Monday, March 25, 2013

Aussie & Kiwi Adventures, Part 2

By Pascal Dennis

Thanks for your feedback to the question I posed last time:

How can Qantas, a major company in a highly competitive market, be so indifferent to the customer?

You'll recall that, among other failures, Qantas lost my bags - both going & coming home! And provided no easy means of providing feedback or seeking recourse!

Here are some common themes in your responses:

"Qantas doesn't care because they're an oligopoly in Australia."

"Qantas knows the government (i.e. the Australian tax payer) will always bail them out!"

"Service levels, in general, are substantially lower in Australia than in other countries. Knowing no better & having no alternative, Australians think Qantas behavior is normal."

I defer to our readers' insights, and especially, those of our Australian colleagues. If true, these comments provide important lessons for policy makers.

  • In the absence of competition, the customer, and the concept of Value, will be forgotten. Waste will increase exponentially

  • Accept oligopolies only as a last resort, therefore. Seek to foster competition so that the customer is not forgotten.

  • If your market is small & can only sustain a very small number of companies, compel the company to provide, through legislation if need be, hassle-free recourse for customers.

What kinds of waste did I experience dealing with Qantas?

Transportation, Delay, Motion, Over-processing, Defects...

Qantas also experienced these forms of waste, as well as, Work-In-Process (my lost luggage - and me!), and Knowledge.

For Qantas, the latter waste is the worst of all. By scorning customer feedback, they'll never improve.

This is what happens when the Customer is forgotten.

So, for Lean thinkers, the most important questions remains: WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?



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