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Chin

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Managing the unmanageable

As I was getting into the cab outside Sheraton Saigon, the concierge guy handed me a small squarepiece of paper. “What’s this for?”, I asked, without really looking at what was handed to me. “In case you havetrouble with the driver sir.”, the concierge guy answered. It was a small feedback form allowing hotel guests…

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Malaysia’s Fuel Price Hike

Last Thursday, 5th June, the Malaysian Government revamped its petrol subsidy system by increasing petrol prices by a steep 41%, from USD0.58 (RM1.92) a liter to USD0.83 (RM2.70). It is low if you guys look at it in US currency, but in Malaysian Ringgit terms it’s a spike in cost of living. Public expectation here…

Elections 2008

It’??s election time again in Malaysia on 8th March 2008. I picked up this interesting story from Yahoo and wish to share it with the readers here. Held once every 5 years, this article talks about dead voters in Malaysia. KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia has found nearly 9,000 people aged more than 100 on its…

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Reflection: A hotel worker and a customer

It’s been awhile since my last blog posting… much time was spent managing my home renovation project. It’s now completed, I can sit down and ‘do my things’. I started blogging (my own blogsite) Six Sigma in April 2007 with the intention of staying in touch with the subject matter and also to learn certain…

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No buy-in, no project

Each company probably would have strategized targets to achieve on annually. In Starwood they are know as Big 5’s. Big 5’s are tactical targets that support the company’s global initiatives and global objectives; normally a mixture of financial and non-financial but measurable targets. These targets ‘flow down’ from divisional presidents’ offices’ to area directors and…

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12 Angry Men (1957)

The first time I watched Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men (1957) was four years back, at a Six Sigma leadership workshop. We were only 3 days into a two week long training, and some of us were already stretched to optimal stress levels. Being a bit more of an action buff, and being after a…

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Variation and special cause: Discovering the facts

Conformance is how well a process performs within its CTQs and specification limits. Variation is the opposite of it- the difference in the process output over time. Variation is often caused by elements which are part of the process itself (common cause), or elements which are external to the process (special cause). Common Cause variation…

Six Sigma Basics: CTQs & VOC Translation

CTQs, short for Critical-To-Quality, are key quantifiable requirements of a service or product which are critical to meet customer expectations and often defined by customer expectations. It’s what the customer expects of our product or service. Customer expectations and comments which are gathered from surveys or comment forms for a particular area of service are…

How Six Sigma Works in the Hotel Industry

John Corr’s comment (9 March 2007) in Andrew Downard’s Six Sigma Sucks blog (1 August 2006) showed the lack of understanding of how Six Sigma is applied in the service industry. While preaching a certain methodology it’s good to do some research first. A great example of how Starwood does continuous improvement in its hotels:…

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Your office is out there…! (MBWA for desk-bound managers)

When I first joined the hotel industry as the finance guy, I was literally glued to my desk. Sure, I would attend all the necessary office meetings and staff events but my mind was solely ‘back to work’. Bipan the General Manager would come by my office and reminded me very often, “Hey, Mr. Finance…

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