Now you're lean, what next?
Trimming the fat from an organisation is always a good idea, a lean organisation with no waste will always work more fluidly. Organisations regularly hear the industry analysts' mantra of "cut, cut, cut." However cutting costs can only get you so far before you are as lean as you can be while still offering a good product. Industries such as Manufacturing have shown us that cutting costs can only get you so far before you start effecting product/ service quality and ultimately satisfaction which will in turn effect repurchase decisions.
A change of mind-set is needed; in order to differentiate beyond price, organisations need to create more value in the customer's mind. The CEO has to be the instigator, sponsor and the driver of changing strategy towards a more customer-focused approach, based on better insights into the customer base delivered through a Voice of the Customer platform. This will help board level executives to manage risk better, understand how resources can be arranged to better support the customer, change processes as necessary and prioritise actions to deliver an improved customer experience.
For More, check out the latest issue of the Lean Management journal where I have a feature article on this subject. http://www.leanmj.com