Our surveys tell us where we shine and where we needed a little more polish
Swagelok's President and Chief Executive Officer Art Anton, speaks in the above video on the importance of continuous improvement and how our customer's feedback and insight are helping drive our future actions.
The only opinions that really matter in business are the opinions of our customers. So that's what we measure. "We" in this case means Edmonton Valve & Fitting, Drayton Valve, Fort McMurray Valve, and Swagelok Co. Last year more than 10,000 Swagelok customers took time out of their busy schedules to participate in Swagelok’s 2015 Global Customer Survey.
The short answer is that our customers like us, but there are a few areas where we could do even better.
The most basic measure is the Net Promoter Score. We ask our customers: “How likely are you to recommend Swagelok to a friend or colleague?” NPS is based on the idea that customers can be divided into three categories: promoters, passives, and detractors. For the 2015 global survey sample, 57 percent of customers are promoters, up from 53 percent in 2014.
Beyond that basic metric, Swagelok is being recognized for its services as well as its parts. For instance, nearly half of respondents say Swagelok has evolved beyond being a supplier of components.
Swagelok set a worldwide goal of having regularly stocked items sitting on the shelf 90 percent of the time when an order comes in. Actual performance hit hit 93 percent.
Of the thousands of orders we receive for make-to-order products (products that are not regularly stocked), the goal was to meet the delivery date 99 percent of the time. Since February 2016, we are doing better than 98 percent and still improving.
Taken as a whole, Swagelok’s brand scores are very strong, competitive with industry benchmarks and, in some cases, at or near world-class levels. We scored highest when it came to reliability, our excellent reputation, product quality, meeting customer needs, being easy to do business with, and being helpful. Basically, customers say we are strongly aligned with their expectations.
However, there are other areas where Swagelok needs to improve:
- We need to work harder to be recognized as an expert partner, with services that go beyond those of a components supplier.
- We need to do a better job of demonstrating our overall value and impact on our customers’ business performance.
- We need to create more regular contact with our customers and share more information.
- We need to do better on lead times for make-to-order products and response times to inquiries.
The boss gets it
In a special video (posted above), Art Anton, president and CEO of Swagelok Co., explains how that information affects us.
"We know that our quality is excellent and our service is excellent. Those are two things we don't want to change," he says, addressing customers directly. "But we realized you want us to be quicker, and you need us to be most specific with regards to your own fluid system needs. We get very upset when we disappoint. But we know we're not perfect, and we're working real hard to get better."
In fact, we had two initiatives under way even before the 2015 survey results came in.
In 2015, Swagelok held 30 continuous improvement events on our shop floor, and in 2016, we aim to hold 50. These are called Point Kaizen events, something we learned from a tour of Toyota in Japan. It requires that we are out on the shop floor, embedded in work cells, and experimenting with alternatives to improve speed.
Swagelok also we completed our SAP implementation for corporate manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, and finance areas. This new system makes it easier to quickly address issues related to delivery times. Now, Swagelok is moving on to two related projects: supply chain optimization and a SAP implementation for sales and service centers such as Edmonton Valve & Fitting and our branches. These and other ongoing improvements will yield more automation and faster response and lead times for our customers.
So if a representative of Edmonton Valve & Fitting or one of our branches ever asks you how we're doing, don't hesitate to give us a straight answer. We appreciate the compliments, but we really appreciate when people point out areas for improvement.
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