• Dan,
    Have you showed them the need for improvement? Have you measured the number of defects and the time spent reworking them, the “loops” in the process? Have you showed them the cycle time, breaking it out into a time-value map and showing the related cost?
    It sounds like you’re trying to get the point across that the workers are the problem…[Read more]

  • Neel, I’d like to add something to the subjectivity discussion. There are two different cases that we call “subjective.”
    The first is when we rely on a human measurement system that we know isn’t as good as we’d like it to be. We see this a lot in sports, where referees or judges have to make calls or assign scores and everyone knows there is…[Read more]

  • KBailey replied to the topic Call Center Management in the forum General 18 years, 2 months ago

    The company you’re outsourcing to should be able to provide you with utilization % and similar metrics. You shouldn’t have to be afraid of “imposing” by asking for the info – you’re the customer and you’re asking for info they should be tracking for you anyway. Unfortunately, I am aware of at least one company out there who may be less…[Read more]

  • VGB, I find this fascinating. I may not be as much of a stats guru as some people on here. I would wager that if we did a pareto of factors in the success of Six Sigma in terms of impact to customer experience and bottom line benefit to the company in question, none of these “issues” would appear.
    I don’t know what the original poster was looking…[Read more]

  • Here’s a couple…

    Will Six Sigma be seen mostly just as a way to cut costs, or as a strategy to improve quality and innovation, gain market share, and grow the top line?
    Will management learn enough about SS to “pull” or only to “push” the discipline? (In other words, will they learn enough about it to at least know what questions to ask.)

  • Or as a sportscaster who worked on a local radio morning show said during his write-in campaign for governor:
    “A CD player in every home.” That was long ago, before DVDs and MP3s.

  • Some of you need to settle down a bit. Let’s get away from politics and back to the world of management and Six Sigma.
    “I have a PLAN to increase shareholder value. I’m going to cut prices for our small business customers so they won’t go out of business and they can keep buying from us. I’m going to raise pay for our low-income employees and…[Read more]

  • KBailey replied to the topic Process in the forum General 18 years, 2 months ago

    You could probably assume 5 is correct. One way to define “centered” is that the process mean equals the target.
    The trouble is that some testers would actually use such poorly-written questions and expect you to read their minds. I’m with aBBinMN that you shouldn’t assume mean to be the only/best measure of central tendency, especially given…[Read more]

  • KBailey replied to the topic Lean in call centers in the forum General 18 years, 2 months ago

    Success is a function of the opportunity present and your execution.
    If you’re dealing with a call center where you have a lot of paging through screens, looping back through scripts, and asking the person on the other end to repeat something they’ve told you, you have opportunity.
    Define your desired outputs. What is truly customer-driven and…[Read more]

  • I did a few related projects, one in the collection process and a couple related to different billing processes.
    Define your scope: will the project address the credit approval process, billing process, or collection process? Or do you first need to determine which of these processes is top priority? (Billing affects DSO, but the cost of…[Read more]

  • RubberDude,
    You’re right about time as a quality factor. What we’re really saying is that caller perception and down time (or “customer satisfaction”) are CTQ’s we didn’t identify before.

  • Atul, I understand what you’re saying. However, from a cost perspective, the “acceptable limit” is itself a function of the return on a call. In most such outsourcing arrangements I’m aware of, the direct cost is born by the contact center operator and not directly by the client. It becomes less of a true customer need-driven CTQ and more of a…[Read more]

  • Reva, there’s no magic formula but there are some factors to consider, mostly related to caller satisfaction.

    Is there a time at which the rate of dropped calls increases?
    Is there a time at which satisfaction begins to drop off more quickly?
    Is there a call at which callers begin to become unhappy?
    What kind of satisfaction level does…[Read more]

  • Reva,
    Your customer doesn’t recognize the importance of that upper spec limit, which should be related to customer satisfaction.
    My advice is:

    Collect data on your distribution and on caller satisfaction
    Set a reasonable USL for yourselves
    In reporting to your customer include info about your USL and performance relative to it. Keep it…[Read more]

  • I think we’re talking about the same thing. Regardless of what euphemism management uses, if it involves getting people to work harder, take shorter breaks, eat lunch at their desk while they work (or skip it completely), and/or work longer days – I call it driving productivity. In my book, boosting efficiency means that you improve a process to…[Read more]

  • I WHISH. Kinda. Kinda not.
    A previous supervisory position I had, about 95% of what my team did was reworking billing defects for both paper and EDI billing. My goal was to eliminate the need for us to exist. We never got to that point, but with some fair management support we did make some progress.
    Good consultants should look at it similarly.…[Read more]

  • Am I a consultant? I wish!

  • KBailey replied to the topic Percents vs. Sigma??? in the forum General 18 years, 2 months ago

    Three other reasons:
    First: Sigma level can be calculated from a relatively small number of data points. Once you get past 3 sigma and get your defect rate < 1%, it becomes much more expensive to get enough data points to measure quality by actual % defective.
    Second: Taguchi loss function says that variation adds cost even if you’re within…[Read more]

  • One of my favorite things about Six Sigma is that if companies do it right, they can eliminate most of the need to bring in those expensive consultants.
    Instead, some management teams take the approach of cutting heads and driving productivity to the extent that the don’t allow their own people to spend any time on process improvement – let alone…[Read more]

  • Rubber, I’m even more confused now.
    I’m saying that Six Sigma also has great potential value in areas where a sigma level of six probably is never going to be attainable – including politics, sales, marketing, sports, etc. How does that tie to your comment about posters who see SS as a “flavor of the month?”
    Six Sigma isn’t the end – it’s the…[Read more]

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