Posted: 3rd June 2011

Beyond Manufacturing Efficiency: Using Voice of the Customer to Drive Loyalty

Manufacturing will be key to the wider recovery and stability within Europe following the global financial crisis, European manufacturing generates GDP of 2 Trillion Euros per year.  Price competition and outsourcing to foreign markets have hit the sector hard with redundancy from the manufacturing sector accounting for over half the jobs lost throughout Europe.

Increases in raw material and energy costs are outpacing reasonable price rises which can be passed onto customers, putting pressure on margins. In recent year’s lean manufacturing and quality programs such as Six Sigma have improved efficiency with labour productivity increased by 46% over the last decade. However manufacturers can only go so far with efficiencies, a low cost strategy is loaded with risk as there can only be one cost leader. Empirical evidence has shown that markets led by cost have a high churn rate. Manufacturers now have to add value.

Manufacturers can use customer insight to focus operations on core customers and ensure business is delivered to add value efficiently. Listening to the Voice of the Customer will allow manufacturers to identify their customer’s priorities and the areas where they can add the most value. Customer Insight will allow manufacturers to differentiate not only on price but on customer experience.

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