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How should Tiger approach segmenting its customers

Tiger Corporation (TC) is a $25 billion global manufacturer of industrial products,
with its global headquarters located in Medellin, Colombia. Tiger is comprised
of six major divisions: electrical generators, turbines, industrial air conditioners, machine
tools (e.g., drill presses and lathes), fork trucks and skid loaders, and air compressors.
Each division is managed as a separate profit center, and each has its own
sales force, manufacturing facilities, and logistics network. Tiger has approximately
15,000 customers worldwide, with 40 percent buying from more than one Telco
division.
At a recent operating council meeting, Juan Burgos, CFO, was lamenting to the
other council members the fact that pretax profits were falling even though revenues
were growing. We"re in a perplexing situation. The stock market likes us because revenues
are growing. However, I don't see how we are going to make our dividend objectives
this year because our operating profits are decreasing from last quarter. Our
service levels to customers are at an all-time high and our sales forces are consistently
meeting their revenue objectives. Antonio Perez, vice president of supply chain for the
compressor division, added his observation on this dilemma. â??Iâ??ll tell you what the
problem is. We are constantly exceeding our logistics budget to provide this outstanding
service for customers who shouldn't be getting it. Sales is constantly promising expedited
delivery or special production runs for customers who generate very little
revenue for us. One of these customers, Buyout Industries, only spends $1 million per
year with us and yet our logistics costs as a percent of revenue for them is 25 percent.
Compare this with our average logistics costs as a percent of revenue across our customer
base of 11 percent and you can see where the problem lies.� Tomas Nieves, president
of the generator division, disagreed with Antonio's observation of Buyout line. â??Wait a
minute, Antonio. Buyout line is one of my best customers. They buy 15 percent of my revenue
at a logistics cost of 8 percent. We need to make sure they are happy.�
Listening to this exchange was the new Tiger president, Norman Martinez. Norman recently
joined Tiger after spending 15 years as CEO of a global agricultural products manufacturer.
This problem was not new to Nick. His former employer was also structured
across business lines with common customers across the globe and found that a similar
service strategy for all customers was not a viable alternative. Norman added, â??I've seen
this before. The problem is that we are treating all customers alike and we are not taking
into consideration those customers who buy from more than one division. Before
the meeting, I asked Juan to run some profitability numbers across our customer base.
The results are amazing. Thirty-three percent of all of our customers account for 71
percent of our operating profits. Another 27 percent account for approximately $100
million in losses. Obviously, we have some customers who are more profitable than
others. We need to develop a strategy to segment our customers and offer each segment
the suite of services they are willing to pay for.�
â??Wait a minute,â? exclaimed Cristobal Sollis, vice president of corporate sales. â??You're
asking us to take some services away from our customers. Who is going to break the
news? What about the sales commissions for my reps? This is not going to be received
well by the customer base.�
You have been hired as an expert on customer relationship management. Tiger
current service offerings to its entire customer base include product quality, order fill
rates, lead time, delivery time, payment terms, and customer service support. You have
been asked to prepare a report outlining how Tiger could adopt the CRM approach to
its customers. Specifically, this report should address the following:

QUESTIONS
1. How should Tiger approach segmenting its customers? That is, on what basis (cost
to service, profitability, etc.) should the customers be segmented?
2. How should Tiger tailor its service offerings to each customer segment?
3. Should certain customers be asked to take their business elsewhere?
4. How should the revised service packages to each segment be introduced to that
segment? By the sales force? Should all segments be done at the same time?
5. Each division has its own sales force, manufacturing facilities, and logistics network.
As such, common customers (those who buy from more than one division)
place separate orders with each division, receive multiple shipments, and receive
multiple invoices. Would it make sense for Tiger to organize around customer
rather than around product? If so, how would this be done? What would the new
organizational metrics look like?

Solution Preview

1. How should Tiger approach segmenting its customers? That is, on what basis (cost
to service, profitability, etc.) should the customers be segmented?
2. How should Tiger tailor its service offerings to each customer segment?

As mentioned below, the customers buying large quantities of products from different segments would be segregated under a separate head called "key customers" or similar name and would be provided a suite of special services in exchange for their large volume of continued business.

The individual divisions can segregate their customers on the basis of their volume of purchases. It will allow the company to tailor specific service packages for customers in different groups. For example, customers in the top bracket should be provided additional benefits as compared to those in the lower brackets. Once the customer increases his volume of orders in a specific time frame, he should be upgraded to the upper bracket. This policy works well in banks, whereas customers are divided on the basis of their deposits in their savings account.

The top customers should be rewarded for their ...

Solution Summary

How should Tiger approach segmenting its customers? That is, on what basis (cost
to service, profitability, etc.) should the customers be segmented?
2. How should Tiger tailor its service offerings to each customer segment?

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