Masters Alliance Strategic Management Consulting

A Strategic Distinctive Advantage for Carpenter Technology

Organization Description

  • International producer and distributor of specialty alloys, materials and components to a wide variety of high tech industries.
  • State of the art processes helping to gain in rapidly growing world markets.
  • Heavy engineering, scientist, technical culture working with a culture of metalworker masters delivering customized specialized products and services.
  • One hundred years of leadership history, but field attitude is that they “own’ the customer which inhibits innovative approaches to meet the mushrooming customer demand for information on a great variety of planning, production, distribution, quality, and development topics.

Situation

  • Demand for core specialty products at highest level ever experienced by the company.
  • Excellent reputation, regarded as a segment leader.
  • Customers demanding more innovative, high quality products and services to help them be more competitive in their marketplaces.
  • Customers are paying for value to get the competitive advantages of high performance materials.
  • Goal to become a specialty materials provider, delivering a broad range of materials solutions throughout the world.
  • A challenge put down by the CEO of Carpenter’s second largest customer:

We are not your typical customer; we are looking for partners who will fit into the way we do business.

Your performance is becoming more and more critical and could, at the end of the day, be responsible for us making or missing our delivery requirements.

All our customers are compressing their time frames drastically, every year.

You partner with us to meet our customer’s new standards you could triple your business with us alone!

Approach/Process

  • Focus on those customer interactions that are the most significant opportunities to improve and/or enhance our business relationships as defined by our external customers and to identify customer expectations for each area to determine what they consider ‘world class” performance.
  • Broad organizational commitment and support. Executive Sponsorship/Sr. Management Oversight/Cross Functional Project Teams/Access to Subject Matter Experts.
  • Examine all customer processes; review all current customer research indicating customer attitudes, needs, and expectations.
  • Do additional information gathering, primarily through the field force with participation of Customer Service Success members in order to enhance buy-in to the process and heighten awareness of changing customer demands among the field force.
  • Benchmark other organizations for fresh insight into the “state of the art” methods used to meet customer’s growing information expectations.
  • Utilize unique, deep customer segmentation using “Beyond Demographics, The Character of the Customer.”
  • Utilize Flying in Formation advanced project methodologies to ensure effective alignment of resources and to design, develop, deliver on time, under budget, meeting or exceeding expectations.

Outcomes

  • Comprehensive analysis of current customer situation provided a clear requirement for future direction.
  • High visibility West Coast Operation used a test for new processes and procedures. Validity of new approaches verified and application expanded.
  • Major initiatives identified. Served as a basis for strategic planning and resource allocation.

Business Results

  • Significant cycle-time reduction for high demand product line:
    • Auto-Schedule 75%+ orders, up from 1.2%
      • Customer response <10 minutes, from 6 hour average
      • Next day entry of custom & repeat orders, from average of 8 days
      • First-Call resolution up from 60% to 90%+
      • New ability to identify and address improvement needs with confidence and capability
      • Overall customer response improvements achieved from unique customer segmentation

Customer Quotes

“In just three months they helped us drive average customer response time from six hours to less than ten minutes.”

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