Monday, June 23, 2014

On the philosophical insights of walking..

Walking has been a millenia old pastime by humans and animals alike. Birds fly and fishes swim. All these come naturally to us. Exploring the insights one gets from walking such long distances is explained in the article.

It gives you the relaxation and ability to think off your work.

In all reputed scientific and research establishments, the departments are placed far apart with the result that the students and Professors or scientists and researchers had to walk before attending a class or meeting up with a Professor and so on. This walking takes one off the tension of daily work and routine and gets one to think more creatively.

From the place where I sit in Alliance University to the Library building where I have the classes for the Jan batch MBA students is about 200 metres. I love the walk because once ti am walking, my mind wanders from the routine of what has to be taught in the class, a breath of fresh air enteres my brain  and I start thinking how creative I can be in the class. How can I make the class absorbing and interesting for my end customer, the students.

My earlier boss, Prof Joe Philip Director of Xavier institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), Bangalore, always goes  for a mandatory evening stroll whichever part of the world he is. It has not only helped him to be more creative and effective in running the Institutes he started, but it has also given him loads of good health which is helping him see through old age now.

Daily in the evenings I go for a walk with my wife and our dog Silky a lab retriever in Koramangala sixth block in Bangalore. It is so relaxing and fresh,

Innovation at its peak !!

What a great idea and innovation.  The parking shade is paying for itself.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wishing the best in life for Jan 13 batch MBA ..

Jan '13 MBA batch of Alliance University- Operations ..

After the TQM classes got over .. 21 june '14.  Though a small batch, it has been quite responsive, exciting and a responsible batch which wanted to learn many concepts from me. Their questions actually made me review and revise some of the concepts and read more on it. The E-learning site has also been one which helped them to go thru some tough topics in an asynchronous mode of learning.

LtoR : Sumit, Rajesh, Rathi, Ashish, Shashank, myself, Raja, Arun, Sourabha, Bora, Sahil, Kevin and Shashi.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.- Henry Adams

I made them submit numerous assignments by insisting on practical cases of application of the numerous quality tools, do umpteen case studies, and to top it all a mini-project, for which they had to run from pillar to past getting permissions, talking to customers, convincing them about taking part in the study, getting their feedback on the SERVQUAL model.

By doing the activities with their own brains and hands, they will remember these concepts forever .. They know where to use what tool and for what ..

As much as they benefited from my classes, (hope so..), I too learnt from them as I had to read, re-read, prepare, make presentations, create elearning contents and present to them concepts in as simple language and words as possible, at the same time make it all the more interesting, exciting and practically relevant !!

One thing I am doubly sure is that lean and quality will never ever get out of their DNA for sure !!

As I was joking, when all of them are 80+ years of age (hopefully I also should be around then ..:) ), they will still remember the various games we played in the class and the numerous practical applications and cases we discussed.

If that happens, I have succeeded in my job !

George Easaw

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Service gap model .. SERVQUAL ..

The SERVQUAL model was developed by Parasuraman, Zeithami and Berry in 1988. Parasuraman was a speaker in one of the symposiums in Alliance University, Bangalore a couple of years back.

Prof. Parasuraman of Texas A&M univ.
Servqual model (service quality) explains in very clear terms what are the different gaps across customer expectations, management perception, system design, service delivery and customer perceptions.

Parasuram et al  proposed a method of how Gap 5 (the gap between customer perceptions and expectations which is a direct measure of the quality of service as experienced by the customer) can be measured quantitatively by asking a series of 22 questions relating to the 5 factors crucial in service - RATER - Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness .

Click for the original paper here from ResearchGate ..

The different gaps in customer perception, service design and service delivery
The different GAPs in service expectations, design,  delivery and perception are as given below :
Gap 1 - difference between what customer expects and what managements perceives are the customers expectations

Gap 2 - difference between what management perceives and the service design

Gap 3 - difference between service design and what service delivery

Gap 4 - difference between service delivery and what customer perceives as service

Gap 5 - difference between customer expectations and customer perception,
The SERVQUAL model helps to understand GAP 5, ie the gap between customer expectations and customer perceptions of the service. This gap is considered to a direct measure of the quality of the service.

The 22 questions measuring instrument is given here .. 

The basic premise for this quality instrument is the fact that service quality is directly proportional to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is dependent on and directly proportional to the 5 factors of Reliability,  Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness (RATER) ..

The P-E score can be calculated for each of the 5 parameters. If for any of the factor, the P-E score is less, corrective actions can be initiated for those factors.

The P-E score is then taken for all 22 questions across the five factors and the average score for the total service delivery is calculated.

The total P-E score gives what the customer finally feels about the service.
If perceptions - expectations, (P-E), is positive, it is customer delight 
If perceptions = expectations, (P=E), it is good service 
If perceptions - expectations, (P-E), is negative, it is deficient service

Comparison between Net Promoter score and SERVQUAL :
While Net Promoter Score does not differentiate between the different factors and instead just gives only an overall final score of what the customer feels about the service, SERVQUAL instrument gives the gap between customer perception and expectation across the five factors, RATER. 
SERVQUAL thus helps us to understand exactly in which of the above factors is the service deficient and one can then take necessary steps to understand the deficiency in those factor areas and take corrective steps to overcome it.

George Easaw

PS : If you find this note satisfactory or not, pl  drop in a comment ..

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tata Nano .. Megafactories.. NatGeo documentary ..

This documentary from National Geographic channel gives the challenges faced by Ratan Tata and his engineers at Tata Motors Ltd, India in the design, starting production and bringing in the changes needed to make Tata Nano not only the low cost in the car in the world by applying the latest cost reduction strategies with an innovative mindset, but also a technological marvel.
Their plans to do away with steering columns by shifting the engine to the rear of the car so that the front frame will by itself act to absorb the force of the impact and take out the stresses, was by itself a great innovative design which nobody in the world before had ever thought of. With a 70% automation at the Tata Nano factory in Sanand, Gujarat, this car is going to change the way people start looking at city transport.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Comparimg Sayanao with Idukki ..

Sayanao Shushenskaya dam hydroelectric project in Russia with a capacity of 6500 MW (left) compare this with Indias largest, Idukki in Kerala with 780 MW output. (two on right)

Class discussion on the Coffee supply chain ..

This morning at Alliance University, Bangalore, it was a great discussion about the coffee supply chain that happened in the MBA sem 2, ...

My popular posts over the last month ..