Lean Leadership Training Series: Why It's Easier to Succeed with a Customer Orientation

Lesson 2: Orient Yourself!

Lean Leadership Principle

Customer Orientation – Develop customer intimacy with the intention to understand, measure, and exceed customer expectations.  Respond to customer issues with a high sense of urgency.

Our customers are our true north. Every aspect of our business should be focused on creating value for the customers, and every decision and improvement made should be guided toward that true north. If we are not meeting a customer expectation, we have a problem.

Customer Satisfaction = Customer Expectation – Customer Perception. Do you clearly understand what your customers expect, and most importantly, do you actively reach out to understand their opinion on the service they are receiving?

At LeanCor, we promise our customers that we will:

  • Be strategically aligned with them to advance their supply chains
  • Know, meet and exceed their expectations
  • Continuously improve and formally articulate our improvements
  • Achieve real, measured and sustained business results

And…we have amazing customers. So let’s take care of them.

ALL roles within the organization should directly add value to the customer, whether we are working directly with the customer or working in a value adding function. This exemplifies the importance and power of people inside our organization. 

As Leaders, we must first understand who our customers are and what they expect, and then we must make this visible to our team. Let’s understand the value we bring to our customer and how we measure that value. It’s amazing the strides we can make as a team and company when we start to see waste. Work with your team to maximize the value and eliminate all waste in your processes that do not contribute to your customers’ needs.

The Operate Phase of the ORLOE problem solving model teaches us five questions that we as leaders should be responsible for answering YES to every second of the day:

  1. Do we know who the customer is, what they expect, and are expectations visible?
  2. Is there standard work in place to support those expectations?
  3. Is there a visible plan to achieve those expectations today?
  4. Is the current status of the operation visible for all to see?
  5. Is there a process for gaps between plan and actual (problem!) to be identified?

Next week, we'll discuss the principle of Content Based Leadership.


Looking for a formal Lean Leadership training course? Register for the next session of our Certified Lean Training for Leaders - Collaborative Learning Program.

This interactive and unique e-learning experience combines online modules and weekly coaching sessions with our Lean Deployment Executives. 

Lean Leadership with Coaching

Posted by LeanCor Training and Education

blog author

LeanCor Training and Education delivers proven methodologies for individuals and groups to conveniently advance themselves and their organizations. With public and private offerings for the associate to executive levels, our curriculum and stories are rooted in our team’s collective operational and corporate experience. Training can be delivered in online, virtual, or classroom settings.

LinkedIn Google+



NEW! Transportation Management Project Resources

Free Template Library

Issuing an freight carrier bid? Trying to resolve issues with suppliers? Need to improve your receiving dock schedule? We’ve rounded up some of our most-used project templates for daily continuous improvement in transportation management. Free for download!

Browse and Download Templates

Subscribe Now!

Recent Posts

Supply Chain Brief