UPfront: Customers are key

Pay more attention to customers and, oddly enough, your market results look healthier.

Sounds obvious enough but there’s nothing like having bit of data to back up the intuitive connection – and that’s what Massey’s Centre of Organisational Excellence has provided.

Over the past couple of years, it has collected bundle of data from the 35 organisations undertaking its benchmarking and performance excellence self-assessment (BPES) programme. These have been divided into six main categories of performance excellence criteria ranging from leadership to human resource focus.

After bit of serious data-crunching, it has identified some interesting positive relationships between these various business drivers and business results.

Apart from distinct trend line linking customer-focused results with financial and market results, it came up with other strong correlations. In order, these include the links between:
* business processes and organisational effectiveness results;
* customer and market knowledge with customer relationships and satisfaction;
* organisational leadership and strategy deployment; plus
* customer-focused results and organisational effectiveness results.

COER notes that those categories having the strongest relation to business results include customer and market focus, pro-cess management and strategic planning. Which doesn’t mean to say the various other categories can be ignored – they’re all fairly interdependent, says COER.

In other words, companies wanting to boost business performance should get all their management-systems ducks lined up.

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