1. Best Practice Report: Customs

    April 20, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    The movement of people across a country’s borders is usually controlled by immigration authorities. The movement of all other things – for example, goods, hazardous items, vehicles, and animals – is controlled by a government department, agency, service or authority called customs. In general, a customs department decides what can or cannot enter or leave a country, how much should be paid in terms of duty (tax) for that to happen, and prevents the illegal import and export of banned or dangerous goods.

    Every country has its own laws and regulations relating to the import and export of goods. However, for the purposes of business and international trade, some of these laws and regulations are governed by formal international agreements. This ensures security, and facilitates and expedites the clearance of goods in an efficient manner.

    In This Report:

    1. What is “customs”?
    2. Which organisations have received recognition for customs excellence?
    3. How have organisations reached high levels of success in customs or customs-related services?
    4. What research has been undertaken into customs?
    5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in customs?
    6. How can customs services be measured?
    7. What do business leaders say about customs?
    8. Conclusion

    Access the report from here. At the bottom of the page is a PDF version of the report for easy reading. If you are a non-member, you will find some of the links in this report do not work. To join BPIR.com and support our research simply click here or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice every month with over 80 available to members.

  2. The State of Healthcare – Challenges and Opportunities

    April 19, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited

    Global health care spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4% in 2018–2022, a considerable rise from 2.9% in 2013–2017, Deloitte Global reports.

    Because of the need of an augmented focus on health equality with quality, hospitals and healthcare organisations both in the public and private sector domains across the globe are garnering more attention than ever before. Institutes are evolving and foundations are now emerging to analyze and evaluate the quality of healthcare outcomes – to critique and compare against best practices and benchmarks. It is not only being communicated in both print and electronic media, but also reported in peer review journals, much to the delight of some and the dismay of many.

    The most satisfying healthcare delivery systems are the ones which offer impeccable clinical outcomes with action-based patient care excellence, along with being affordable. “About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization”

    Patients feel more annoyed when a healthcare organization knows where the challenge or problem is, but doesn’t do enough or does nothing at all to rectify them, disappointing them twice. First when the error occurred, and the second when the change-makers overlooked it. It can implicitly affect patient satisfaction. It is a missed opportunity, as taking timely and appropriate damage control measures is also important to the bottom line of the organisation. A Study performed by Reichheld and Sasser found that reducing patient defection (leaving one healthcare institution for another) by 5% can raise profits between 25%-85%.

    Here is a compilation of the Best Practice Reports that BPIR.com has published in the healthcare trajectory, with an aim to impart knowledge and competencies for the delivery of safer and superior medical services, with illustrations from the global healthcare scenario.

    Index of Best Practice Reports – Includes new and old (but still relevant ) reports
    1Building a Healthy Society and Workforce: Awareness and Prevention of Diabetes
    2Performance Management Systems for EMS
    3Paramedics and Paramedic Training
    4Healthcare Excellence
    5Occupational Safety

    1. Building a Healthy Society and Workforce: Awareness and Prevention of Diabetes

    International Diabetes Federation reports that someone dies from diabetes every six seconds. Extensive research by the World Health Organisation estimates NCD mortality and morbidity of 56.9 million global deaths in 2016, 40.5 million, or 71%, were due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) i.e., cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. The socioeconomic impacts of NCDs threaten progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a target of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

    This special issue focuses on some of the incredible efforts in the field of preventive health management and wellness initiatives to combat diabetes by governments, not-for-profit, private, and corporate organisations.

    The Blueprint for Change Programme by Novo Nordisk is a series of excellent case studies across more than 10 countries. Read how the World Health Organisation is effectively strategizing to salvage the threatening effect of this non-communicable disease.

    Explore novel social awareness campaigns for diabetes, and exemplary measures by health regulating bodies and government authorities in UK, USA, UAE, Canada, Australia, Belgium, India, Qatar, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Cayman Islands, Eastern Mediterranean Region, Hong Kong, along with the Global Report on diabetes.

    Hence, cost-effective strategies for dealing with diabetes and ongoing research are crucial to the long-term effects on society and future generations.

    2. Performance Management Systems for EMS

    This report will focus on how corporate performance management (CPM) principles can be applied to the emergency services i.e., police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) to promote world-class delivery of care and optimal outcomes for the public.

    CPM is the connecting link between planning and execution of business strategies so an organisation can meet its stated goals, vision and mission.

    To begin with, if an organisation is aiming to boost performance and gain competitive advantage, it is sacrosanct to devise and apply CPM principles.

    CPM principles can be applied for better decision making with proper business intelligence, analytical systems, structured process frameworks, and data metrics. Organisation’s should aim to measure the success of the organisation’s outputs and achievements using the CPM dynamics.

    3. Paramedics and Paramedic Training

    The paramedic role is closely related to other healthcare positions, with paramedics often being with more responsibility and autonomy. The role of a paramedic varies widely across the world as EMS providers operate with many different models of care.

    In every or most aspects of health care, research drives improvements in the quality of care and systems. This has led to publication of scholarly articles looking at changing clinical and operational practices, for example ‘What Will the Ambulance Service Look Like in 2030?’.

    Explore how ‘organisation and practices of ambulance services operate in 14 European countries’.

    It is imperative to pay stringent attention to the training of paramedics, and a performance improvement action plan should be the framework for technology-based measurement of performance, quality delivery, monitoring and standardization of emergency medical services.

    4. Healthcare Excellence

    Health care stakeholders—providers, governments, payers, consumers, and other organizations—struggling to manage clinical, operational, and financial challenges envision a future in which new business and care delivery models, aided by digital technologies, may help to solve today’s problems and to build a sustainable foundation for affordable, accessible, high-quality health care.
    “Making this vision a reality will require a philosophical shift in focus away from a system of sick care, in which we treat patients after they fall ill, to one of health care, which supports well-being, prevention and early intervention,” said Dr. Stephanie Allen, Deloitte Global Healthcare leader. “To make this shift, today’s health care system will need to partner with other traditional sectors such as employment, housing, education, and transportation to address the social determinants of health, and with new sectors such as retail, banking, and technology to improve data and platform interoperability.”

    Smart health communities need to be developed. According to respondents to a 2011 survey, Lean Six Sigma methodologies in 12 Mexican healthcare organisations contributed to the improvements. At Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom, healthcare scorecard helped improve practices.

    5. Occupational Safety

    Occupational safety and health (OSH) – It is legally incumbent that employers have a common law duty to take judicious care of the health and safety of their employees. Based on the ergonomic survey and research data, safety cultures can be improved by optimizing safety-related communication throughout an organisation
    According to OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration), United States Department of Labor, a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work. In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses, a rate of 6.8 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees. This is almost twice the rate for private industry as a whole.
    Successful safety programmes have to capture the hearts and minds of the people involved in them, where employees are motivated to take ownership of occupational safety, thereby plummeting the accident rates.

    All references in this article can be found in the relevant Best Practice Reports except for the following:
    – Deloitte Global. “2019 Global Health Care Outlook / Shaping the Future.” 9 Jan 2019.
    – Study by Reichheld and Sasser – Frottler, M (2009). R Ford, C Heaton. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press. pp. 359–382.

    To join BPIR.com and support our research, simply click here, or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice report every month with over 100 available to members.

  3. The Quality Management Forum

    April 15, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    The Quality Management Forum is the quarterly refereed publication of the Quality Management Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The Forum includes articles on quality management as well as information on QMD activities such as the annual conference and the certified quality manager program.


    In this issue:

    • Strategy Execution: A Balanced Approach to Driving Results in Healthcare, by Mark Sidote
    • Is Configuration Management Really that Important?, by Jacqueline L. Shipwash
    • Smart Police Station, Dubai Police-UAE: Case Study, By: Jorge J. Román
    • Quality Management Journal Previews Volume 26, Issue 2, Executive Briefs
    • Book Review: Process Improvement Using Data, By Dan Zalewski
    • The Best of Coach’s Corner Supporting my Team!, By J.R. McGee

    Click here to download the Quality Management Forum

    Join the Linkedin group of the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee (OETC) – ASQ Quality Management Division (QMD) and get the latest update on Business Excellence from around the world.


  4. Alpha to Omega of Customer Service Management

    April 14, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited

    “People think of loyalty as a customer for a lifetime, but it’s really much simpler than that.
    It’s about the next time, every time.” – Shep Hyken.

    A sensitive situation where a customer felt respected and understood, where his grievance was handled with ultimate finesse, or a split-second of arrogance – these can be the deal-breakers or makers. How they are handled as an organisation, with all the customer service jargons, SOPs and protocols at our disposal is crucial. Sometimes, there is no policy to lean on, because the state of affairs is so novel and alien. Someplace else, we need to bypass that dogmatic company rule and consider an alternative solution, for the better, and a policy change emerges. The core values of service delivery define refined customer service.

    There are two possibilities in the case of a satisfied customer: He gives a 7/10 to the overall experience of the services in an ABC company, where all his product and service needs were met. That same customer after a few months gives a 9/10 for the same criteria. The only difference this time was, he had a complaint, and his grievance was addressed to his utmost satisfaction. This is the concept of service recovery paradox.

    What do we do to seize this disguised opportunity in a situation similar to the latter?

    Customer service transcends the frontline of the organisation – from the CEO at the top management, to the task workers at the bottom, it is a reflection of the principles and culture of an organisation – as a whole, where everyone speaks one language – unsurpassed customer service ethics.

    It is alarming to know that,
    441 billion is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service.
    82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
    79% of high-income households avoid vendors for 2+ years after a bad customer experience, and
    66% of customers switch companies due to poor service.

    Here is a pragmatic guide to some of most relevant Best Practice Reports that BPIR.com has published in the customer service management domain.

    Index of Best Practice Reports – Includes new and old (but still relevant ) reports
    1Customer Service Training
    2Customer Service Excellence
    3Customer Satisfaction Management
    4Customer Complaint Resolution 2
    5Customer Complaints Resolution
    6Call Centre Representatives
    7Customer Support and Service
    8Customer Satisfaction Surveys
    9Emotional Intelligence
    10Relationship Management

    1. Customer Service Training
    There are essentially two types of training in the provision of customer service. The first refers to developing traits or characteristics such as professionalism, politeness, promptness, personalisation, enthusiasm or friendliness. The second refers to developing technical knowledge or know-how, depending on the products or services offered. To be a good customer service agent, you need to have the characteristics and the technical ability to solve problems and enhance the customer experience.

    Customers are the reason businesses exist and flourish. Developing a service-orientated culture helps prevent serious consequences like losing customers forever, putting the survival of the company at risk, law suits, and also giving a poor image of the company – nationally and internationally.

    80% of businesses believe that they already deliver high-quality customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree. Here are the 100 Customer Service Statistics You Need To Know.

    2. Customer Service Excellence
    Poor service quality leads to distrust. A 2011 Consumer Reports Survey found that:

    • 65% of respondents were “tremendously annoyed” by rude salespeople
    • 64% had left a store in the previous 12 months because of poor service
    • 71% were extremely irritated when they couldn’t reach a human on the phone
    • 67% hung up the phone without getting their issue resolved.

    3. Customer Satisfaction Management
    Customers expect organisations to serve them consistently by: asking them what they need, telling them what the organisation will do for them—and when it will be done, doing what needs to be done on time, and, telling them what has actually been done, and when it was done.

    4. Customer Complaint Resolution 2

    They say angry customers are good for business. “Original research executed by TARP (Technical Assistance Research Programs – Harvard) projectable to the U.S. population shows the following for consumers who experienced a problem with a potential financial loss of more than $100: 9% of those who did not articulate the problem remained brand loyal; 19% of those who articulated the problem but were not satisfied remained brand loyal; 54% of those who articulated the problem and were satisfied remained brand loyal.

    5. Customer Complaints Resolution

    There are different customer resolution scenarios that one can be experience – How to tell customers you need some time to resolve their issue? What to say when you can’t resolve the issue? How to (discreetly) let a customer know it is their mistake (the deal-breaker)? How to respond to a customer who is complaining in a language you don’t understand?

    A customer complaints resolution process is a formal procedure to log, investigate, and resolve any customer dissatisfaction or problems. The overarching aim of such a process is to turn around a dissatisfied customer into a satisfied one.

    6. Call Centre Representatives
    The role of the Customer Services Representatives (CSR) is increasingly requiring a wide skill set e.g. oral, written, product knowledge, sales, pricing, and technology skills along with an ability to handle stressful situations when dealing with customers. Jeffries & Sells (2004) measured the following correlation between customer satisfaction and CSR skills:

    • Knowledge 95% correlation
    • Accuracy 90%
    • Communicating 60%
    • Attitude 50%
    • Availability of Services 50%
    • Promptness 36%
    • Personalised Services 20%

    7. Customer Support and Service

    Customer support includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product. Ongoing company profitability is related to how customers perceive the levels of support and service offered by an organisation. It has been predicted that the prioritization of CSS investments will be a major component relating to organisational growth over the next few years.

    The economics relating to the provision of CSS i.e. the balancing of levels of service against the cost of provision is a matter of key importance requiring company-wide coordination along with the integration of MIS and communications systems.

    John Wookey (2003) senior vice president, applications development, of Oracle Corporation wrote, the optimum solution for CSS is to employ a single customer model across an enterprise and to use collaborative CRM technologies which can collect and synchronize data from multiple knowledge sources.

    8. Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    A survey is designed to obtain customer feedback on satisfaction with an organisation’s products and/or services, and its major motive is to build a brand.

    Craig Bailey (2002) founder of Customer Centricity (a customer relationship consulting company) notes “Make no mistake, business is about numbers. In my opinion, there are two sets of numbers that every company must track and manage: the financials and customer satisfactions levels. If executives of a corporation only care about the financial indicators, the company will lose sight of their source of revenue – the customer”.

    9. Emotional Intelligence

    We have been led to believe that our IQ is the best measure of human potential. In the past 10 years, however, researchers have found that this isn’t necessarily the case and that a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) in actuality, is a greater predictor of success in life and work. EQ can have more explicit applications in the conflict resolution and customer service domains. Unlike IQ, EQ can be developed and worked upon.

    Success stories: U.S Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) recognised that many of its personnel required high components of EI to effectively fulfil their roles within the organisation. Developing partnerships, collaboration, and working with elected officials/citizens required empathy, flexibility, impulse control, and non-confrontational relationships. MAG implemented an EI assessment, training, and coaching program that was made available to all staff on a voluntary basis.

    10. Relationship Management

    Research has found a 5% increase in customer retention boosts lifetime customer profits by 50% on average across multiple industries, as well as a boost of up to 90% within specific industries such as insurance (Bain & Company).

    Companies that have mastered customer relationship strategies have the most successful Customer-relationship management (CRM) programs. For example, Capital One Financial Corporation, a US credit card issuer, invested heavily in a CRM programme intended to nurture its customers and ensure delivery of the right product at the right time to the right customer. The programme was so successful that it even allowed the company to deliver products that customers were not aware they needed. As a result, the company went from start-up in 1995 to industry leadership in just five years. (Ragins & Greco, 2003).

    All references in this article can be found in the relevant Best Practice Reports except for the following:

    – “The story behind successful CRM – Bain & Company”. www.bain.com. Retrieved 23 November 2015.

    To join BPIR.com and support our research, simply click here, or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice report every month with over 100 available to members.

  5. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    March 28, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • Let’s Talk About the Term ‘Quality’, By David Hoyle
    • SAQI at NAACAM 2019, By Paul Harding
    • Construction Quality – Success Factors – Part 4 – Defining Quality Control Mechanisms, By Jaco Roets
    • Amendments To The Competition Act May Further Curtail Foreign Investment Appetite, By Terrance M. Booysen and Lesley Morphet
    • Good listening leads to achievement, By Dr Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.