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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Best?

Apparently, I'm the Best! All I have to do is pay and somebody will list me somewhere. I like the "framed" certificate.


Got another Rugger Owned Business to add to the list. Group 2112 is a furniture dealer in New York City. They serve the city and surrounding areas and even around the country. Their website looks good. Check them out.

I've also updated my photo, in case you haven't noticed. This is my good side (according to me).

Monday, August 10, 2009


When is customer service NOT customer service?

I was at my favorite Starbucks last night and I got the distinct feeling that I was in their way. I appreciate a clean store, that's part of good customer service. But I don't like to feel unwanted or in the way while the crew starts cleaning before the store closes so they can run out as soon as they push the customers out the door at precisely closing time.

It's not the economy, because they've been doing this for years, trying to save money by not paying anyone after store closing hours. It's just plain poor customer service. I'm sure I'm not the only one who notices. You're sitting and enjoying your coffee, and maybe some conversation, when the crew starts to close the store while you're still in it - and it's not closing time yet. Surely they could wait until they close to start the cleaning, or at least just do the little things that the customers don't notice. But to get out the broom, move the tables and chairs, and sweep within a millimeter of your feet while you're trying to relax is just too much.


Another theme that is emerging from the interviews that I'm conducting for my upcoming book is that the best organizations share information. Lot's of it. They share things that other organizations would cringe at, such as budgets, financial performance, and performance measures.

What this means is that the best organizations have a well informed workforce who understand what the organization is doing, how well it is performing, and where they fit in.

Share. Share the good and the bad. Keep everyone informed. If you don't tell your people what's going on they'll make up their own answers, and those answers will be based on fear and misunderstanding, not facts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Late Late Supply Chain Show

I haven't watched this whole video yet, but the part about the origin of the term kanban is great. It starts about 3 minutes in. I think I'm going to have to "borrow" the demonstration the next time I give a presentation on Lean.

Take a look.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good Service

Since I tend to rant about bad service I've received, I should also acknowledge the good service I receive. And also, since I frequently rant about my local Safeway, I will now praise my local Foodland supermarket. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Instead of waiting until Thanksgiving to make my usual turkey dinner, I thought I'd have Thanksgiving in July. I quickly learned that that is not so easy to do. For one, Safeway does not have any turkeys in July, nor do Costco or Don Quixote (a.k.a. Diae or Holiday Mart, depending on how long you've lived here). Second, it's now August, but that's another story. I did find turkeys at Foodland, but the off season price was quite shocking. I'm used to the "subsidized" holiday price, or the loss-leader price that stores use to bring in the holiday food shoppers, and wasn't prepared to pay $30 for a turkey. So... on to the chickens. Much better. I ended up buying a non-name-brand chicken for half the price of the name-brand. A large roaster, ready for stuffing.

I made my stuffing and pulled the bird out of the refridgerator. It was when I pulled the giblets out of the bird that I realized something was wrong. Bad chicken, bad chicken. Rule #1 - don't eat a foul smelling fowl. So my chicken and I returned to Foodland.

I have to say I was very impressed with the Customer Service at Foodland. Not only was I able to replace the chicken (and got 21 cents back, whoo hoo), but the customer service person made the experience pleasant. She apologized for the bad chicken and because I had to return it, and very quickly and pleasantly processed the return transaction. This level of service is not usual in other stores, so I was very happy.

And the stuffed chicken dinner turned out great.