The Voice of the Customer
Have you ever purchased something, brought it home, and after a while thought of an improvement the manufacturer could have made? You think it over and decide to contact them and share your idea. But when you do, all you hear is “sorry that’s the way it was designed.” But don’t they want to improve that product along the way, to make sure it performs to its fullest potential? Perhaps they feel that’s OK in theory, but they just don’t have room in their organizational structure for listening and responding to customer ideas.
Commitment to Quality
I’ve spent 22 years here at Okuma and through it all there’s been one thing that really stands out to me: the deep commitment to quality and continuous improvement. Yes, I can hear you yawning right now…everyone TALKS about quality. But you start to see a difference when a company takes action on this stance. That’s where I come in.
Listen First, Then Action
My job is 100% fully dedicated to Product Quality Assurance. I work with our distributors, and sales and service teams, to communicate with customers about enhancing the performance of Okuma machine tools, and relay this information to our Parent Company in Japan. We actively listen to the voice of our customers and follow the Kaizen methodology of constant, continuous improvement to enhance and improve our products.
My position exists because we believe the highest level of continuous improvement cannot take place in an “ivory tower” of product R&D. We feel there must be a back-and-forth communication loop with the customer who uses the product every day in the field. We believe this two-way street of idea sharing is the best path to quality, and we walk this journey together with you.
When I talk with customers they’re sometimes surprised that a builder actually likes to listen and solicit feedback from the customer. I guess some builders focus only on selling a machine, and then you never hear from them again. I’m glad Okuma’s not that way. Because listening to you, our customer, has helped us become the world-class machine tool builder we are today.
Brad Jordan is Senior Manager, Product Quality Assurance, Okuma America Corporation.
Learn More: Read about Okuma’s culture of continuous innovation in our blog post The Art of Making Things Better.