To gain a competitive edge today, a company must be capable of delivering excellent value for money, providing not only a world-class product, but also world-class service. "World class" is one of those grossly overused terms that have become diluted by use and abuse; however, I believe world class could be defined as "watching operational results leap dramatically while competitors lose all significant sales."
This kind of company is truly competitive in the global environment. Every organization today is facing the same set of challenges. These challenges can be classified in terms of
•integrated resource management
•listening to the voice of the customer
•competing for time
•environmental and regulatory issues
•the impact of technology
•working in teams
•dealing with change
•setting new performance standards
•creating new reward systems.
WE MUST INTEGRATE BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RESOURCES
In the organization, managing resources has now become one of the most important challenges in any enterprise. Resources can be anything that the organization needs in order to accomplish its mission. Resources can be both internal and external. The challenge today is to integrate resources from varying organizations across the entire supply chain and focus their activities on delivering excellent products and services to customers. Some more advanced organizations have recognized this fact by creating a new position, the chief resource manager. This person is responsible for selecting, developing, and retaining internal and external resources, deciding which processes are core competencies to be maintained internally and which processes can be effectively outsourced. I predict that this trend will continue as many organizations struggle with delivering superior value to their stakeholders while managing with resources that are subject to time and funding constraints. One of the biggest challenges in the resource area is how to develop suppliers and people at the rate necessary to ensure competitive survival. This requires a significant commitment of every organization to lifelong learning, and the organization must adopt a learning culture.
WE IGNORE THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER AT OUR PERIL
The customer is the person who pays our paycheck. If we don't provide acceptable product quality, delivery, service, and price, the customer will tell us with their nonpurchase. A dissatisfied customer is a threat to any business. "Bad will" spreads like wildfire, especially on the Internet. Organizations can be destroyed overnight by bad publicity. In this new business reality, every organization needs to take customer care very seriously and listen to every customer. Customers today have so much choice about potential suppliers that they can switch sources of supply very quickly. Customer loyalty is obtained by ensuring that everyone in the organization is focused on delivering value-added "moments of truth" to each potential customer.
WE NEED TO CONTAIN COSTS
Every organization today is focused on decreasing operational costs. In recent years, manufacturing companies have done an excellent job of increasing productivity and reducing labor costs. The introduction of effective planning systems and Just-in-Time control systems has ensured that manufacturing costs are contained. The same cannot be said for distribution. In many cases now distribution costs for a product exceed the manufacturing costs. The new revolution will be in the area of reducing distribution costs.
To Be Continued
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