What Is Customer Value In Lean?

When it comes to customer value, it’s not just about knowing what your market pays for your product. You also need to understand what it is in terms of lean, why it’s important, and how to create it successfully.

In this blog, we tell you exactly that.

Defining customer value

Customer value is the perception of what your products are worth to those they’re targeted at, related to satisfaction levels. To establish this, you need to consider your systems, processes, mindsets and trends. By using lean principles, you can better meet their ever-changing demands, therefore creating customer value.

It’s important to note that this does differ from consumer demand. Whilst demand is centred around satisfying the wants of the customer, with value, they might not actually know that they even have a need. 

Value stream mapping

You may have come across the term ‘value stream’ before. This is when the product’s life cycle is mapped out from beginning to end. Exploring it will help you identify how much, and where, waste is produced during your processes.

From here, you can work out how to remove this waste and where to make specific improvements or savings, or better the flow of processes. This will in turn boost value for the customer. You may even be able to identify new ways of adding value too.

Plus, there’s the option to apply value stream mapping to your customers, figuring out where you can eliminate waste between the customer and what they desire as their goals.

Why customer value is important

There’s a number of reasons why customer value is significant, including that it plays a key role in a company’s growth. It will enable you to stand out, and ultimately win competition from your rivals.

On top of this, you can use it to refine how things are done in your business, from managing quality, to ensuring continuous improvement. You’ll enhance efficiency too, which can be passed onto the customer through less cost and a better product. It’s worth noting that your customer doesn’t realise your efficiency, but they do know about the likes of price, features and availability. So if you can improve on these things, you can add value for them.

How to create customer value

To start with, you can make processes more flexible and enhance them through lean. For instance, if you adopt a ‘pull’ approach which is more responsive to customer needs, it requires shorter production and delivery times.

Additionally, you could better quality management. If you spot an issue with performance, get to the root cause and rectify it. But remember, you should never assume what’s valuable to a customer. What one customer values might be completely different to another. Always communicate with them to find out.

Enhance customer value with expert training


Here, we’ve provided a brief overview of customer value in lean. But if you’d like to learn about this topic in more detail, take a look at our full lean manufacturing programme – the Accelerated Route to Lean Manufacturing. In it, we cover the likes of value stream mapping, problem solving, and building a plan.

Our next face-to-face training starts on 21st September. You’ll gain the tools and knowledge you need to become a lean champion, and apply tried and tested techniques to boost your competitiveness and profits. Register for the course today. And if you have any questions, our friendly team is always happy to answer them. Just get in touch.

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