Guest Post Week continues with a post from Meikah at CustServ. Let’s get right to it…
To tweak a bit Charles Dickens’s lines, there are the best of times and the worst of times in business. Yet in both times, your business has to step up to keep afloat.
Imagine this scenario:
1. big manufacturing plants increase production and smaller downstream companies bring sprouting
2. imports from other countries, especially China, start pouring in
3. tariff duties are liberalized
4. government has not set clear regulatory standards
5. customers become more demanding
What do you do? Strategize. A local roofing-manufacturing company actually experienced this, and their solution was to put the customers at the beginning of the value chain.
In the past, all they did was plan how to procure materials, process them at the most efficient and lowest cost and sell them at competitive prices. Customer reaction was just an after thought. So, they changed some of their parameters.
First, they welcomed customer’s preferences in terms of color and design. The company didn’t stick to their original offerings. As the market for pre-painted roofing matures, it has also become fashionable. It’s now time to cater to their customer requirements. Operations, in collaboration with paint suppliers, then met this demand.
Second, they revolutionized their delivery and pick-up schedule with their B-2-Bs. Before the sked was only during daytime up to 5 PM. Soon they’ve allowed pick-up trucks to leave the plant after the 9:00PM highway truck ban so that these trucks will reach their destination before the 6:00AM truck ban. For this change, the company set up night shifts, put up a Hauler’s Quarters, and workers can use some sports facilities like the basketball court while waiting for the loading and hauling to finish.
Customers have responded favorably to these changes. More and more repeat and new businesses are taking place. The company soon realizes that it’s not all about them but all about the customer.
Thanks, Meikah, Be sure to check out more of Meikah’s posts at CustServ.