This measure calculates the percentage of customers that gather information on a business entity's products/services via traditional face-to-face contact. It is part of a set of Supplemental Information measures that help companies evaluate additional variables not covered elsewhere for the "understand markets, customers, and capabilities" process, which helps a company make sense of the market and identify the right opportunities to be capitalized.
Percentage of your customers uses traditional face-to-face contact for information gathering or research on your products/services
Supplemental information is data that APQC determines is relevant to decision support for a specific process, but does not fit into the other measure categories such as cost effectiveness, cycle time, or staff productivity.
For survey purposes, a business entity is defined as an entity that:
- performs significant aspects of the processes for the surveys identified, or
- is part of a cost or revenue center within the company.
Within your organization, diverse departments may be geographically co-located, with closely integrated operations that form part of one "business entity" which may be a great distance apart. When trying to determine if related parts of your operation should be considered a single business entity, look for the following characteristics:
- Do they operate closely together?
- Do they serve many of the same customers?
- Do they support the same region or product group?
- Do they share any performance measures?
- Is data meaningful at a consolidated level?
Examples of business entity definition:
- A general ledger accounting unit located in Germany has two groups. One performs general ledger accounting for the corporate headquarters, which has three business units. The other group does general ledger accounting for one of the three business units. In spite of their geographic co-location, their roles are substantially different and consolidating their data into a single response would make it less meaningful. Each group should be treated as a separate business entity.
- Three business units within a corporation use a shared services center for accounts payable and expense reimbursement, but are self-supporting for the other financial processes. The best approach is to make the shared services centre a separate business entity for accounts payable and expense reimbursement, and to retain the three original business units for the other financial processes.
- A global manufacturing company has five plant locations, each manufacturing product and each with its own logistics operations. For purposes of completing a manufacturing and logistics survey, they should be treated as five separate business entities.