Report Synopsis

Farming businesses with a passion for excellence

Sarah Sivyer

This report sets out to identify some of the unique ways ‘excellent’ businesses are pursuing a culture of continuous improvement.

Excellent businesses are obsessed with their customers. These businesses do not assume what their customer’s desire, they ask, or better still they spend time with their customers as they are consuming their product.

Creating value involves getting close to customers as only customers can define value. These truly excellent businesses have started to change what customers value and are looking to put this out of reach of their competition. This has become even more important during 2020 where businesses that have been agile enough to create increased value for customers have thrived.

Building on research completed by Treacy and Wiersema, this report highlights that excellent businesses are leaders in one of three disciplines when it comes to creating customer value; operational excellence, customer intimacy or product quality. Most have exceptional product quality and have chosen to pursue operational excellence or customer intimacy as a further differentiator.

In pursuing customer value all the businesses examined have inadvertently started to apply the principles of lean. Each has the beginnings of a culture of continuous improvement with maturity varying from business to business. The opportunity to reap the benefits of continuous improvement is enormous.

This report only scratches the surface of the potential value of the application of lean to Australian farms. As this report highlights, farmers are naturally inclined to look for improvement opportunities, however, there is significant opportunity to go much further. This will come with deeper research into understanding what the customers value and by driving a culture of continuous improvement that not only looks to creating value but eliminating waste.

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