As most companies, we assess what projects, clients, and partnerships bring the most value and fit strategically with OMS’ skill capacity and thought leadership. In the commercial real estate world, this often means assessing square footage, geographical location, and type of business and workplace structures in place. Robert Simons, in “Choosing the Right Customer,” the first step in a winning strategy reiterates the importance of approaching a winning a strategy in obtaining clients with a three-prong process. Step one is to identify your primary customer, step two understand what your primary customer values, and step three allocate resources to win.
Let’s focus in on step one, identify your primary customer. Every year the challenge at OMS is identifying the customer who makes the most sense to focus our time and talents. Robert Simons claims identifying the best primary customer for your firm involves assessing each group of customers along three dimensions: perspective, capabilities, and profit potential. Perspective refers to the culture and mission of the people. Examples given by Simons are Apple, perfection of Steve Jobs, Walmart, the frugality of Sam Walton, and Amazon, delivering a superior experience to shoppers. The perspective of any potential client needs to align with the perspective of the company servicing the client. If not, the service provider will not be able to leverage their creativity, out of the box thinking, or understanding to service the client at full capacity.
The second dimension capabilities refers to the entrenched resources of the firm. Some firms have an expertise in technology or logistics. A service provider must understand the embedded resources of the firm in order to provide value added ideas and implementation excellence to improve cost and process improvement.
Profit potential, the third dimension, is having insight into the relative profitability of various customer types and help eliminate out those who would not be a wise choice for a primary customer. Currently our company is focusing on a primary customer who we believe to fit all three dimensions. The profit potential allowed us to access the square foot potential. This particular client is acquiring new business units and expanding their global footprint. Their perspective centers around innovation creating market need thus being a market leader. The capabilities is their logistical excellence in the U.S. and abroad. These three dimensions fit our team and environment so we can leverage our energy, resources, talent, and skill capacity in order to service them with excellence.
Lisa Gardner is president of consulting services at OMS Strategic Advisors.