Wednesday, 29 May 2013

McDonalds & Subway

McDonalds is a very common fast food in our market place, even my 3 years old son have a preference when it comes to fast food. But, what preference does a 3 years old know about these giant's operational model.
McDonald operational model is a Make-to-Stock, while Subway is a Make-to-Order. What distinguishes these models is the scale of economies in production and the variety or customisation required in the demanded quantities.

McDonald's sandwich wait for the customer, rapid fulfilment, short flow time for the customer. The Subway sandwich is freshly prepared with all the varieties the customer demanded for, variety and customisation produced exactly in the quantity demanded.

Although McDonald's model is a Make-to Stock, minimum inventory exists. A 'buffer or suffer' is a common inventory term used to accommodate scale of economies in production, buffer against demand and buffer between several internal steps. 

Management decisions to accommodate seasonal inventory and pipeline inventory is driven by seasonal variation in demand and constant capacity.

Hey, my 3 years old is right. McDonalds have an efficient operation model, that serves the customer fast food from a simple menu and cater for children satisfaction in the colourful kid's meal box and a cheap toy too.

In the eyes of my 3 years old that is good value.

Monday, 27 May 2013

My Legoland Customer Experience

Customer experience is important for every company to expand and succeed nowadays.

My customer experience with my family during half term in legoland was more that great. The journey to the park was not easy, two hours traffic delays just before Legoland.
The park is attractive and magical in many facets, but, for every ride our average waiting time was more than an hour, still I give Legoland an overall rating of 4 out of 5, great experience which I recommend to others.

Waiting time in queues is considered wasteful experience for customers in other sectors i.e. NHS, airports. But I found the overall experience acceptable and not only that, enjoyable.

The park was full of creative and well designed lego sculptures, large scale artistic designs entwined carefully among beautiful gardens and themes. The magical and theatrical themes draw your attention and thinking away from the deluded and horrible time wasted in long queues. But, that is not all.

The happy staff that serves the hundreds of visitors daily were my main focus. If a customer finds interaction with staff enjoyable then customers feel happy. The feel of the company is important, happy staff in Legoland drives higher customer satisfactions which drives revenue, which makes me think about the leadership in this amazing company.

Organisation consultant always defines the link of leadership to the climate in the company, climate on its own does not determine its performance, getting the best out of people is key to great success.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence, can hijack the staff target, hence, distance leaders and staff from each others.  

Maybe, that was the link I am looking for in Legoland, The happy staff, the well deserved treatment I got from every member of staff, the wave when I was on the train ride, the smile and the complement 'have a nice day', the care and emotion everyone puts in these little jobs, have a magical effect on every member of my family.

Emotional Intelligence 'EI', enforces the emotional bond between leaders and staff, hence, connecting with each others. 
The feeling of the job well done to Legoland!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Follow the leader

I used to be a professional manufacturing development engineer, worked in the automotive sector for many years, was involved in one of the most demanding projects ever; I can freely say, the leadership back then was right for the job.

Leaders were aware of everything in their production lines, from defects to daily production numbers, or why they have not achieve the required production numbers.

The production plan was clear, the customer demand was ahead of us and must be met, the material was procured and ready to be dispatched to the required areas, the production machines are capable to produce the outputs. Finished products in the warehouse ready for dispatch.

That was my world, I have taken it for granted. But, many years afterwards I made my leap towards the transaction sector. I have taken with me a toolkit full of methods, approaches and soft skills, not knowing how valuable they are.

The white collar worker is my machine now! the product is not visible in front of me anymore. Toyota and Daimler Chrysler are not my customers, but, millions of people are buying and using my products/ services. Everyone have different expectations and needs to fulfil.

It is the world of today, major designer labels, large corporations driving small and medium businesses to the brink of collapse for a market share, and in the middle of all that the customer is screaming for attention.

A migration of skills and approaches made way from a well established sector (automotive) into the square mile in London and large corporate organisations around the world. The large workforce was recruited to help transactional leaders produce a magic transformation on a dynamic environment relished with different standards.

Lean, six sigma, change management, PRINCE2, business analysis, process analysis, enterprise architecture, ITIL, agile, software management, system architecture, information management, the internet, mobile phones, ERP systems, data architecture and warehousing, outsourcing etc......
A tsunami of skills, approaches and infrastructure complications, were all mixed together and introduced to our new leaders, to produce results fast, very fast!!

How can we approach such multi-variant complex moving beast???

The answer is simple, what is the customer wants!!!!! before we even look to automate our processes and reduce operating cost, or even outsource our customer facing operations.

My fellow leaders, listen to your customers, work with your clients and make simple steps before giant leaps. The iPhone5 was not born from the first invention, it is a continuos process with a feedback loop from our customers capturing lessons learnt, to make it better, for users next time.

Leading the way, by pioneering new better products, improved services and efficient applications for our users is our vision.

Future leaders, will try harder to achieve customer satisfaction.

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