Customer Focused Process Innovation
HOW TO LINK STRATEGY TO DAILY PRACTICES
Every day individuals enthusiastically accept prominent roles in companies around the globe. Not long thereafter, their initial excitement is tempered by an uncertainty epitomized in three questions:
How do things really work around here?
Who does what and where do I fit in?
What can I do to move the ball forward?
What they quickly discover is their role did not come with instructions. And no one waits for them to get up to speed. The inbox bursts with wildfires – lackluster sales, missed deadlines, marketing mishaps, and new competitors testing the market. What they need is an owner’s manual for managing and growing an enterprise, a structure for attacking the corporate chaos and lasering in on those critical items that determine success or failure – and that is exactly the book I have written, Customer Focused Process Innovation.
The answers to the above questions rely on how the company organizes work or more appropriately, processes. By my definition, processes are a collection of tasks that take inputs and create outputs. In fact, every company is a web of processes – with work completed at numerous stops before a finished product is delivered to a customer. For decades process improvement meant making products better, faster, and less costly, but there is a far greater power to processes.
Consider for a moment that the web of connected processes is the unique way a company creates value – in effect, its strategy. It follows that if you calibrate the outputs of this process web to deliver exactly what the customer wants, you have created an incredibly efficient way to develop the perfect product. But how do you know what the customer wants? By capturing feedback from the points where your process web interacts with the customer, rich detail is readily available on the needs, wants, and dislikes of your customer. Success is managing this simplified relationship between the customer and your processes. This concept is the basis of Customer Focused Process Innovation – building a process-based machine to deliver exactly what the customer wants as efficiently as possible. Embedding this power in the DNA of a company leads to the answers.
About the Shingo Institute
Housed at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, the Shingo Institute is named after Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo. Shingo distinguished himself as one of the world's thought leaders in concepts, management systems and improvement techniques that have become known as the Toyota Business System. Drawing from Shingo's teachings and years of experience working with organizations throughout the world, the Shingo Institute has developed the Shingo Model™ which is the basis for several educational offerings including workshops, study tours and conferences. It also awards and recognizes organizations that demonstrate an exceptional culture that continually strives for improvement and progress. Those interested in more information or in registering to attend the 30th International Shingo Conference may visit www.shingo.org.