Internal Customer Management and Service Gaps within the UK Manufacturing Sector

Internal Customer Management and Service Gaps within the UK Manufacturing Sector To determine the degree to which UK manufacturing companies have adopted an internal‐customer‐oriented philosophy, a survey was undertaken using a modified version of the Parasuraman SERVQUAL model. The majority of respondents indicated the existence of type 1,2,3 and 4 gaps in the internal customer management process within their firms. Major influencers of these service gaps include departments placing internal efficiency ahead of internal customer needs elsewhere in their organization, minimal effort to gain further understanding of internal customer requirements and a lack of formal quality standards for managing internal customer relations. Respondents consider their departments are able and willing to enhance the quality of provision if the issue was given higher priority by senior management. Identified obstacles to greater emphasis on an internal customer philosophy include insufficient trust between departments and low confidence levels over ability to manage the process. Unless British firms can be persuaded to revise their opinions about the importance of creating effective internal customer chains, concern must exist about the capability of the UK industry to achieve “world class” manufacturing standards. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Operations & Production Management Emerald Publishing

Internal Customer Management and Service Gaps within the UK Manufacturing Sector

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-3577
DOI
10.1108/01443579410066758
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To determine the degree to which UK manufacturing companies have adopted an internal‐customer‐oriented philosophy, a survey was undertaken using a modified version of the Parasuraman SERVQUAL model. The majority of respondents indicated the existence of type 1,2,3 and 4 gaps in the internal customer management process within their firms. Major influencers of these service gaps include departments placing internal efficiency ahead of internal customer needs elsewhere in their organization, minimal effort to gain further understanding of internal customer requirements and a lack of formal quality standards for managing internal customer relations. Respondents consider their departments are able and willing to enhance the quality of provision if the issue was given higher priority by senior management. Identified obstacles to greater emphasis on an internal customer philosophy include insufficient trust between departments and low confidence levels over ability to manage the process. Unless British firms can be persuaded to revise their opinions about the importance of creating effective internal customer chains, concern must exist about the capability of the UK industry to achieve “world class” manufacturing standards.

Journal

International Journal of Operations & Production ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1994

Keywords: Customers; Internal marketing; TQM

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