The first company in the considered case is Hyde Park Electronics, which is engaged in manufacturing sensors of ultrasonic proximity. This company introduced metrics in each of four areas of balanced scorecard; customer perspectives chosen as important for this company were increase of sales and increase of income as measures of increased customer satisfaction, product shipment and timely delivery as the factors having an impact on customer satisfaction (Gumbus & Lussier, 2006). The effect of marketing on customers was measured by tracking website use data, the dynamics of online orders, dynamics of lead generation and activity of the portal.
The second company, Futura Industries, operates in the sphere of aluminium extrusion, finishing, fabrication, machining and design (Gumbus & Lussier, 2006). The needs of the company’s customers were changing, and this fact was even reflected in the company’s mission. In this company, operational quality (employee loyalty and values) were linked to customer satisfaction. The metrics introduced by Futura Industries were the following: customer satisfaction surveys and visits, customer hassle index, lead times and timely delivery (Gumbus & Lussier, 2006).
Third company in the case, SGC, operates at the market of not-from-concentrate orange juice (Gumbus & Lussier, 2006). This company intended to use balanced scorecard approach for leading organizational change and establishing organizational culture. At SGC, expanded version of balanced scorecard was used, with fifth dimension “core values” added to the traditional four dimensions. With regard to customer perspective, the measures developed at SGC were the percentage of shipments within specification, customer service and loading cycle time (Gumbus & Lussier, 2006).
According to Niven (n.d.), three major questions posed during the analysis and development of a customer perspective in the balanced scorecard are “Who are our customers?”, “What do these customers expect from us?” and “What is out value proposition?” (Niven, n.d.). From this perspective, customer metrics developed by Hyde Park Electronics were not really customer-centered, because they only provided implicit answers to the questions on customer expectations (income and sales allowed to evaluate whether the company matched these expectations or not); marketing metrics also allowed to have a brief idea of who the customers are and what they tended to do on the portal. Hyde Park Electronics adopted a formal approach to customer perspective, and the company could have improved its profitability and market position to even a greater extent if their metrics were more customer-centered.
Future Industries has successfully adopted a customer-centric approach ”“ the metrics used in this company were specifically developed basing on the requests and complaints of customers; diverse methods were used to address and measure customer satisfaction. Although Future Industries did not specifically outline who were its customers, the study of customer expectations and analysis of value proposed to the customers were effectively implemented as part of customer perspective in the context of balanced scorecard approach.
For SGC, customer dimension was represented by various measures, but the study of customer needs and expectations was not implemented in detail. However, this company developed a new dimension of core values, which included safety, teamwork and attitude, productivity and quality; each of these variables has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and company effectiveness. Therefore, at SGC, customer-centric approach was divided into value and customer dimensions, and the combination of these dimensions increased the degree of orientation towards customers.