One way to ensure that your enterprise is nimble and
capable of reacting effectively is to intentionally develop the skills
to respond quickly to customer need. Here are three activities that
will raise the bar on your ability deliver with speed:

1.   
Own the speed in your industry
.

  • Create the criteria for measuring speed that
    matters to customers – how long it takes to successfully serve them in
    ways they appreciate.
  • Use it to measure your competitors.
  • Create the necessary metrics.
  • Beat them.
  • Make continuous improvement in this area a
    regular and systematic part of your annual evaluation.

2.   
Create the benchmark.

  • Identify the critical path of internal business
    processes; i.e., which processes when sped up result in faster results
    for the customer. Not all will.
  • Determine the normal speed for these business
    processes.
  • Determine how much you can increase their speed
    without sacrificing quality.
  • Determine what the ratio is between the
    internal speed gains and the gains the customer experiences.
  • Find ways to eliminate or shortcut tasks that
    result in overall speed gains that also improve customer experience.

3.   
Identify the speed which most impacts the  customer’s quality of
experience.

If you can slow these down, you can speed them up. Play with the
variables as if you had a rheostat and identify those at all points in
the value chain which have impact at the coal face.

Customers almost universally appreciate speed of response. Make it an
integral part of the way you do business.