Singapore Executives Forum Customer Centric Strategy

Being a member of Executives Forum you would know employee job satisfaction is one of the key goals of all successful companies. Happy employees are more loyal to the company and its vision. They go the extra mile to achieve company goals.

Dissatisfied workers experience lower productivity in the workplace, poorer performance, more job stress, and higher turnover rates. Moreover, low job satisfaction can result in low morale and low loyalty to the company itself and to any outside Executives Forum.

Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which employees feel self-motivated and satisfied with their job. Employee satisfaction covers the basic concerns and needs of employees, and is essential to the success of any business. Job satisfaction is a combination of intrinsic (kind of work) and extrinsic (working condition) factors. Salary, promotion, work-life balance, recognition and appraisals are important factors to be considered in employee satisfaction.

Why Customer Centricity Is Important

Make strategic decisions to create a culture of engagement and satisfaction. Engaged employees have a strong sense of purpose and leadership. They add value by pushing limits, driving growth and innovation. Employee satisfaction is one of the key metric that can help determine overall health of an organization, which is why many organizations employ regular surveys to measure and track employee satisfaction over time. As a Executives Forum you would understand that this is one way to assess whether your team is happy and engaged at work. It is critical for employee retention. Sadly, CulturalManagement has observed that this has decreased significantly over the past twenty years.

At CulturalManagement we guide you on how to easily collect and understand employee feedback to create an action plan that works. Few ways a company can improve employee job satisfaction:

  • Provide a positive working environment.
  • Rewards and recognition.
  • Make work-life balance a priority.
  • Develop skills and potential of workforce.
  • Create open and honest communication channels.

Is your organization customer-focused? As the economy regains strength, consumers will feel comfortable spending more. By fortifying your customer engagement approach now, you can position your organization to take full advantage of the eventual upturn. Fostering customer engagement is also the most effective way to recover lost customers and acquire new ones. This is because fully engaged customers recruit new customers for you - they are enthusiastic about the service you provide and recommend you to others. If you can create a customer-centric organization, you can successfully generate fully engaged customers (as well as higher profits).

There are two key variables in engineering a customer-centric organization: customer engagement and employee engagement. Through Customer Engagement Management (CEM), you can take practical steps to increase customer engagement. Although nearly any organization can improve customer engagement through CEM, we have found that customer engagement scores improve even further when organizations also use Employee Engagement Management (EEM). EEM practices create a healthy organizational culture in the workplace so that your employees feel passionate about their work. Although some immediate actions can be taken to improve employee engagement, EEM will likely involve a longer process of internal change and growth.

Customer Engagement
Generally, an engaged customer is one who actively supports a service or product. Customer engagement is more than just brand loyalty where customers are simply making exclusive purchases; instead, engaged customers are supporting the company by buying more products and services and telling others to do the same. In short, the key to a successful business is engaged customers -- people who enthusiastically endorse what you do.

Unfortunately, many organizations fail to recognize how their own procedures create apathetic customers. For instance, many organizations suffer from a lack of consistency regarding customer contact. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than having three different encounters with three different employees in three different ways over a single issue. It's easy to see how customers are willing to switch brands when faced with such poor customer service.

A customer-centric organization wouldn't expect its customers to navigate such complex communication structures. Customer-centric companies focus on the customer throughout everything they do. A CEM solution for such a problem would begin with getting feedback from customers to find out how they feel, ideally at the individual level and through statistically reliable market research. To do this you must identify the customer touch points within your organization and contact customers after an experience with these touch points to get their feedback. If you do this, you will have both individual customer feedback and begin to see larger trends and areas for focus. View your product or service as a real customer would. Don't generalize or stereotype; instead, recruit actual customer to help you accurately visualize your product. By doing this, you'll remove the focus from "the company" and put it on the customer--exactly where it needs to be.

Employee Engagement
Whether they realize it or not, customers make most of their decisions based on their emotions--how they're feeling at a given point in time--which is why employee engagement is a crucial ingredient in creating a customer-centric culture. If employees are engaged, their interactions with customers will be genuine, not coerced or forced. Customers recognize and are pleased with such sincere service. As such, one of the major factors in increasing customer engagement is employee engagement.

The first step to engaging employees is realizing that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every organization. Since every company's organizational culture is different, every company's employee engagement solution should look different as well. Your employees are unique, so your EEM solution should begin with asking staff about their experience at the organization and then incorporating a management solution that allows managers to take action to meet employee needs.

With an increase in employee engagement, you're likely to experience an increase in customer engagement. And with that, you'll no doubt enjoy success.

~Monica Nolan, 2009

Customer Segmentation Using Machine Learning

INTRODUCTION

Procurement researches sales records and inventory levels of current stock, find foreign and domestic suppliers, and stay current on any changes in either the supply of or demand for needed products and materials.

Production and Manufacturing are closely related but are not one and the same. Manufacturing involves activities from research, design and development, production, logistics, and service provision to end of life management. Production involves the processes of making, shaping, etc., while manufacturing involves the process of getting raw materials to goods and their associated services

Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents aim to find the best merchandise at the lowest possible purchase cost.

Purchasers and buyers find the best goods or services, choose suppliers, negotiate prices, and grant contracts that ensure that the right amount of the product or service is received when it is needed.

PURCHASING AND MATERIALS ACTIVITIES

The Purchasing Manager plays a pivotal role in procurement, vendor development, and negotiation. The manager plans, organizes, directs, controls, and evaluates the purchasing activities of the company. The manager provides expertise in specifying and procuring new and replacement components, parts and equipment, and reviews technical and quality requirements for the purchase of items, spare parts, and services.

To operate cost-effectively the company requires competitive prices commensurate with the technical and service requirements, and the security required by the business.

The role is to manage and operate this process, in particular developing processes to capture and control expenditure and linking with suppliers, both current and potential, to ensure that best prices and quality is achieved.

The Purchasing Manager develops purchasing policies and procedures and controls the purchasing department budget.

Relationship Management

* Manages day-to-day functioning of purchasing group.

* Reviews purchase orders to ensure adherence to quality and procedures.

* Ensures that re-ordering of stock is carried out on a daily basis as required to maintain adequate stock levels of parts for production.

* Understands assembly process thoroughly to ensure that the material is delivered just in time.

* Participates in the creation of forecasts, and relates those to production programs and stock required for the daily production round.

* Represents purchasing in discussions and strategies aimed at improving overall integration of purchasing, assets, and accounts payable.

* Liaise with Technical department when creating new products or in matters relating to product specification.

* Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products, or substitute materials.

* Reviewing the technical specifications for accuracy and completeness.

* Manages the creation and maintenance of Equipment Bill of Materials.

* Overseeing the technical and QA requirements on all items (materials, components, and parts) to ensure that purchased items meet design requirements.

* Managing the shipping, handling and storage requirements on components to ensure high quality items are received and issued to the appropriate departments.

* Standardizing and managing the evaluation of replacement items for obsolete parts and component acceptability.

* Support & Coordinating with the various Departments for Procurement of Common Raw Materials & Packaging Materials.

* Coordinate with various departments for smooth functioning of departmental activity, particularly with Accounting department.

* Rate contracts/tendering /market surveys and data bank of prices for ready reckoning and instant estimations.

* Prepares, monitors and controls department business plans / budgets

Supplier Management and Vendor Sourcing and Analysis

* Undertakes Vendor Analysis & Development of new Vendors.

* Identifies early suppliers for company components, concepts, and production programs.

* Manages vendor documentation program, ensuring that a tracking system is in place and maintained.

* Works closely with potential production suppliers to ensure effective support.

* Searches on a worldwide basis for technology suppliers, technology partners, and future potential suppliers for the company and keeping up with market trends.

* Proactive and acts on initiative to maintain a supplier base and when necessary source alternative suppliers to ensure that the required material products remain in constant stock as required.

* Proactively ensures all suppliers adhere to agreed service levels and to have contingencies plans of supply for all core product ranges.

* Develops and implements appropriate long and short term strategic and tactical initiatives in order to achieve specific buying, sourcing targets.

* Supports the Product Design Group with supplier negotiations, supplier timing plans, and cost forecasts to achieve the most cost effective component delivery.

* Negotiates and executes contracts with the vendors as per requirement of quality, cost and delivery.

* Maintains data of all the prices approved as a record and keeps track of changes in prices frequently and updates.

* Reviews purchase orders to ensure adherence to quality and procedures.

* Oversees the purchase orders to Vendors and order acknowledgements from the Vendors.

* Follows up with Vendor for delivery and to get the material at the right time and required quantity at required locations.

* Follow through on outstanding back orders.

* Maintains effective record keeping on all purchase orders and supplier confirmations.

* Coordinates with accounts for payment of suppliers and resolve issues if any.

* Reviews and processes claims against suppliers.

* When necessary, to develop a sub-contractor base whether local or direct to market level and to set-up on-site, sub-contractor QA and process improvement activity.

Cost Reductions and Efficiency Improvements

* Evaluates cost and quality of goods or services.

* Monitors International Trends in Raw Material for effective negotiations.

* Continuously tries to reduce outgoing funds while not compromising on product quality.

* Obtains best prices for imports from carriers.

* Cost Cutting through negotiation with suppliers (domestic/foreign).

* Negotiation and pricing of current and new products.

* Streamlining production, identifying and eliminating inefficiencies.

* When necessary, Just-In-Time purchases to minimize inventory cost.

* Updating and revising existing purchasing procedures to introduce cost cutting measures.

* Balancing regional and global approaches.

* Accurately monitoring and forecasting stock levels.

* Researching and identifying new products and suppliers.

* Always seeking reliable vendors or suppliers to provide quality goods at reasonable prices.

* Precise monitoring of quantity and timing of deliveries.

* Ensuring relationships with existing suppliers are kept manageable and in the best interests of the business - be this through initiating commercial negotiations, implementing improvement programs and making certain quality, cost and delivery are guaranteed.

* Maximizing the supply chain efficiencies for all accountable suppliers and accounting for the in, and outbound supply chain for the business against agreed service and targets.

* Highlighting purchasing opportunities where identified.

* Managing and developing a solid relationship with suppliers to reduce costs and improve quality including on-time deliveries.

* Plans material as per the requirement of assembly processes to support improvement in the production flow.

* Overseeing continuous improvement initiatives to drive process optimization.

* Developing and managing obsolescence programs, including the strategic direction for components and materials.

Team Relationship

* Provide leadership to the team.

* Supervise and motivate the team.

* Develop and train staff to ensure that they meet required performance standards.

* Support in execution of Service Contracts.

* Liaise with support staff as appropriate.

* Provide guidance to staff in handling employee inquiries and to ensure that matters are resolved.

* Demonstrate credibility to win the confidence and support of the top management, suppliers and partners.

* Interact with suppliers, customers, customers' agencies (Artwork Houses etc.), and agents, suppliers and prime producers supplying all group companies.

* Provide assistance to all departments as required.

* Deal effectively with executive, technical and operational and sub-contract personnel.