Internal & External Customers
The Sargento corporate culture gives equal weight to our obligations to fellow employees, as well as to the people who buy our products. Both these groups can be considered customers. And when any organization loses focus on its customers – external or internal – it is doomed to failure.
It may seem unusual to describe employees as internal customers, but Sargento was built on the premise that every employee deserves to be treated like a customer in his or her relations with other employees. Our internal customers, namely fellow employees, deserve equal respect, equal consideration, equal urgency to that given to external customers.
Indispensable to Our Success
At Sargento our external customers are the buyers and owners of supermarkets, restaurants, commissaries, and mass merchandising outlets. They are the conduits to the ultimate consumers of our products. They are indispensable to our success. How we serve them determines our level of success.
Sargento has invested heavily in various programs and high-tech systems designed to improve customer service – Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), SAP business systems, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI), and our continuing commitment to other industries. These are tools or means to an end, not the end itself. The purpose of these tools is to help each of us recognize the absolute necessity of focusing our attention – maybe riveting is a better word – on our customer, be it in foodservice or in the retail business.
The programs being put in place are helping us to achieve many of our objectives in the area of customer service. However, Customer Focus goes beyond that. It’s a state of mind.