Matrix Management

Why matrix? To meet the needs of customers

Continuing our blog series looking at reasons to introduce a matrix structure. In this post, we look at meeting the needs of global or regional customers as a reason to matrix.

I could not find a single company announcement that cited meeting the needs of customers as a primary reason for introducing a matrix.

However, our experience at Global Integration in working with clients, particularly those of medium size, is that they very often globalize and become more integrated in response to the requests of their global customers for ‘one person to talk to’ – a single point of contact – worldwide.

We hear stories like this “We were actually quite happy with our local plant and community structure. It is very much part of our culture and is simple to operate. However, three of our biggest customers now operate globally and they want a single point of contact that can deliver decisions across our system. At the end of the day we have to provide that or we will be out of business.”¬†Operations director, speciality materials.

In many organizations, there is a tension between the needs of these global customers and the requirements of purely local customers, who form the majority in most companies. A matrix helps us structure and deal with this tension.

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