How to always think customer and scale

Organisations are now able to reach customers anywhere; access is no longer the challenge and businesses do not have to open an office in a new location to enter a market. Additionally, a customer can choose when and where they would like to transact. The ease of customer interactions and transactions is paramount for any business.


How can a business scale while creating greater customer intimacy? The blog last week introduced Six Sigma’s DMAIC; here are some tips specifically for customer intimacy:

  • Moving closer to the end customer is the scope of the problem. What are the barriers? Is the customer co-owned in a partnership? (Define)

  • What customer data is available across your industry or within your organisation? (Measure)

  • What is distancing the relationship with the customer? (Analyse)

  • What are the solutions that can be piloted and their results? (Measure)

To help with scale, Six Sigma has an approach known as “SIPOC”. This is useful in transitioning from traditional supplier models to digital ecosystems by analysing:

  • Suppliers: Organisations that provide an input to a process.

  • Input: What inputs are needed? What triggers an action?

  • Policies: What policies, rules or regulations are in place?

  • Outputs: What do your customers need now?

  • Customers: Who are your customers?

There is an alternative to SIPOC; several former colleagues decided to reverse it as it was not sufficiently customer-centric.


“COPIS” begins with the customer; changing the thinking paradigm and eliminating waste in the existing value chain by placing the customer first. Traditional supplier relationships are redefined or removed entirely, enabling a digital ecosystem with scale and customer intimacy.


Try both; they are likely to offer different scenarios for consideration.