You meet with Meghan Willoughby, Chief Purser aboard the Friendly Seas I. She greets you and says, "Let me tell you a bit about what you'll be doing for us. We've been working on quality measures for several years and now must focus on quality even more as our industry becomes more and more competitive. We need to make sure that our guests receive quality service from beginning to end. We need your help in bringing ideas together on how to measure quality in a service organization." To me, TQM represents a company-wide initiative that seeks nothing short of excellence at all times for our customers. In the cruise industry, quality really is customer driven. It is important for us to define quality and develop methods for measuring the level of quality we are providing. The entire staff onboard, from the Captain and the Cruise Director to the restaurant and housekeeping staff, must be committed to providing a quality service. "Our TQM approach recognizes that our customers; define quality, and that the customers' needs are paramount. We use guest surveys, travel agent surveys, focus groups, interviews and other techniques to integrate the customers' inputs about quality into our organization's decision-making process. With top management leadership, our service delivery systems are designed and continuously monitored to meet or exceed what the customers identify as value, as well as what the staff consider desirable guest outcomes. We use interdisciplinary teams for problem solving and to achieve consensus. We take advantage of employee involvement, group thinking, and brainstorming and maintain a spirit of cooperation and shared values among staff. Everybody in the organization is trained in the techniques of TQM. "We recognize the role of supervisors in implementing TQM. When quality problems are identified, supervisory management works with the necessary people to correct and improve the process. At CII you find some excellent supervisors and directors who truly understand these issues and who really empower their employees. Teamwork is essential. At CII, we have had a degree of success with quality improvement teams. Some of the keys to their success include a formal mechanism-such as a Quality Council that I head-- to focus teams right from the start. The Council sets definite time limits for project completion and helps reduce the time for quality improvement solutions to be implemented. These teams have the help of outside consultants like you to help gather data and do the analysis. This prevents team burnout when the data collection is a major burden to the team on top of their other normal shipboard responsibilities."
Describe why it is important to have guests assess the quality of their cruise experience. How would you respond to critics suggesting that guests do not always have the necessary expertise to correctly judge the quality of services received?
Recommend how you think CII should measure quality. Be very specific in your recommendations. Identify external methods, other than guest surveys, that could be used to measure quality. Identify internal ways to measure quality at CII.
Evaluate the current form (Guest Survey Form) used to solicit customer comments concerning their cruise experience.
Last modified: Monday, 19 December 2016, 11:56 AM
Benefits Of Cloud-Based Logistics Management in 2017: Blockchain is coming
The cloud is constantly making headlines for its ability to allow consumers to store information, and it makes headlines across industries from commodities to technology. However, there is arguably no other industry that has seen the prolific effects of the cloud more than logistics. The power of real-time analytics, integrated communication, and increased data has allowed logistics management to progress in such a way that no other advancement was able to do. This is exactly why we will take a moment and tell you exactly how you are able to benefit from the cloud for your logistics management.
What is more, Blockchain is becoming a significant element in the future direction of logistics. According to BlockchainDriven.com consultants, data and blockchain will be the next frontier of logistic development. With immutable, second to second tracking, it can be the future of logistics.
Anyone doing business in a global environment knows that a lot of friction in trade activities is directly related to finance: regulatory and compliance speed bumps, fraud, letters of credit, manual and fax-based documentation. In trade finance, the sheer number of borders, intermediaries, regulatory authoritiesand lack of technologycan sometimes stall your product, no matter what else you’ve done right. Sometimes it ain’t easy moving green.
Enter disruptive Bitcoin technology, which recently made a small experimental debut in global supply chain management.
Increased office resource flexibility
Not only do you have data available in real-time thanks to cloud-integrated logistics, but you make it accessible to everyone within your team, regardless of what time of the day it is or where on the planet they are at the moment. You can only imagine the increase in continual oversight thanks to universal accessibility. Now it is possible for logistics managers to be in remote locations and still observe processes in real-time. If a response is needed, they are able to provide immediate resource deployment.
Merge into the transit model in a more accurate manner
If you have a number of components from several suppliers and if you are trying to coordinate a union between them, the most important thing that you can do to safeguard efficiency is synchronizing your processes. In some specific situation, it may be necessary to have your processes synchronized down to the hour. For the first time ever, it is possible to have accurate models of merge-in-transit thanks to logistics solutions that enable real-time monitoring through the cloud. It is possible to forecast and monitor this process through a real-time, online dashboard, despite the fact that it was previously too complex to estimate accurately.
Do away with multiple TMS and WMS systems
When it comes to expediting procurement and shipping, TMS and WMS systems are instrumental. However, if you have multiple users and multiple systems, it can lead to a huge number of different transportation options. Options are great, but you only have a handful of options that represent the true lowest cost. The fact that you coordinate information with a specific solution through the cloud means that you can prevent any missed savings that might come from obfuscated data or delays that might be caused by miscommunication.
The most direct means of optimizing costs and controlling risks is the inventory you have on hand. This is your shield, how much flexibility are you willing to give up for greater protection? You can optimize your ability to respond to demand fluctuations through real-time inventory management. At the same time, it allows you to have a buffer against emergencies. You have substantially more control over your inventory levels thanks to the data flow from the cloud.
If you want to be able to control your costs with finesse, you need to be able to understand the price associated with every logistics element of your supply chain. The pricing elements within warehousing and transportation can fluctuate based on any number of different factors, including demand, market conditions, and weather. Because there is so much volatility within your pricing, you can make or break your margin thanks to on-the-fly adjustments.
Still a challenge â€“ but with added benefits
Make no mistake about it, logistics management and logistics optimization remain stunningly complex tasks, but it has become far more efficient and user friendly thanks to the cloud. Managers now have more flexibility than ever before and are able to exercise extreme control over critical processes, thanks to the ability to have data delivered in real-time.
HOW TO AVOID PROJECT BURNOUT
~ By Kenneth Darter
Resources on projects can be susceptible to burning out before the project is finished. Here are a few ideas to prevent burnout in project teams.
Burnout is best described as that state wherein the job one is performing no longer seems to matter very much. When people stop caring about what they are doing (assuming they ever cared in the first place!) and only want to go home and collapse, then they might be burned out on the job. Of course, there could be other causes, but burnout is very common on large projects that are full of tight timelines and a lot of pressure to produce. Burnout happens when someone works past their endurance and mentally or physically collapses. They may continue to put in a minimum amount of work, but they are no longer being effective in their position. Project managers should be on the watch for burnout, but more importantly, they should be striving to prevent it before it happens.
Parents know the value of a timeout. They use it to defuse angry situations, calm down kids, and sometimes just to provide silence in order to think. While I am not suggesting that the project manager put his team members into a timeout, it can be helpful to provide regular breaks in order to defuse situations and provide time to think. Whether the timeout is in the form of a long weekend or a midweek long lunch, sometimes there can be more value in not working then in working. This break in work allows the team to relax their muscles before getting back to the grind of execution.
The stress bust is somewhat similar to the timeout, but in this case, the cause of the stress and burnout is particularly targeted by the project manager. If there is a problem on the project, then it should be busted wide open by the project manager and not allowed to linger until it causes burnout on the project. For example, if a deadline is unrealistic and the team keeps working toward it with no hope of meeting it, that situation needs to be resolved by whatever means necessary - whether by moving the deadline or lowering the scope or assigning the resources that can get it done on time.
Regular checkpoints with the team throughout the project will help everyone take a breath and relax before moving on to the next phase or task. The timeout is used as needed, but a checkpoint should be built into the schedule, perhaps at reaching a major milestone or finishing a phase of work. The checkpoint will allow the project team to have a break from the work and reflect on what has been done so far. The project manager can assess what has been working and what has not been working and make adjustments going forward.
Above all else, the resources on the project should be treated with respect and that includes having realistic expectations for the work they can do. Expecting people to put in sixty or seventy hours a week and meet deadlines that are enforced arbitrarily and are unrealistic will lead to a burned out team no matter how many checkpoints or timeouts the project manager does. The best way to keep a team from burning out is to ensure that they are given the keys to their own success; people burn out when they feel like there is no way for them to succeed, which is why realistic expectations are important.