top of page

Want to add value – Look in the mirror!

At next Tuesday’s club managers webinar on member service excellence (, there are two main themes we discuss:

  • (really) getting to understand and know your members

  • your internal supply chain

Let’s delve into the second theme.

When we hear the words supply chain, in the context of the current environmental and geopolitical situation, we think of the problems with worldwide resource movements and transportation. And, from a historical perspective, the concept of supply chain often directs our thinking to how one business deals with another business.

Such a focus is important, however, if we are keen on adding value to the club and the club’s members, we need to look at the internal supply chain, as well. This is why the internal supply chain is also referred to as the Value Chain.

The internal supply or value chain is the combination of systems your club uses to create the products and services you deliver to your members and generate revenue. In his book Competitive Advantage (1985), Michael Porter explained that a value chain is a collection of activities that are performed by a company to create value for its customers. He distilled it down to five (5) primary activities:

  • inbound logistics

  • operations

  • outbound logistics

  • marketing/sales

  • service

So, in a club what you have are inbound activities, which means procuring and receiving the inputs you need, this will be followed by conversion of these inputs into output. The next stage of the chain is outbound activities, which is the moving of outputs, resulting from your conversion activities, onwards to your members. Another way to sum up the process is: procurement; production; storage; distribution; and sales & marketing.

Let’s take the humble rump steak and see that each step in the chain is important and how any “weakness” in the chain undermines the objective of member service excellence.

Value Chain



Inbound logistics

Procuring poor-quality rump steak

Member dissatisfied


Rump steak poorly cooked

Member dissatisfied

Outbound logistics

Delays in serving rump steak to member

Member dissatisfied


Rump steak is not on the menu

Cost to the club – no rump steak sales


The wait staff are unprofessional in serving rump steak meal

Member dissatisfied

Given all steps in the chain are critical, it is important, in the quest for value, to look at how the processes used in the creation of goods and services are linked internally. Remember, your internal supply chain drives value.

The other reason this really matters is it helps the club recognise the concept of internal clients. Just as we know the importance of dealing with members (external clients) appropriately, the internal supply chain reminds us that what we produce is something that the next person, or area of the club, in the chain, relies upon. This approach means the club is devising its own version of upstream and downstream operations – where everyone in the chain is aware, anticipates and satisfies the needs of these internal clients.

In combination with quality external customer service, a well-oiled internal supply chain drives value and delivers member service excellence.

So, focus on the club's internal supply chain because it:

  • helps with the integration of the areas of your club and helps everyone recognise how they contribute to the value proposition

  • encourages proactivity and planning rather than just reacting to what has happened

  • drives quality (not just cost-cutting and low pricing) at every step

If you’d like to join the Member Service Excellence webinar on 23rd August – 10.00 am click here, we’d love to have you there.


bottom of page