Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Thursday, February 18th, 2016
It may be that you read yesterday’s notes about meeting customers’ expectations and feel that it wasn’t meant for you.
You could reason: “that’s for the people that see, talk to and send stuff to customers. Not me. I work in the plant.”
I heard a speaker once who countered that claim. He said: “Everyone has a customer. You are either serving the customer directly or you are serving someone who serves the customer. The key is to understand your customer, whoever it is.”
The customer-the one you serve- is the “why” behind the job. You may know “what” is expected of you in the job, but you have to understand “why” your job exists to be purposeful in your daily efforts.
Understanding the “why” is lean. The ultimate customer of our product doesn’t want to pay for anything that doesn’t add value. So, if there is wasted time, material or motion in the process of fulfilling the customers expectations, we aren’t as lean as we can be.
So, can you name your customer? Are you clear about what that person you are serving needs from you? Have you worked on defining their expectations lately? Have you tried to meet them at a higher level?