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A Mini Case Study on Identifying Improvement Opportunities


A Mini Case Study on Identifying Improvement Opportunities

Alistair Hodgett shares key insights on operational improvements (plus a party of emojis) in this article and summarized case study.

My consulting training changed how I see how businesses operate, from the smallest coffee shop upwards (it’s not OK to try and engage the staff in a discussion of the operations project you can see, but which for them is their busy workplace!)

How do larger companies – and especially those with ‘customer first’ as a fundamental principle – scan for and identify improvement opportunities? Secret shoppers provide a measure of insight, but not with an operations lens (if you know the answer, please share it in the comments!)

“This is the best phone you can upgrade to….but we don’t have it in stock here.”

A large telecoms company have me a rich case study (here it is in simplified form) – where do you think the focus for operational improvement should be?

Customer chooses phone upgrade ๐Ÿ’Ž(plus a free gift ๐ŸŽ as part of a bundle!); not in stock at the retail store but staff promise to track one down for collection

No updates for 3 days; calls ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ“žto retail store go unanswered; turns out the rep is out sick ๐Ÿคฎ

Customer drives ๐Ÿš—to store #1 who reserve phone for collection at store #2; more driving ๐Ÿš—, but on arrival store #2 doesn’t actually have the phone

Stores don’t order phones (stock is sent out without regard to any wait list of customers) so no timeline for getting one (and when they do transfer a phone from store to store it goes by regular post ๐Ÿข)

๐Ÿ‘ Good news: dial-up customer service can order the phone ๐Ÿ™‚ ….but not the gift ๐Ÿ™

Dial-up customer service advise that a customer can however order the bundle themselves online ๐Ÿ“ฑ

…but online customer systems were changed at start of week so customer has to re-register…and clear browser cache โณ

๐Ÿ†Success! Confirmation of the order, although oddly lacking any information on what was ordered ๐Ÿค”

Key points include:

  • Customer communication

  • Integrating systems

  • Barf emoji

Read the full article, Moving the coffee cups for the mobile phone company, on LinkedIn.