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Forget Users; It's External Customers That Count

Design business systems to serve the market, not your employees, columnist Seybold says.

Cemex learned this lesson well. Initially, the company penalized local contractors if they changed their scheduled delivery times. But then it switched gears, optimizing its delivery system to meet any customer's needs within an hour. By abandoning its former practice, Cemex became the world's most profitable cement supplier.

So, whose metrics are you using?

Patricia Seybold is the author of Outside Innovation (HarperCollins Publishers, 2006)

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