1. Move over product design, UX is the future

    July 1, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on FastCoDesign blog

    Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, says experience innovation is the next design imperative. Here are five things you can do this year to make that happen.

    For decades, the most successful businesses thrived on product innovation as the natural strategy to increase revenues, market share, and loyalty. Fast forward to 2014: today’s product innovations, and the growth they create, are often incremental, narrow, and fleeting. Take TVs or PCs—every competitor quickly matches the latest features, speed, brightness. As a result, companies are finding that returns from product efforts are harder to rely on. Among the Global Innovation 1000, R&D spending rose 5.8% last year, yet revenue for those companies increased less than 1%. Global competition and technological diffusion mean that competitors quickly catch up with most improvements, while the transparency of digital and social media also prompts consumers to quickly switch allegiance with each new alluring offer.

    Today’s enlightened leaders are achieving success by crafting the entire customer experience—shaping, innovating, branding, and measuring it. They are mastering a new discipline we refer to as “experience innovation” by going beyond the discrete product or service to reimagine the customer journey. The result yields new, unexpected, signature moments that delight customers and create significant opportunities for new growth.

    We believe that experience innovation will be a crucial component for companies seeking to remain relevant and retain customer loyalty in 2014. But the process of designing a truly innovative experience cannot simply rest on the process excellence of classic customer experience-improvement efforts or the creative brilliance of the marketing team. Drawing on our recent work, here are a few key principles for success.

    LOOK BEYOND THE PRODUCT
    Experience innovation isn’t driven by specific product features or design, but by reimagining the broader experience of how customers might use the product or service. By looking beyond the product to take a broader view of customer issues and activities around the product, companies can find new ways to address unmet needs, create talk-worthiness, and fuel differentiation.

    Take Uber, the car service. Uber didn’t change the vehicle or retrain drivers, but fundamentally changed how you order, meet, and pay for a car. By taking a broader view of what a car service could be, Uber was able to reimagine the entire experience—offering “relentless reliability,” and a seamless system that addresses many hassles such as long wait time, not having cash, losing recipients, etc. The company is growing like wildfire—adding almost 80,000 new customers a week and is able to charge a lot more than the typical cab. Looking beyond the product to the broader experiences surrounding it also creates new horizons for growth. At Nike, for instance, shifting from sneakers to enabling fitness has spurred clothing sales, the Fuel band, and other integrated digital solutions, and fitness-oriented social media sharing and gamification.

    BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED, BUT NOT CUSTOMER LED

    Experience innovators recognize that consumers can’t tell you about the things they need or want but haven’t yet imagined. Nor can consumers articulate how they will do things differently in the future. For instance, customers will tell an airline they really want quick boarding and on-time departures.

    That’s fairly obvious. But Delta came up with an approach they call “delocation” as a way of taking services out of their typical location and improving the travel experience in unexpected ways. Delta brought the lounge directly to the gate, creating an enhanced experience among travelers who had never thought of the gate past its function as a waiting area and were often too rushed to visit the airline lounge. The Delta concourses at LaGuardia and Minneapolis have banquette seating, embedded iPads, gate side ordering, and specially curated shops and restaurants to create new levels of service and ambiance. The space takes advantage of Delta’s ability to partner and deliver on its essence of “making flying better” in a way consumers might never have articulated in a focus group—and provides an opportunity for a new revenue stream. Delta is an example of a brand that has committed to enhancing the experience on an ongoing basis and Delta’s stock price more than doubled in 2013
    BUILD LONG-TERM VISION

    Great experience innovation isn’t about a series of one-off moments, but a holistic vision for a transformed brand experience that evolves over time. A customer-experience map is, therefore, a bold, integrated vision for the future of your brand experience. Start with a broad and detailed exploration of the customer journey—and how it could be different. Don’t ask customers what they need, but observe how they behave and what makes them happy or sad. Then assess what people could do. Think about what they will notice, and what they will remember. Look for the big moves—can you take entire steps out of the process, change the sequence, add new value in unexpected places? Disney, for example, unexpectedly opens the park gates five minutes in advance fueling the “I’m about to be at Disney world!” thrill. In developing such a map, think in terms of a portfolio approach to execution, by balancing simple changes that build momentum with longer-term investments that require more radical changes and resourcing.

    ENGAGE ALL OF THE SENSES

    Today’s dramatically expanding set of touch points, shorter attention spans, and shrinking lifecycles all heighten the need for an experience that breaks through with increased vitality and dimension. In that vein, a great brand experience often engages all the senses. It considers the environmental, physical, digital, and even behavioral expression of brand—the way employees interact with both customers and each other.

    MAKE IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE FIRST

    Products are usually managed by one person, whereas an experience must be curated by several different owners with separate goals and metrics. Drawing on expertise across functions is essential to push thinking, discover what is possible, and forge connections across operational silos. And, before an experience will come across as real to the outside world, dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees need to be educated and empowered to deliver the vision.

    The concept of innovating the experience isn’t new. Virgin’s airport clubs, Nike’s flagship stores, Starbucks restaurants, and Disney’s Parks set the standard many years ago. These innovators show us that the experience isn’t just about the planes, the shoes, the coffee or the even the rides—it’s about how we feel when we use the product or service. The stakes for getting the experience right, and continually enhancing it, have never been higher.


  2. Weber is the Baldrige Award of the Dairy Industry

    December 28, 2014 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Mary Eastman

    After reading a press release announcing the latest Weber Award winners, and noting that the Weber is modeled after the Baldrige Award, I reached out to Peter Horvath (president and CEO) and Chuck Yarris (director of quality and food safety) of Quality Chekd to find out more.

    What is the Weber Award?

    It is named after Irving B. Weber, a founding member of the Quality Chekd Board of Directors, who had the vision of producing the best dairy products in the country.
    The award originated in the late ‘80s and was originally a marketing opportunity for securing the trademark. But it has since become an all-encompassing award, based not just on the level of product compliance (through third-party testing) but also including leadership, customer, and employee components.

    A difference from the Baldrige Award that Horvath sees is that Weber applicants themselves are very similar, without a lot of variables in organizational products and services. However, the Baldrige Criteria has provided an example in not solely using product quality as the basis for the award.

    According to Horvath, no other award besides the Weber Award is recognized in the dairy industry; even companies outside of the dairy industry know of it. It has “become a quality driver within organizations,” he says, because it does translate into how well they are run. In dairy plants, “Think Weber” signs can be seen on the walls. Being modeled on the Baldrige Award helps Quality Chekd introduce the Weber Award, Horvath says: “Because you are such a high-profile award, we tell them it is like the Baldrige Award, and they understand.”

    What are the steps of the Weber Award process?

    To qualify for the Weber Award, a plant has to be in the top monthly ranking for product testing; take third-party audits/certification, and add those results; add employee safety results data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and then take the top three applicants, and administer a leadership survey.

    Next, Yarris and Horvath spend a day with top managers of award applicants to have them explain what the senior leaders are doing in terms of their organization’s mission, vision, and values and how they communicate those to employees. They are also asked to explain

    • what their strategic planning is and how they know it is effective;
    • quality improvements they are undertaking;
    • employee orientation/absenteeism;
    • communication to the night shift, the reward process, seniority, special recognition, and succession planning
    • the safety program
    • benchmarks being used

    After the leadership interviews, Horvath and Yarris go to employees and find out if they are “walking it”; they sit down and talk with a certain percentage of employees and ask questions such as, How do you get engaged in your work? What are your company’s mission, vision, and values? The employee interview has approximately 30 questions across a broad range of topics.

    Next, a customer satisfaction survey is administered through a third party for consumers who have purchased the applicant company’s products. Such consumers are surveyed on the following:

    1. overall impression of the company
    2. impression of the personnel
    3. overall impression of product/service

    If selected, Weber Award recipients receive a trophy and a highly prized grandfather’s clock (often placed in a prominent location). Winning companies often give employees a memento and a day off or equivalent benefit.

    Similar to Baldrige, another of the Quality Chekd membership advantages (besides the Weber Award) is ongoing training offered through regional workshops and some onsite training for specific companies based on their need.

    Chuck Yarris (director of quality and safety) says a challenge for his organization is keeping interest in the Weber Award high. For example, he asks, even though these companies are doing a great job, what other criteria can raise the bar even higher? He wants Quality Chekd members to be the best (well above competitors), to be profitable, and to have a positive impact on the industry.

    Looking Toward the Future

    According to Horvath, the dairy industry is under severe pressure because the market has seen a 2–4 % decline in consumption, and input costs are high. In the squeeze, another challenge is how to avoid taking shortcuts—and not just in terms of disregarding quality. Horvath hopes to expand the Weber Award beyond the Quality Chekd community because other industry awards are just not as rigorously defined and are based more on public relations efforts.

    So what is the best thing about working in the dairy industry, and Quality Chekd / the Weber Award in particular? While you might guess ice cream tastings, Yarris has unique expertise in tasting buttermilk, so he always gets to try it in a production plant. In particular, he enjoys the variety of getting into the plants to do some analysis, troubleshooting, training, and meeting the night shift crew, he says.

    For Horvath, the best part of his 14 years with Quality Chekd is that he works with wonderful people, he says.


  3. EFQM 25 Years of Excellence – the Book

    October 25, 2014 by ahmed

     

    Introduced by forewords of two Presidents of the European Commission as well as the EFQM Board, this publication gathers a broad spectrum of testimonies from organisations at different stages of their excellence journey. We hope they will inspire you in your quest for sustainable excellence. Here’s to the next 25 years!

    This is your direct access to stories from various organisations. They are categorised by Fundamental Concept. This is optimised for tablet. Click on the “Columns to display” button to select your concepts of interest for a better screen view.

    Click here to read the book


  4. Boiling the ocean: How a manufacturer leveraged the criteria to improve its supply chain

    February 8, 2014 by nick.halley

    Originally Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey on Blogrige: The Official Baldrige blog.

    How to Boil the Ocean

    In 2012, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) participated in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program. As part of the program, John Varley and the other Fellows were given homework: identify a significant challenge in their organizations and use the principles of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to achieve significant improvement.

    Varley, vice president for Quality and Mission Success–at the 2012 Baldrige Award recipient that designs, develops, manufactures, and supports advanced combat, missile, rocket, and sensor systems for the U.S. and foreign military–knew that MFC’s most significant area of improvement was the supply chain. Over the past year, the economy had hit the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its contractors hard, and as spending became tighter, the smaller subcontractors in the industry–those who support the large contractors–were hit the hardest.

    According to Steven Sessions, supplier quality director and deputy, Quality Mission and Success, MFC has a multitier supply chain, with suppliers who have subcontractors and so forth, so there are several tiers of suppliers that support MFC. Sessions says when the economy began to squeeze the lower-level, smaller contractors, the tendency was not to lay off the person who created the parts but the person who was in charge of checking the quality of the parts. MFC has contractual relationships with the first line of its supply chain, but how do you assess the risk with lower-level tiers that farm out parts of their work?

    Sessions said that MFC was already working on strategies to address supply chain issues when his colleague came back from a Baldrige Executive Fellows session with the idea for a project that “was pretty startling to colleagues.” Varley’s project focused on how to improve the entire DOD supply chain.

    “[Such a project] was closer to boiling the ocean,” Sessions says. “We have 2,000+ suppliers, and now we would be taking on a project to help companies that are competitors improve their own organizations.”

    “John’s premise was that we either all improve together or all decline together because we are so integrated,” Sessions says. “It was an interesting insight. We tried to figure out how to use the Malcolm Baldrige [Criteria] model to open up doors to companies that five years ago you would never have thought would open their doors to share processes, tools, and techniques on how to improve the DOD supply chain.”

    Sessions added that years ago, the top DOD suppliers like Lockheed Martin were very distinct entities, but now they often act as partners in some programs, competitors in others, and suppliers in still others.

    Based on the Baldrige Criteria, a strategy called Senior Leadership Engagement and Benchmarking was developed by MFC, and MFC’s senior leaders set out to meet with the senior leaders of the other top DOC contractors, getting their commitment around the strategy that we all go up or down together.

    The sharing-ideas strategy really took off, with more than 18 major DOD suppliers and others standing in line to take part, Sessions says.

    “The Malcolm Baldrige Award has made the whole effort take off to the point now where we’re having to leverage seasoned people with more people in the organization in order to keep up with requests,” Sessions says. “The interesting part is that we started out thinking that we are going to be . . . helping [other DOD contractors] improve, and we’ve been able to do that. But out of it, we gained a lot of insight into areas in which we can improve our journey as well. What started out as boiling the ocean, materialized into a real partnership and relationship with some significant companies that are coming up with ideas on how to improve the supply chain that any one of us by ourselves probably would not have been able to achieve.”

    Sessions says that MFC is working on other strategies to improve the overall DOD supply chain in the long term; for example, staff members are working on how to prevent counterfeit parts from getting into its systems. In close alignment with its customer, MFC is teaming with others in the industry to solve this complex, difficult problem.

    Benchmarking Against the Best

    “The Malcolm Baldrige model is a very structured approach to improving your business,” Sessions says, but MFC didn’t turn to the Baldrige Criteria because it needed a framework for improvement. MFC had already won a host of awards, including awards from the Baldrige-based Sterling Award in Florida and Texas Quality Award.

    MFC decided that we wanted to get a good, solid, independent benchmark of where MFC was relevant to its performance, Session says. As they decided whom and how to benchmark, they brought forward the ”world-class” Baldrige Criteria. “We had several ideas of how to benchmark,” he says. “But we wanted to be benchmarked by the best of the best. Our focus was to [apply for the Baldrige Award and] get a site visit and get the outcome of where we stood and where we could improve some more.”

    Sessions says, “As we began to understand the [Baldrige Criteria], we found that it was very similar to our own vision for improvement that we had been using over the past 10 years. . . . The reason people model themselves around the Malcolm Baldrige model is to get that kind of proven, world-class performance. . . . We’ve seen dramatic achievements across the business because our senior leaders had the right premises to line up with the Malcolm Baldrige model.”

    Frank McManus, senior quality leader, MFC, says that when MFC chose to begin using the Baldrige Criteria, “Our leaders wanted us to get not so much the award but the feedback. Having the site visit, with examiners coming to various facilities [and those examiners] representing many different industries and experiences and getting that kind of view [became a] vantage point of how we’re operating and continuously improving.”

    “The examiners were the carrot,” he added; receiving their feedback was incredibly valuable.

    The Right Metrics and Why the Baldrige Criteria

    Sessions said the MFC business model was structured very similarly to the Baldrige Criteria–very focused on the customer and aligned with leadership and every aspect of the organization. A Strategic Enterprise Leadership Counsel reviews the MFC business model to ensure that it aligns with both customer and business needs.

    Key to the MFC business model is having the right metrics to drive performance that align with customers and are tied to every level of the workforce. Similarly, Session says, the Malcolm Baldrige model focuses on customers, with each operational focus tied into a metric system that is aligned with strategic planning and customer needs.

    “That’s the beauty of [such a model],” says Session. “It’s very easy for our leadership team to see where areas for improvement are needed because of the instrumentation we have from the smallest of teams to 16 sites, and it rolls up from all of those organizations to the top. . . . We are very process focused with data-driven decisions, and our customer is the primary focus area. We know if we get it right for the customer, our business will follow. The Malcolm Baldrige model follows all these same tenets–always focusing on the customer with robust processes and data-driven decisions. It was a natural fit.”

    For other organizations, Sessions says the value of the Baldrige Criteria is the structured framework and focus on the customer. “Sometimes companies get too inwardly focused and end up losing sight of [what the customer really needs]. Comparing yourself with other industries and what’s considered the best of the best brings insights.”

    Sessions said that when MFC started with the Baldrige Criteria, “We literally had to flip all of our metrics upside down.” Its performance had gotten so good that it was focusing on just the 1% of parts that were coming in bad, for example. To complete its application for theMalcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, MFC had to flip its model to show the good parts of its supply chain, and this led to interesting observations.

    “When you start to benchmark yourself, it makes you look at metrics differently,” Sessions says. “The whole organization was pretty astonished when it started to pull together metrics in one place [for its Baldrige Award application]. It makes you look back and forward in how you have been performing on your journey and where it would take you. That’s the value [of writing a Baldrige Award application]–that reflection and insight on where we go next.”


  5. The Finance Industry and the World of Benchmarking

    October 7, 2010 by
    Qfinance
    Qatar has fast emerged as one of the world’s leading financial centres, and as a way of sharing their success the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) launched QFinance. QFinance.com provides articles, dictionary, quotations and blogs written by more than 300 finance and business experts from around the world. They contain helpful ideas, tips, techniques and insights on how to successfully build your business and make it grow. It is “the ultimate financial resource” on the web.

    One of the improvement tools used successfully in the finance industry is benchmarking , and Dr. Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research at Massey University, offers a valuable addition to QFinance in this area. In his article, “Everything You Need to Know About Benchmarking,” he explain the key points in benchmarking, and how it has the potential to improve overall business performance from management, to sales, to various organisational processes and business practices.

    You can read the full article at QFinance website here .