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11.8 Shared services > 11.8.3 Customer Orientation - Pg. 295

272 Butterworth Health System 11.8.3 Customer orientation While superior­subordinate relationships have traditionally been taken as the only building block for the exercise of organizational authority, the supplier­customer relationship introduces a new source of influence into the organizational equation. With the supplier­customer relationship, which emerges only in an internal market environment, the helpless recip- ient becomes a real customer. Armed with purchasing power, the customer becomes an empowered actor with the ability to influence and interact with his/her supplier in such a way that both parties together can now define the type, cost, time, and quality of the services rendered. Creation of an internal market mechanism, and thus a supplier­ customer relationship, is contingent upon transforming the shared ser- vices into a performance center. Performance centers, unlike overhead centers, do not receive a fixed budget allocated from the top. They have working capital with a variable operating budget. In this model, expenses are proportional to the income generated by the level of services rendered and revenues received in their exchange. These two pairs of horizontal and vertical relationships are complemen- tary, synergizing one another. Whereas superior­subordinate defines the for-