Who’s the customer?

When you hear the word “customer”, you undoubtedly think of a retail customer.  Someone who walks into a store to buy something.  If you’ve been assigned to a Six Sigma project, you’ll need to expand that definition.  That’s because anyone who comes in contact with the project is technically a customer.

On a Six Sigma project, you can have internal and external customers.  The output from any activity within an organization that goes to another individual has created an internal customer-supplier relationship. The person who receives the input is the internal customer. External customers are individuals or organizations that are not part of the organization that is producing the product. They typically buy the product for themselves or for distribution.

You can learn more about internal and external customers in the book Lean Six Sigma DeMYSTiFieD or by registering for our Six Sigma Black Belt certification program.
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