If you are in an operations role, you likely enjoy problem solving. It can be fun, challenging and satisfying. But, there is a BIG problem with problem solving….it happens too late in the process. At that point, we did not meet our customers’ needs, we missed our performance goals or we spent more than what we budgeted. In addition, when we invest most of our time in problem solving and fighting fires, we no longer have the time for more value added activities like coaching, training, mentoring, strategic planning etc. Problem prevention is where the party is!  By focusing most of our time on problemRead More →

Today’s post is a combination of venting and advising. Over the past two weeks, I experienced two, completely different customer experiences at a global, well known eyeglass chain; Lenscrafters. One was terrible and the other one was outstanding. Are your customers experiencing the same thing or have you taken measures to ensure and demand consistent and/or repeatable processes? Here’s my “customer experience” story… The purpose of both Lenscrafters’ visits was to adjust the frames on my glasses. If you wear plastic frames like I do, you know that they stretch out and get looser over time and need to be tweaked on a regular basis.Read More →

If your position is at a Director level or above, you likely spend most of your time in meetings.  And, while in these meetings, there is often talk about the “front line personnel”… whether you call them agents, analysts, reps etc. What is disturbing about this talk is how many assumptions we make. (And when I say we, I am including myself.)  We rely on opinions formed from months past, anecdotes or second/third hand information, and apply this to current state decision making- which may or may not be relevant. So, what is a leader to do? Get out of the conference room and backRead More →

Over the years I have led or been the end user (or victim) of business outsourcing initiatives. Some were very successful, while others were a flop. What’s an Ops Leader to do? Here are 4 specific steps that you can take to increase the likelihood that your project will be successful. Have others? Please add them in the comments section. 1) Ask About The Contract Early In The Sales Cycle During the sales process, some vendors will tell you everything that you want to hear. Then, when it comes down to the contract negotiations, they refuse to agree to certain things in writing. Our legalRead More →