Developing customer focus
A British Steel case study

Page 1: Introduction

In the business world of the 1990s organisations cannot afford to remain still. Only 32 of the top 100 of Britain’s biggest industrial companies on The Times list in 1965 could still be found in the top 100 by 1995. All companies, large and small, have to be alert to the threats and opportunities that could make or break them. Change is about remaining ahead of the competition. It is about...
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Page 2: Developing customer focus

In a rapidly developing market-place, it was important for British Steel to devise a strategy which matched the activities of the organisation to the environment in which it operated. This process is known as strategic fit. Shotton’s future depended on the ability to produce competitive and innovative products for the needs of domestic and international markets. This meant looking outwards...
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Page 3: Total quality performance

Quality refers to the individual characteristics of each product or service that enable it to satisfy consumers. The consumers’ perception of the quality of a product or service is one of the most important factors in determining its success. Total Quality Performance goes beyond quality assurance. It is concerned with creating a quality culture so that every employee will seek to go...
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Page 4: Working in teams

As a further development of the total quality process, teamworking was introduced in Shotton Works in August 1995, under the acronym TOPICS, Team Orientated Programme for Improved Customer Service. The objective was to equip and organise the workforce to enable better understanding of the processes and bring about Right First Time manufacturing by eliminating the opportunities for error...
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Page 5: Benchmarking

As part of the process of improvement and development, British Steel has used benchmarking as part of its strategic programme of quality improvement. Benchmarking is an approach which has become increasingly popular in recent times for organisations wishing to improve the quality of their goods and services. It involves identifying best practice in a particular sector, industry or group of...
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Page 6: Conclusion

Continuous improvement never stops. Shotton Works has become a centre of excellence which is dedicated to improving the standards of its products and services to customers both within the Company and externally. Teamworking and benchmarking have helped employees to become more involved with this objective and to focus on the long-term needs of a continuously changing and competitive...
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Related: British Steel
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