Who is Your Real Customer?
Lean is focuses on adding value for the customer. But, who is your real customer?
Many groups will talk about supporting another group within the organization. The focus is on making the internal customer happy. Delivering what they need and want.
Internal customers are important. As a supplier, the focus should be on delivering what the internal customer wants. But, they are not your real customer. The real customer is still the end user or the consumer of the organizations product or service. That never changes.
Even if a group never touches the value added processes making the product or service, the group should be focused on the end customer. As the group works with the internal customer, questions should be asked if what the internal customer needs/wants lines up with adding value for the end customer.
Common thought is it’s not the support group’s job or position to ask because the internal customer group is assumed to already know what is being asked for is adding value.
Amazon. Zappos. Danaher. Safelite. Organizations that have figured out it is EVERYBODY’s job to focus and ask questions about what adds value to the end customer have a significant competitive advantage.