Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: "Designing and Delivering Superior Customer Value" by Weinstein and Johnson

5 Stars (Out of 5)

The following is a book review of "Designing and Delivering Superior Customer Value: Concepts, Cases, and Applications" by Art Weinstein and William Johnson. The book was first published in 1999 by CRC Press.

"Designing and Delivering Superior Customer Value" was written to serve as a text for MBA students on the concepts and theories of customer value, but would serve as an excellent read for general managers who are striving to make step changes in products and services. The book goes a step further than many other books on customer value as it not only proposes a framework and supporting logic (where most books on the subject stop), but backs up the propositions with real world data and several case studies (half the book is applications and case studies). The book is clearly written, has an excellent bibliography, and uses real-world examples to illustrate main points.

One of the major contributions of this book is that it suggests a relationship between customer value and Total Quality Management (TQM), which was a continuous improvement initiative the proceeded Six Sigma. Indeed, one of the major criticisms of traditional Six Sigma is that it focuses largely on cost savings and forgets to consider improvements in customer value. The authors state it clearly: The losers in the quality battle will be those who attempt to do things right, while the winners will be the organizations that learn to do the right things.

The book serves well as a foundational piece as the methods and tools are largely qualitative, but those interested in the latest analytical techniques that include quantifying and forecasting value metrics may want to seek another book on the subject. Another consideration is that even though the words "Designing and Delivering" show up in the title, the book is largely focused on delivering, i.e. the processes that make up the "service" side of the business and how they contribute to customer value.

In summary, "Designing and Delivering Superior Customer Value" is an excellent contribution to the area of Value Driven Management and is highly recommended for marketing and general managers. This book would also be a good addition to the library of quality managers because of the attention given to the link between customer value and quality.

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