iSixSigma

Devorah

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  • #178244

    Devorah
    Participant

    Hello there!
    I am basically in the same position as you in a service company, and I am also a green belt. I began last year by looking at our feedback (survey) forms to see what areas our customers were not happy with (or could have been happier). Then I looked at which of those, by fixing, would add value to both the client and to us. So, then I looked at our processes to see which part of the process those areas belonged to. So, first, you have to map your process “as is”. Then, looking at the feedback you’ve gotten from customers, you see which area of the process the problem seems to stem from. Then you can brainstorm with the people doing the process to see how it “should be” done. Many times you don’t have to change the whole process, but just pieces of it. It is a continual improvement all the time. Every time I am finished with one project I realize we can improve in other areas. Then it becomes a matter of balancing your time against which project will bring the most benefit to the company and to the client.
    Hope that helps. :)
     

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    #178051

    Devorah
    Participant

    Hi Boom-Boom,
    In order to make an improvement you need to know where you are starting from (benchmark).  How many rooms do you have available to sell on any given day (look at records going back 6 months to a year and try to find a trend). If you have lots of rooms available, either sales needs to bring in more conventions/parties, or you need to think about running specials. That would definitely have a financial impact. If your room occupancy is good, or close to capacity all the time, then look at other departments, and do the same thing (restaurant, room service, meeting rooms, all the same applies). The point is that you have to know where you are starting from, and decide if you are where you need to be in comparison to others in your industry. So, if you have 100 rooms available on a Wednesday  – how does that stack up against the other 3 hotels in your area?  You can then decide if that is “normal” or if you can take some competitive advantage by offering something the others don’t. Or you can decide that normal is ok for you, and you can move on to something else. I do it by a process of elimination, one idea/process at a time, until I find what would make the most financial impact. In my experience there are always tons of things that can be improved upon, so almost nothing you improve will be wrong. You just need to find what process is the “most” broken and start there.  Doing something more efficiently than what is currently being done has lots of financial impact beyond “hard” savings. Sometimes there are “soft” savings (like freeing up someone to do something else instead of doing re-work).
    Lastly, looking at customer feedback is important too. If there is a trend in complaints, for sure look at that/those issue(s) and see if that would cause a guest to not return to the hotel. Sometimes just making something easier for a guest will make them more likely to return (like faster check-out, or a 24-hour concierge). You will get a lot of good information from that feedback. Pick the top 3 complaints and see if a process needs to be changed, or something added or taken away, and decide if these are important enough to make a financial impact (usually the answer is yes).
    I hope that helps…

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    #177815

    Devorah
    Participant

    We get scores from a 3rd party company that give us the orders. So, we have to improve our CTQ scores. Unfortunately I feel the questions they ask the customer are too general, not giving enough detail to help me nail down the real CTQ issues. I have to identify for 2009 three CTQ issues per customer order. Of course, they will differ each time. I have gleaned what I can from the feedback they have given. There is a recurring theme of about 4-5 issues that seem to have the most hits. I am allowed to ask questions before and during the service, at which time I can try to get this information. I am sorry I am being vague, but I don’t want to give away too much by saying exactly what we do. I just want to see what you think about gathering CTQ so that you are not biased by knowing what I am doing. :)

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    #171853

    Devorah
    Participant

    Hi Michael,
    I did this for similar expenses – money we were paying out and could not collect back from our accounts. Each time we did this we required our counselors to fill out a “write-off” form, and “coding” the item that was being written off (such as per diem (code 91) or accessoria charges (code 60) and send it to our accounting department. At the end of the month, she would enter the file number into an excel file along with the code we established. I would then just use excel to stratify the data and make a pie chart to see which item was continually being paid out. So, after stratifying it, I saw which codes had the highest amount, and then I had to manually (sigh) look up each file to see why. Oh, I also saw who had the same codes over and over and was then able to see that certain people were CAUSING the outflow of the code I targeted. So, this should help us to lower the outflow by offering either 1) more help or 2) more training to the offenders…
    I just recently got SS GB certification, and I am the only one in my company that has it – but already with the little I know compared to a BB I have already seen very good results.
    Good luck! – Devorah

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