When beginning the process of introducing solutions involve the customer in the discussions. Jack Welsh told us that “The best Six Sigma projects begin not inside the business but outside it, focused on answering the question - how can we make the customer more competitive? What is critical to the customer’s success? …….One thing we have discovered with certainty is that anything we do that makes the customer more successful inevitably results in financial return to us.” The voice of the customer is a critical component of your success as an organization. Your responsibility as an organization is to acquire and maintain that customer base. They tell you what they want, how they want it, when they want it and where they want it. Think about a Venn diagram and its intersecting circles. I would suggest that the three circles would be made up of your suppliers, your customers and your organization. In the middle is the point of overlap where the core of success is found. It is that overlapping point where the needs of the customer comes into real focus. There is a tendency to believe the perception of a problem which is looking at the demands of the customer from your eyes not the customer's. This leads to tension and hard feelings among all involved. On the other had if you make a strong effort to include the customers early on in the problem resolution effort you will create an atmosphere in which the solutions can be viewed as what is in it for tem and why it is important. The command and control model does not work in management and it certainly does not work in the customer relations model either. Process improvement and solution creation is an all hands on deck effort. It is your choice if you want to do this successfully or do you want to do it with pushback from your customers? Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org for steps to improve customer involvement in your solution identification and introduction.