In 2011 North Coast Electric sent their first survey to customers asking for feedback on their products, services, and people. When the results were tallied, the information gathered provided great insight into the “Voice of the Customer” and what they expected from their electrical distributor.
North Coast Electric introduced the Deliver on the Promise Customer Service initiative offering the following guarantees to customers:
- 100% Order Accuracy – End to end sales order accuracy
- Will Call 25/25 – Called in Will Call orders ready in 25 minutes or less
- Top Stock Items – Over 500 items guaranteed in stock at all NCE locations
- Next Day Stock Credit – Credits applied to customer accounts for re-sellable stock material within 24 hours
In the event that NCE doesn’t meet the expectation of our guarantees, we will issue a $25.00 Customer Service Guarantee Certificate (CSG) that can be applied to customer accounts as a payment or be used on future purchases.
Steps in the Quality Process
- Tracking Service Failures
When a Customer Service Guarantee Certificate is written for a service failure, the problem and corrective actions are captured in an effort to identify the “root cause” and to create an action plan to minimize the re-occurrence of the same errors in the future. Therefore, each certificate provides an opportunity to review current NCE processes and procedures to determine gaps and take corrective actions.
- Seattle Quality Improvement Team
For the past year, a cross functional Quality Improvement Team has been meeting weekly at the Seattle Service Center to analyze CSG Certificate data and introduce process improvements. The team utilizes proven “lean warehousing” techniques such as Kaizen events, process flow mapping, and the 5 “S” Program (Sort/Set/Shine/Standardize/Sustain) to test and implement positive changes in the work environment.
Examples of some of these changes include:
- Development of a warehouse picking, staging, checking, and receiving training checklist
- Packing bench, pipe bench, and warehouse common area underwent a 5’s Kaizen Blitz transformation
- Movement of Top Hit Products to “Golden Zone”
- Better utilization of RF Zone Picking to reduce wait time for equipment and the need to use ladders/pickers
- Quality on the Move:
In 2015, Quality Improvement Teams will be introduced within each NCE Service Center territory. Territory Operations Managers will facilitate training sessions on “Lean” quality techniques which will coincide with local Service Center Kaizen events which will be scheduled throughout the year.
Deliver on the Promise Team Mission Statement:
“To deliver an unparalleled customer service experience”
Written by: Jeanine Kielb, Director of Organizational Development at North Coast Electric Company. Jeanine is an expert in Quality Improvement and Lean Principles.