The SIPOC model is a concept in which every activity is viewed as an independent Process with its own Inputs, provided by Suppliers, and Outputs, which are provided in turn to Customers. The name itself is an acronym for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers. It is sometimes referred to as the “Next Process As Customer” model.

The SIPOC model encourages each individual, group, department, or other division of an organization to view its activities as a process to be improved. They then identify the outputs they produce and the customers for whom they produce them. They also identify the inputs they require to produce those products and the suppliers who provide them.

The next step is to establish a dialogue with their customers, to determine whether the outputs are meeting the customers’ needs: Do you need this output? What should its specifications be? When do you need it? How often? Etc.

Finally, a dialogue takes place with suppliers, agreeing as to what inputs are required, their specifications, the required timing, etc.

Very often, individuals or groups will learn that they have been providing outputs which do not meet their customer’s needs, wasting time producing unnecessary outputs, or not producing outputs their customers consider critical.