the task and finishing it well and moving on to the next task. If you want value creation, you really need to pick a task and allow that task to continue to improve while engulfing other parts of the business or other parts of the Value Stream, always building on top of each other.

You might start with addition and subtraction and by the end of the day you are doing calculus. It’s a similar progression. It’s not one event in time, its many events that are interconnected that lead to a really strong Lean organization.

Eric first worked as a Facility Manager and soon became a Lean Deployment Manager. He transferred those skills to Sales and Marketing. Eric Haberkern can be found on LinkedIn.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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