What is the best type of Organizational Structure to achieve customer-centricity?


The focus of organizations today needs to be on improving customer experiences.

Processes are what transform inputs to outputs (customer deliverables), human resources are required to make this happen and there must be an infrastructure that is supportive of organizational strategy and operational plans.

Consider a hotel. The concept of ‘hotel’ clearly is customer-centric. There are two dimensions – what the customers see and what they do not see. Behind the scenes we have vast numbers of human resources typically organized for day-to-day operations (the people who do the work come out of silos and go back into silos).

Events at hotels, on the other hand, are managed differently. Here we see a project focus where aside from human resources dedicated to events (and these too can be found in silos, the ‘Events’ silo), human resources are seconded out of silos to focus on events. Everything they do is related to the event they are seconded to. They report to the Event manager but they also report to their functional entity and in respect of everything they do at an Event, the expectation is that the functional entity they come from/go back to has set and imposes standards for the range of skills they provide.

In the engineering/consulting industry you see the same, people belonging to central functional units but seconded (sometimes for years) to project entities.

Airframe manufacturers work the same way, some focus on specific models , others do not. But, if different models use common engines you will find somewhere within the organization a group of specialists that focuses on engines.

Matrix (functional/project) organizational structures have been around for years. They can work very well.

About kwkeirstead@civerex.com

Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, healthcare services delivery, job shop manufacturing and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2017 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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