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Why do KPI's show the industry is doing well in satisfying customers' needs but customers don't seem to agree?

Answer: KPIs can record the level of customer satisfaction but, in practice, companies find it easier to measure specific items like time, cost quality and health and safety. These can be measured easily in a quantifiable way. The difficulty comes with the much more subjective area of customer satisfaction.

The question usually asked says, "How satisfied was the customer with the finished product?" But simple coarse measures like this fail on the basis that if a customer was not satisfied then they would be unlikely to sign the work off. In which case, customers would be obliged to score the final product as having reached the totally satisfied level. But it is widely acknowledged that this does not reflect reality.

Much more important, as a measure of customer satisfaction, are issues like "did the customer have confidence that the work was going to plan" and "did the customer have a good relationship with his supplier". It's these 'soft' issues that really show how satisfied customers are.

Leading Edge has developed a way of really measuring how satisfied customers are with the whole supply chain process and not just the end result. It consists of a questionnaire that is filled in on a regular basis by the customer with a report going to the supplier in time for him to rectify any problems before the next questionnaire. The benefits are that the company can spot a problem quickly at a high level and monitor trends, while the customer feels engaged in the process, which will benefit him. KPI-online is a flexible, web-based, means for supply chain members to evaluate their expectations and perceptions of each other's performances. These are measured against customer satisfaction and business excellence criteria. It has been designed to work in a variety of scenarios from the £bn big project, to a contractor or supplier with many customers, or even serving many locations for the same customer. Click here to visit

If you'd like to see how KPI-online works in practice please email us for access to the demo site, at:

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