Especially for SME’s – 50: Maximizing Profits.

27 July 2022


SME 3: What do we reply after hearing his problem?

Mr. Lowe: You spontaneously and without thinking about how, tell him that this problem will not arise with you and you are personally responsible for this assurance. If your past record of solving his problems is ok, he will try it out without hesitation. If the problem is price, you know anywhere between 2v and 3v (the variable cost) to outprice your competition. Make sure you get at least a few trial orders. Obviously, these will be high priority orders for you in the area he says his problem is.

Then do the same thing with all your vital few customers – one at time one after the other, but all along be in live touch with these customers you are dealing until you feel the supply has smoothened out completely before you tell the customer you are handing over this to your dependable number 2, whom they can contact for any problem. But hasten to add if any problem brought out by the customer does not get resolved, or there is a delay felt by them in attending to their problem, you are available at any time for them. Then continue the on-line real-time life- line communication with them as per your schedule.

SME1: But what you say should be done by even unit heads whose SME’s are doing well.

Mr. Lowe: yes you are very right. This would enable them to make improvements incessantly. Also it may increase your throughput per unit time for the customer, say per week by taking action on idle, forced idle or waiting times thus maximizing value added per unit time which is nothing but maximizing profit per unit time. And it will keep the competition gasping permanently in their attempt to catch up with you.

SME 2: But I feel even just one of the vital few SS1- would be too large an area for us to focus on, certainly we have not arrived at a point yet.

Mr. Lowe: You are right. We have to go thru more steps of selection or choosing to get to a point in our chosen SS1 too.

SME 1: Even the one vital few customer we have chosen, may have more than one – say even six – problems with us. So how to apply one at a time one after the other approach here?

Mr. Lowe: Yes, I have a method to ferret out the one problem for which we have to give priority one. The selection of just one problem from many the customer has makes us reach just one point from the larger area of the chosen SS1 as a whole. This one problem we can ask the customer himself to tell us by asking this question: If I want to solve one out of these 6 first and then go on to the next, what problem would you choose out of these 6? You can ask him questions to understand why he gave it the highest priority compared to the one you thought he would choose but make sure you are polite and keen to get the correct, priority 1 problem. Accept what he says finally is the one problem you have to sort out first.

SME 2: But if he shows disinterest in prioritizing and orders you to sort out all problems, what should we do?

Mr. Lowe: In the interest of solving one problem at a time- which is the best and most productive method of problem-solving, we have to fish out the one problem the solution of which would give maximum relief to the customer. That is why I told you to ask the customer. …………Contd.


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