Modern world is competitive and every company tries to its best in order to get more profit from the products they produce. There are a lot of methodologies and techniques which are aimed to attract customers’ attention and what is more important to hold him/her. The assignment is to show how 10 criteria of RUCL model may be introduced in the Company, and the choice was the Boeing Company. The main focus of the paper is to give the definition of the notion “being customer led” and to analyze different customer led programs on the example of Boeing Company.
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Brief overview of the discussed company
Boeing Company is a leading company in the world of air transportations. Boeing Company specializes in producing commercial jetliners and military aircraft. It is also coordinating with NASA and operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. Boeing also produces missiles, rotorcraft, satellites, electronic and defense systems, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems (Boeing Company 2009).
Boeing Company has been providing its products to the United Kingdom markets for a long time. The relationships between Boeing Company and UK continue for 70 years already, and the results are magnificent. UK market remains one of the main important sources of technology partners. UK industry provides long-term partnerships and enhances skills, play one of the main roles in the healthy global aerospace industry (Boeing in the UK 2008).
The definition of Being Customer Led
Customer Relation Management is not a program or technology, it is the direction on the building of steam business, the conception and business strategy, the base of which is the client-oriented approach. Being customer led is an approach, which is directed on the usage of progressive and innovative technologies, which help people to collect information about its clients on all stages of its life cycle (attraction, retention and loyalty), take some knowledge out of it and use this knowledge in the business interests by means of building mutually beneficial relations with them.
RUCL Model and its purpose
Modern business world requires analyzing the company business from the RUCL model. RUCL is the model which analysis whether the discussed company customer led or not. The work with the clients of the company should be structured very specifically according to the wishes of every customer. The reasons for that are the following: while loosing the client, the company looses the income, moreover, satisfied client tells about the company for about 5 his friends, unsatisfied to 10. Customer must be satisfied in order to bring profit to the company (Ackerman 2007).
To be effective, the company should have its strategic framework. Focusing on RUCL model, the company should choose its own direction and to follow it. Customer Management Model, which is the part of the RUCL model, shows how well the companies can manage their customers.
The first step in the Customer Management Model is to analyze the customers’ behavior and coming out of it to plan its future direction, with the main focus to retain, to provide results, to get new clients and to save present. The company must understand that being Customer Led it should be aware of a great amount of information which is impossible without innovative technologies. A great role should be paid to organization and its structure. People should know their responsibilities and do their work. Monitoring is one of the parts of good organizational work, especially in the work with people. The relations of the company with customers are always managed and supported.
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The lifecycle of customer in the company may be as follows: the company targets the consumer’s range, then the researches in the sphere take place, the new customers are welcomed, the investigation of their needs are researched, the customers who demand for higher attention should be satisfied and the development of the relations continues. As all problems are impossible to avoid, some customers may leave the company and the other stage, the winning back lost customers appear. The described strategy is very important in the work with customers for the company which wants to be customer led, as understanding customers’ experience with the company is the crucial part of the relations.
There are10 Benchmarking Criteria of RUCL model, according to which any company may be characterized. These criteria are Vision, Strategy and Objectives, Customer Knowledge and Understanding, Customer Touch Point Strategies, People, Processes, Systems, Organization and Culture, Performance Evaluation and Planning. The investigation of these criteria is the main approach to whether the company provides a good customer policy or not.
Mission of the Boeing Company
Mission of the Customer led company should be specified as the successful work without mission is impossible.
Boeing Company is one of the biggest companies in the airplane world. Transportation with the focus on the airplanes is its main aim. In modern world Boeing Airplane Company “is the world leader in commercial aircraft and the envy of global competitors” (Keillor et al 2007, p. 111). Boeing Airplane Company describes its main mission as “to be the number one company in the world, and among the premier industrial firms, as measured by quality, profitability, and growth” (Cleland & Ireland 2006, p. 28). For now, all goals and intentions of the company are realized, and it is really “number one”, both in production size and quality.
Strategy and Objectives of the Boeing Company
Every company should comprise its strategic goals and objectives with the direction to the customers, as customers are the main income of the company, and the products produce should include customer’s demands and desires.
Boeing Company has been constructing its strategy since its appearance. The main strategic step of the company was provided in 1997, when it bought the McDonnell Douglas Company in a $14 billion stock deal. These actions allowed the company to become NASA’s largest supplier and the second Pentagon’s constructor. (Lockheed is the first one). Producing jetliners was also the strategic step, according to which the company managed to expand space, defense and information business. (Kerzner 2003) Strategic plan of the company is followed and the goals which it puts before itself are reached, and the company does all it can to continue with the same attempts.
Customer Knowledge and Understanding of the Boeing Company
The company which wants to be customer led should ask itself several questions, such as: Who are the customers? What type of customers does the company serve? How it may contact customers and how do these contacts successful? What customers groups and how successful they are, what factors influence customers’ decisions and what is customers’ opinion about its products.
Being the leader of transportation, Boeing airplanes are used by million people in their journeys. British Air Forces, US Border Patrol, Southwest Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Japan Air, Royal Dutch Airlines, and many others (this is the less part of the companies) are the consumers of Boeing products. Boeing Company has been working with clients professionally since 1963 (Yenne & Yenne 2005).
NACA and military services of the USA are the most valuable customers of the Boeing Company. Boeing Company does not want to be at odds with their customers and to meet all customers’ wishes is their main desire. Customers of the company want to “pay for extra baggage space” and company is going to meet this customers’ wish (Spector & McCarthy 2005, p. 56).
Different groups of customers of Boeing Company have different sales potential. The consumers of Boeing Company are divided into four potential groups (segments): Commercial Aircraft, Space and Communication, Military Aircraft and Missiles, and Shared Services (Wallace et al 2004). Any changes inside the company are felt by the consumers on the highest level of sales potential. For example, if Boeing Company decides either to increase productions, or to lay off workers, the effects of these actions will be felt in Seattle and other surrounding communities (Fabozzi & Anson 2007). Considering the company strategy about the customer understanding, it is possible to say that the company employees are successful in their work with the information about the clients, and his information is successfully used while satisfying the needs of the clients.
Customer Touch Point Strategies of the Boeing Company
Customer Touch Point Strategies mean that the company provides the quality customer growth programs, has customer led e-business strategy and tries to achieve the brand advocacy.
The Boeing Company has been chosen by the customers as one of the best airplanes company. Customers from the very start of company functioning were involved in the process of improvement of the company by means of the “Working Together” program, in which customer requirements were considered. “A family of airplanes, delivered service ready, with an extended range (7,000 to 8,000 miles nonstop)” (Housel & Skopec 2003, p. 34) was the customer’s wish, and the Company had nothing to do but to meet those requirements and to provide all possible activities in order to implement customers’ desires.
“Use of sophisticated technology and intensive testing also allowed Boeing to gain customer and FAA approval is a key step in the development process, and Boeing created a state-of-the-art Integrated Airplane System Laboratory in south Seattle to facilitate the process”. (Housel & Skopec 2003, p. 38) Focusing on the Boeing Company intentions to satisfy its clients, it is impossible to avoid the fact that all customers’ requirements and wishes are tried to be met. Customer Touch Point Strategies of the Boeing Company really work.
This part of the model deals with the human resources and how they are involved in the company development. The improvement should be provided in the sphere of the delivery and other customer services. Effective management of internal customers means that human resource management is put into customer resource management and vice versa, customer resource management is put into human resource management.
Training pilot program is one of the ways to improve the company’s activities and at the same time to higher the customer rate. (Controlled flight into terrain, Korean Air flight 801, Boeing 747300, HL7468, Nimitz Hill, Guam 1997). People have used to deal with professionals, and Boeing Company cares about the customer’s safety. The Company uses all possible strategies in order to optimize the usage of the human resources. The special programs give its results, as it is impossible to the number one when the employees are not trained enough.
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Processes of the Boeing Company
This part in the RUCL model observes the processes in the company which is directed to the improvement of the support and service strategies of the company.
The services which Boeing Company used for improvement of the relations between them and customers were the inventing of the Library Services organization. This was one of the main achievements in the work of the Boeing Company. The main aim of this library is to give people the information about the company. “The organization’s research with the corporate research engine group showed that people searching the Boeing intranet and the Internet has significant frustrations in finding what they need” (Kimmel & Heise 2003). The only disadvantage is that this Library maybe just visited and the information got, no return answer is intended. This service just gives the information, but does not respond the questions and does not provide help and suggestions about the company.
IT/CIS system of the Boeing Company
The main idea of this criterion is to consider whether IT/CIS system delivers the right customer information to the right people at the right time.
IT/CIS system of the Boeing Company delivers the right customer information to the right people at the right time. It is very important to deliver the information to the customers as soon as possible, as the business rivals do not stay aside and work. The market of competition grows every day, and even is such monopoly sphere, where the side competent cannot enter so easily, the question of competition is up to date.
There are a lot of other companies that work under the market capture and Boeing Company should care about its clients in order to continue to take up the leading positions. IT/CIS system of the Boeing Company successfully works as the leading positions in the rate of the airplane companies are occupied by the Boeing, and it is the main proof of its work.
Organization and Culture of the Boeing Company
The consideration of whether the company is inside out or outside in is the main aim of this RUCL criterion.
The organization policy in the company is strengthened and developed. Such a huge company cannot function without good supplier base. The company tries to be useful to these suppliers and at the same time to get some profit, so the contracts are signed in order to create some exchange space. These relations are very useful for Boeing Company as on the one hand, the company has a partner in supply sphere and on the other it has the patron that constantly uses its products (Jones & George 2003). So, the company has double interchange organization which is a great advantage.
Performance Evaluation of the Boeing Company
The focus of the criterion is to measure customer management performance.
The Boeing Company tries to do all possible in order not to measure the customers’ opportunities and abilities in the company. All products, which Boeing Company manufactures, are aimed to meet all customers’ expectations and to satisfy them. There is a special evaluation group in the Boeing Company which deals with customers’ requests and works with statistics. This statistics is one of the main progress pushers according to which the company plans its further development. The department of the statistics works successfully as this is the statistics which gives a lot of information and advises how to plan the further strategy of the company.
Nearest plans of the company and ways to reach them
Planning is one of the strategic frameworks of the company. The plans of the customer led company should be directed to the customers, what is the main aim of analysis of this criterion.
Considering the plans of the Boeing Company, we may refer to past. Some years ago, Boeing Company planned to update the 747 and to complete with Airbus A380. The new version is going to be called 747-8 will have more broad facilities and opportunities, which appear in the structural and fashionable fields. The first deliveries were scheduled for this, 2009, year. (Plunkett 2007)
After consideration of all these criteria which are the part of RUCL model, it may be made a conclusion that the Boeing Company is customer led as all opportunities are directed in order to satisfy the clients, to follow their desires and to provide products which correspond to their needs. Boeing spokeswoman Mary Hanson has said that “we need to produce an airplane our customers want and can to buy. It is our top priority” (Acohido 1995). Such position in the business ruling is preferable as customers are the main source of income of the company and enjoying their interests will bring the higher financial profit to the company.
Considering the importance of customers for Boeing Company, it is to the point to give some examples. Boeing planned to put on the line of production 787 Dream liner in May 2008, but world economic crisis made the company to delay the putting it on mass production line. The investors and customers appeared to worry as the orders were made long ago. The Boeing Company insures that the income will be gained soon and all customers, who had to wait, will get some refund (Ray 2009). This shows the Company’s desire to hold the customers and its readiness to suffer some expenses in order to save the customer.
Boeing Company is ready to provide some concessions and reductions in order to please the patrons. (Caroline Brothers 2009). At the same time, the company continues to work with partners, not suppliers, with the aim to learn from collaboration. Learning process is one more strategy, which company implements on its workers for many years in order to be aware of all news and be ready to provide the customers with the desirable products. (Salisbury 2008)
Ten Best Practice Principles of Being Customer Led were analyzed by means of characterization of the Boeing Company according to 10 criteria. Modern attitude of the customers to the company has changed. If some time ago customers formed their opinion about the company through the quality of its products, so now customers form their opinion about the whole company and only then decides whether to use the products of this company or not.
Recommendation for improvement
One of the main spheres of manufacture of Boeing Company is the computer-aided design. The whole manufacture of the company is built on the usage of innovative technologies, the main of which is computer (Pisano 2000). Computerization of the manufacture is not the new type of production and many companies use it, but the level of computerization in Boeing Company is on the highest level.
Web 2.0 is the most innovative web development and web design which aim is to develop and to evaluate the hosted services and web applications. The use of web 2.0 is very convenient as it helps not only to search for some information, but also to share this information in video and audio files, use wikis, blogs and others facilities which open up huge opportunities for the communication of the company staff with the customers. The Company should take into consideration and use it.
To be customer led, the Boeing Company should care about the relations both inside the company and with the clients and customers of its services. To deal with this problem an Ethical Business Conduct Guidelines was created. Workers are responsible about the impression they produce upon the new clients and patrons. (May et al 2007) The recommendations about the Library may be provided as it should be the relation based, in other words, customers should not only get information there but also to get responses. The work of the company with the clients is almost perfect, so it is difficult to provide any recommendations.
The Boeing Company also provides some improvements in the customer service spheres through faster response time, as customers like attention which is maintained on them. Customers should be appreciated, in this case their desire to return to the company is higher. (Munkvold 2003)
In conclusion, the Boeing Company is customer led as the work with customers is organized on the high level. The recent activities are not so good as it could be, but the causes are not in the company strategies but in world crisis, which created some difficulties in the producing level and at the same time the sales have lowered. But in general, the company corresponds to all criteria in the RUCL model. The only advice that can be offered is to overview the strategic plan, as the crisis has brought some changes, and in order not to lose more clients, some numbers in production and selling should be checked and corrected.
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