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Customer Demand

Customer demand is the ‘pull’ from a customer. While the demand can be for a free product (such as The Continuous Improvement Companion), the great majority of time, customer demand is what customers actually want to purchase.

Don’t confuse customers saying they want to purchase something with actually buying something. There is a considerable fall-off between a customer admiring a product or service, and then actually opening up her wallet.

Knowing your customer demand is critical to Lean operations. Customer demand plays a role in determining takt time, and in developing kanban quantities—both fundamentals of Lean.

Just a few things to consider regarding customer demand in a Lean company. While pull works, it is often limited to a specific range of customer demand. These small variations in demand can be handled by heijunka.

Larger changes in customer demand require things like Standard Work playbooks, or permanent changes in capacity.


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