The previous post discussed the need for change in a changing world. That the world and business are rapidly evolving is obvious. The challenge is to decide, of those things that we can control, what should we change?
There are a myriad of choices facing any business. These range from strategic decisions to a better way to track inventories or foster employee participation in a company initiative. All of these and a thousand more choices are important. How do you decide what it the most important? How to do you know where to begin? The answer to these questions is more apparent than some may think.
At ABS, we want to create value for ourselves, our clients, and society by making biomedical research faster, easier, and more reliable. We strive to be an extension of our clients’ laboratories. These are our guiding principles. However, without more specificity and accountability, these goals are nothing more than a cliché or taglines without substance.
What changes most impactfully advance an organization’s goals? There are three starting points for us: our clients, ourselves, and expertise both inside and outside of our industry. The remainder of this post will examine the first of these three points.
It is self-evident that ABS or any other company cannot exist with its customers. Consequently, our clients are our foremost source of guidance and inspiration for changes. The most important factor is we listen carefully and systematically to understand our common challenges. We do this through frequent and collaborative interactions to foster true partnerships. This is why we look not only for what is going well and ways to create additional value, but also for problems.
With each order, we check in with our clients to make sure they are satisfied. For example, with every shipment, we send a brief survey to ensure that the order arrived as expected and that all specifications were met. If they were not Client Services, the client’s Business Development Manager, and ABS senior management (including me) are immediately notified of any discrepancies. We then take steps to immediately correct the issue and prevent future occurrences.
We know that what some might consider minor issues can become major headaches. We are grateful to our clients who share their concerns with us so that we can focus our attentions on issues that impact their work or are simply annoyances that we might easily address. This might range from how we label their vials to formatting a report that we send. We want to make our clients’ work easier and more productive.
We are also always searching for new ways to better serve our clients. There is no better source of ideas than those that come from our clients. While some organizations may focus on limited choices and options, ABS focuses on customization. The drive for that customization comes from our clients. We invite our readers not only to work with us, but to share their ideas and needs so that we can better help you. You are our best source and impetus for change.
Our next post discusses another key driver for change, our employees, and how we work together to create changes that are meaningful for us and our clients.