Strategy Cultivate customer awareness and promote customer satisfaction

Initiatives

Measures

Risks

Obtain raw materials such as petroleum coke, pitches, alumina, and hardeners; secure high-quality supplies from the most economical sources

Maintain or decrease current raw material costs

Raw materials would not be available on a just-in-time basis

Manage human resource (labor) costs through attrition and retirements

Reduce manhours per ton by 15 percent by the year 2000; contribute to overall efficiency and productivity

Human resource costs would inflate and attrition goals would not be achieved

Explore innovative

Maintain or decrease current raw material costs

Lower-graded materials would be acquired approaches to using lower-graded materials and lower grades of petroleum coke to produce new products customer would encourage the development of new products and services, and help Eastern establish a larger market niche. Eastern looked to external stakeholders to verify gains made in employee-customer awareness and customer satisfaction.

Eastern had to establish a market niche in high-quality, premium products to remain a viable company and successfully compete. To meet this demand, Eastern had to work closely with its ownership to identify future customer needs. Eastern continued to work with parent company marketing teams in the areas of initial order processing, customer team visits, and customer surveys.

Eastern would also make it easier for customers to deal with the plant. Increased use of bar code systems and electronic data interchange established a "seamless" electronic relationship with prospective customers. More attention would be paid to promoting the laboratory and metallography capabilities.

The continuing move to quality worldwide was having its impact on the company. More customer inquiries, such as from the automotive industry, were expected regarding quality standards. This development prompted efforts to maintain registration and refine documentation to both ISO 9000 and American

TABLE 2-4 Cultivating Customer Awareness and Promoting Customer Satisfaction

Initiatives

Enhance employee awareness about customer and end-product satisfaction

Selectively diversify products and services to support market expansion—support new product development

Support parent company marketing strategy; market services to make customers aware of Eastern's capabilities

Focus on individual customer demands in metallurgy, product chemistry, packaging, and delivery requirements through process improvement; develop a long-term cast house plan and monitoring systems

Set up cross-functional teams to increase awareness of internal customers

Measures

Third-party assessment of employees' customer awareness; recognition through accreditation and quality audits (American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, for example)

Capacity to change products; number of customer assists through the Metal Quality Group

Inventory Management System (IMS) data; customer team visit comments; customer satisfaction data

International Standards Organization (ISO) 9000 registration; QS 9002 accreditation; monitor customer claims and contacts about technology services and products; review customer satisfaction survey results; improved product turnaround indicators

Internal customer satisfaction surveys; extent to which internal customer requirements are met

Risks

Employees were not able to connect their success with company success in end-product quality

Its product mix could not be diversified

The parent company strategy was not consistent with Eastern's strategic plan and core competence

Eastern's process improvement efforts were not successful because of personnel and union disincentives

Cross-functional teams would not work because of internal conflicts and role definitions

Association of Laboratory Accreditation, and to attain QS 9000 and 14000 certification as well. Increased cycle time was becoming a major customer expectation, generating internal plans to develop systems to measure order entry, production scheduling, and shipping performance.

Because many employees did not have a direct relationship with customers and customer needs, the company was undertaking a program to enhance employee appreciation of customer needs and new product opportunities. This program included use of a third-party organization to monitor employees' understanding of these issues.

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