By Mark Rounds, VP of Corporate Development
Even though construction is considered manufacturing because our work produces a product, in essence we are a service industry. Our work is serving our customers to deliver a custom product to meet their needs. At Vogel Bros., our mission is to “Continually improve our services in order to enhance the lives of the people in the communities we serve.” However, to maximize our service to our external customers, we must first serve our internal customers.
Edwards Deming noted that the “customer” is the next party in the process. Many times our work affects an internal customer before it eventually benefits the external customer. Internal customer includes our accounting department. By submitting our documents on time and accurately, we allow our accountants to operate effectively. Internal customer includes our yard supervisor. By properly documenting our tool use and equipment hours, we show care for our company assets and allow the yard to operate at peak efficiency.
When we fail to provide the needs of our internal customers, we create waste. It is similar to rebounding free throws – if you make the shot, we do not have to expend extra work! By eliminating internal waste, we increase our company efficiency, resulting in faster service and reduced cost. Our staff at Vogel Bros. seek to reduce our internal waste to reduce our costs to the external customer.
Our question to our customers, both internal and external is, “How can I help you do your job better?” As Edgar Schein noted, people will help you once you have helped them. The result of being helpful to our internal customers is better service to our external customers.