By: Jim O’Brien
Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting London and utilizing its incredibly efficient public transportation system, in part provided by the London subway system (or “The Tube” as it is commonly referred to) is familiar with this visual and the auditory warnings to awaiting passengers to “Mind the Gap,” a warning of the peril that exists due to the gap between the subway platform and the train.
These cautionary words can also serve as a reminder that service levels to be demanded of product and service providers need to take into account the demands and market requirements of customers. It is quite common for businesses to establish relationships with customers based upon customer demands only to thereafter find out when the business’ supply chain group begins to identify suppliers that the customer demand for assurance of service exceeds the availability of service levels from suppliers.
This gap in rights can be a substantial consideration in how to manage customer expectations and is a reminder of how important front end communication is amongst all internal stakeholders from the initiation of a project so as to provide the opportunity to consider and address such issues in an attempt to avoid an unpleasant surprise related to failure to “Mind the Gap.”