Customer Success Inspires our Innovation
The statement “Customer Success Inspires our Innovation” is a very important philosophy to understand within our culture. We base our strategic plan on input from the customers – something we call “Voice of the Customer”, or VOC. VOC drives most of the things we do here at PacSci EMC and Fortive – as we know that robust and repeatable processes drive superior Quality, Delivery, and Cost that exceed customer expectations.
But let me also tell you what this doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean – as some might think – that the customer is always right. Our customers expect us (and indeed – ultimately pay us) to bring them down the right path. They are often times not as familiar with the specific technical knowledge that we offer at our company. The meeting place between our technical expertise and satisfying a customer’s needs is embodied in the service we provide. Good customer service means that we should get to know our customers even better than they know themselves! Remember, we don’t just provide a product – we provide services as well to our customers. Often times, the service we provide to our customers is what will differentiate us from our competitors who offer a similar product.
Providing excellent customer service means we have to do a better job of knowing our customer’s business, understanding their desired outcome, and matching up our technical expertise and product offerings in an innovative way to satisfy these outcomes.
All too often however, when we use the term “innovation”, most people immediately think of cool new products or technologies. Innovation, however, takes on many forms within our company – it’s not just about our product offerings. It includes the services we provide to enhance customer experiences when they purchase and/or use our products, and it includes the processes we rely on to produce our products. We want to continuously apply creativity by considering “out-of-the-box” ideas – both large and small – that can add value to our products, services, and processes.
Have any of you recently heard someone say something along the lines of “….well, we’ve always done it this way…” or “…this is the way we do things here in this industry/market/company…”? Those are good examples of non-innovative thinking. Simply doing things the same way they’ve always been done – without questioning if there might be a different and better way – sometimes stands in our way of truly innovating and offering our customers greater value than they receive today. If we can provide greater value than other companies can, that’s how we win more business.
There are many opportunities to innovate at PacSci EMC – and this isn’t just about developing novel propulsion techniques for satellites, or using electronic buses to control multiple initiation points within a rocket motor in flight. If you’re an operator on one of our many production lines, and you have an idea that could possibly improve first pass yield at one operation step from 75% to 95% – then you are truly an innovator. If you work in production control, purchasing, test, or even program management and you can figure out a way to take lead time for a product from 26 weeks down to 18 weeks – well, welcome to the ranks of innovator! You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be an innovator – all you have to do is to come up with a different way of doing something that gives a customer something that they don’t have today, but would love to have tomorrow.
There’s a saying that innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Innovation is indeed hard work but remember – at PacSci EMC and at Fortive – innovation isn’t just about having a great idea. It’s about transforming great ideas into extraordinary realities for our customers.