Singapore Management Network Customer Centric Selling

Being a member of Management Network 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 Management Network.

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 Management Network 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.

There's an old supply-chain saying that goes, 'A vendor gives you the best 'deal,' while a strategic partner gives you the highest quality at the lowest cost.' This adage sets the stage for this article on Strategic Supplier Relationships ('SSR') also known as Supplier Relationship Management ('SRM'). SSR is defined as a comprehensive approach to managing the interactions and communications between an enterprise and its suppliers. The goal of SSR is to effectively streamline and make more efficient the communication and interaction between an enterprise and its suppliers. This is accomplished through increased process efficiency related to the acquiring of goods and services, the managing of inventory, purchase order processing, and the management of materials. The benefits of SSR are lower costs, less administrative burden, increased productivity, and a more integrated supply-chain. With margins within the food industry being squeezed, it is ever so important to manage COGS (cost of goods sold) aggressively, thereby increasing profitability. The objective of this article is to shed some light on how SSR might reduce costs and administrative burden, while increasing margins. There are well published examples of companies using SSR to enhance the strategic relationship between buyers and suppliers. In essence, SSR can be accomplished by following these rules of engagement:

1. Carefully evaluate and choose strategic suppliers. When choosing a strategic partner, be sure to take a close look at their business, including such things as:

- Financial stability (D&B)

- Client references

- Proximity to your network

- Management depth

- Years in business

- Use of technology (EDI)

- Cultural fit

2. Develop a clear set of expectations. Before signing an agreement with a supplier, be sure there are clear rules and expectations, including specific tasks you demand them to accomplish. There must be clear roles and nothing must be left to interpretation in terms of responsibilities.

3. Define goals and performance targets. Specific key performance indicators (KPI's) must be developed and tracked to compare suppliers and keep them on track. KPI's such as on-time delivery, expected lead time, freight terms, etc. must be included in a quarterly report-card for each supplier. When setting targets for performance, use the SMART method for developing goals. Each goal must be:

Specific,

Measurable,

Attainable,

Realistic, and

Timely

4. Monitor and rank supplier performance. It's always a good idea to use a scorecard to monitor supplier performance. Additionally, ranking suppliers from best to worst and sharing this data will go a long way to improve performance (nobody wants to be at the bottom of the report).

5. Conduct annual reviews for continuous improvement. Finally, be sure to meet with your suppliers to solicit ideas on how to improve productivity, reduce administrative burden, increase the use of technology, and lower costs.

Conclusion

A comprehensive strategic supplier management program will result in a significant reduction in administrative burden, lower cost of goods, and ultimately, improved profitability. The first step is to establish the baseline of existing suppliers in terms of volumes, frequency, and costs. Next, develop a clear set of expectations, goals, and key performance indicators to monitor quarterly. Finally, be sure to meet with your strategic partners frequently to pick their brains about ways to improve productivity or reduce costs. Additionally, be sure you spend some time teaching your suppliers about the culture at your company and the strategic plans for growth. When taken seriously, the steps outlined in this article will not only improve supplier relationships and lower costs, but will also have a positive impact on profitability. So, remember, vendors are things of the past; strategic partners are what make a difference!

What Is A Customer Centric Company

Abstract

During the marketing classes we all have heard about the four 'P's (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) which is also known as the marketing mix. It has always been the best parameters to control the internal as well as external constraints of the marketing environment.

In today's hypercompetitive world, the four P's are no longer an effective model to penetrate and exist in a market. Through the power of mass media, channels and technology, the control has slowly shifted from marketers to consumers. This is where 'customer-centric marketing' comes into existence which is now considered as the new model for marketing effectiveness.

Customer-centric marketing

According to Chaffery1[1], "Customer-centric marketing is an approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behavior within the target audience and then seeks to fulfill the individual needs and wants of customers." It centers on the needs and wants of the customer, and not about what the marketer or seller wants a customer to buy. Thus by understanding the needs, wants and problems of the customer, businesses could gain direct insight into them and build a mutually beneficial relationship and rapport. Understanding how a customer or prospect is engaged with the brand and then tailoring resources, products, services, and communications to reflect their engagement level demonstrates a customer-centric business approach.

Thus;

• Customer-centric approach is more like creating relationship sales by understanding your consumers as opposed to product or promotional approach.

• It focuses more on the satisfaction and mutual relationship with the consumer

• Communication becomes an important factor to get regular feedback from consumer

• Will be investing on potential consumers thus avoiding vain investments on low potential customers

• Sales will be generated as a result of a solid relationship, listening and problem solving

• Consumer information will be integrated across marketing, sales, and service departments

• Integrated mass and direct communications with the customers will be made regularly

To help frame a customer-centric strategy, Forrester[2] has identified five key dimensions which marketers must focus on:

1) Establish a customer-centric marketing culture;

2) Rethink business processes;

3) Create a centralized view of the customer;

4) Use analytics to drive customer communication; and

5) Invest in a consistent measurement framework.

Why companies should change to customer-centric approach?

There are many benefits by switching to a customer-centric marketing approach and adjusting marketing practices to deliver relevant messages through multiple channels.

• The first reason would be 'an improvement in selling and experience' as there are no sales tosses

• Least expensive marketing program and improved referrals

• Marketing investment will be better aligned with customer profit potential

• Increase in profits through customer loyalty. Customers will buy over a long period of time

• Lasting business relationship

• Raises awareness and optimizes appeal

Conclusion

A comprehensive view of the customer helps marketers to deliver productive customer experiences, support marketing measurements, and drive new business opportunities. The first step towards greater profits is to recognize that company profitability is driven by customer-level profitability. Long term investments in the right customer base will definitely help businesses to position themselves to prosper and succeed.

[1] Chaffery, Dave. 2008, Customer centric marketing definition, from; http://www.davechaffey.com/E-marketing-Glossary/Customer-centric-marketing.htm

[2] Source: Defining an Enterprise wide Customer Contact Strategy, Forrester, Research, Inc., October 22, 2008.