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An Introduction to Lean Work Design by Matthias Thürer, Lawrence D. Fredendall

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CHAPTER 2

Customers Drive the Lean Company

A business is not defined by the company’s name, statutes, or articles of incorporation. It is defined by the want the customer satisfies when he buys a product or a service. To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business. The question “What is our business?” can, therefore, be answered only by looking at the business from the outside, from the point of view of customer and market. What the customer sees, thinks, believes and wants, at any given time, must be accepted by management as an objective fact … And management must make a conscious effort to get answers from the customer himself rather than attempt to read his mind.

Drucker (1973, pp. 79–80)

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