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October 26, 2009updated 23 Aug 2016 2:57pm

UK firms fall short on business agility

Less than quarter show right mix of agility to respond to customer demands

By Janine Milne

UK organisations are too sluggish and inflexible to keep pace with today’s fast changing, competitive marketplace, revealed a survey.

Less than a quarter of UK organisations show the right mix of agility to respond to customer demands, adaptability to solve problems and general flexibility in their approach. The research by the Institute of Customer service and AIM Research found that agile companies were more productive and with higher sales and satisfaction levels than their less flexible competitors.

“This research should act as a wake-up call to organisations. It clearly demonstrates that being customer-focused is not enough – organisations need to be agile across multiple fronts to meet the changing needs of customers,” said Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service.

Service quality, a flexible workforce and rapid new service development were pinpointed as key capabilities for agility.

Although only 22% combined the right mix of responsiveness and multi-competence to achieve the agility accolade, 36% of the organisations surveyed were highly responsive and 40% as multi-competent.

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