Towards a Custermer-oriented Organization. A study at Tetra Pak Processing Systems AB

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktionsekonomi

Abstract: In later time many companies have faced a major strategically change of focus and companies that have previous acted as traditional product manufacturers now describe themselves as providers of complete solutions. Tetra Pak Processing Systems, operating in the liquid food processing industry, has faced an increased level of competition the past years. The globalization of the industry means that customers are becoming more aware of their costs and realize that hey can not afford to keep in-house engineering capabilities. This introduces new business opportunities to Tetra Pak Processing Systems for selling production solutions. The main purpose of this thesis is to provide Tetra Pak with a conceptual model to help them reframe their view of the customer-oriented business. The model introduces a partially new vocabulary for better understanding the factors that affect the transition from a productoriented approach to a customer-oriented. The conceptual model developed is based on: 1) A comprehensive theoretical sturdy covering literature dealing with service management and marketing aspects. 2) Interviews with representatives for Tetra Pak in order to identify and understand how they perceive the total production solutions concept. This is complemented with an external mapping at companies that are generally apprehended as service companies, thus constituting a reference group for the analysis. The conceptual model comprises five areas that a company needs to consider in order to obtain a customer-oriented approach to businesses: 1) The customer value perspective is about understanding the customer’s need and situation and to relate this to the value of the company’s offering. 2) The organizational structure covers how the company should be physically structured in order to create and convey the identified customer offerings. 3) Corporate image and branding activities affect the customer perceived quality as well as creates credibility, trust and awareness. 4) External relationships are of vital importance for how the service offering is conveyed to a customer. 5) To enable high-quality interactions, internal relationships are required. The conclusions drawn from the analysis of Tetra Pak Processing Systems are: 1) They need to more precise in communicating what they can do and how they intend to do it. They must also emphasize their efforts in quantifying relationship costs. In today’s situation I think the product-focus restraints them. 2) The structure with business units and market companies supports their desired customer-oriented approach. However, they must clarify the extent to which they expect customers to participate in the service production process. 3) They should reinforce the identity in the Tetra Pak Processing brand name as an entirety. Communicating an ethical message is in-line with a customer-oriented approach. 4) The role of back-office functions for customer relationship management is underestimated. It is not only front-office employees that have customer contact. 5) There are shortcomings in the internal communication. Tetra Pak must reexamine the issue, as the lack otherwise can lead to difficulties in conveying a customer-oriented approach to employees. However, the re-use of well-tried solutions is something that affects the internal efficiency positively.

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