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Understanding the lean voice of the customer

Understanding the lean voice of the customer Purpose – Understanding customer value is described as the first Lean principle but there is scant literature on how customer value is defined. The purpose of this paper is to present a model for understanding the product and service elements that a customer values and expects from the supply relationship. Design/methodology/approach – The research approach taken in this work has been based around model development from a review of the existing literature and synthesis of a range of industry cases. The industry cases have been studied using a range of research approaches, including direct observation, semi‐structured interviews and action‐based research. Findings – The key to sustaining a customer‐supplier relationship is managing customer expectations so that the product, or service, that is being supplied at least meets, or exceeds, their basic requirements. The problem is that if it is not fully understand what the customer values and expects, then we cannot hope to satisfy them adequately. Practical implications – A framework for understanding the voice of the customer (VoC) has practical implications for industry striving to compete in the current economic climate. In addition, the paper has implications for academics trying to understand sustainability of lean supply chain programs and delivering research‐led teaching in logistics and operations management. Originality/value – The originality and value of this paper is in its synthesis of existing best practice from industry, consultancy and academia into a coherent framework for understanding the VoC in a Lean Six Sigma implementation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Lean Six Sigma Emerald Publishing

Understanding the lean voice of the customer

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References (64)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2040-4166
DOI
10.1108/20401461211282736
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Understanding customer value is described as the first Lean principle but there is scant literature on how customer value is defined. The purpose of this paper is to present a model for understanding the product and service elements that a customer values and expects from the supply relationship. Design/methodology/approach – The research approach taken in this work has been based around model development from a review of the existing literature and synthesis of a range of industry cases. The industry cases have been studied using a range of research approaches, including direct observation, semi‐structured interviews and action‐based research. Findings – The key to sustaining a customer‐supplier relationship is managing customer expectations so that the product, or service, that is being supplied at least meets, or exceeds, their basic requirements. The problem is that if it is not fully understand what the customer values and expects, then we cannot hope to satisfy them adequately. Practical implications – A framework for understanding the voice of the customer (VoC) has practical implications for industry striving to compete in the current economic climate. In addition, the paper has implications for academics trying to understand sustainability of lean supply chain programs and delivering research‐led teaching in logistics and operations management. Originality/value – The originality and value of this paper is in its synthesis of existing best practice from industry, consultancy and academia into a coherent framework for understanding the VoC in a Lean Six Sigma implementation.

Journal

International Journal of Lean Six SigmaEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2012

Keywords: Lean supply chain management; Voice of the customer; Customer expectations; Lean production; Supply chain management; Consumer behaviour; Customer satisfaction

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