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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Identifying quality

Yahoo! My laptop is back from ICU. Now I can post what I had promised to. About quality and its importance in our everyday life.
When we talk about several management principles to improve quality, we feel intimidated because we forget that we judge "quality" subconsciously most of the times, even in mundane day-to-day experiences. For example, recently I had to courier a few documents overseas. Though I had the tracking number to keep note of the progress of the shipment, I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from concerned courier service provider notifying me the receipt of the papers and the name of the person concerned who had received the same. It was just one way of customer retention. Keeping track of the shipments of even walk-in customers.

Another incident happened when my friend wanted to buy a sunscreen lotion for herself. The product knowledge of the guy at the store was astounding and she felt spoilt for choice. When she asked for my opinion I suggested she took something which suited her skin type in stead of anything that caught her fancy. In fact, that chap convinced me to get a sunscreen with matte effect, when I already had one with a cream base.

Now, one thing that goes a long way to improve quality is innovation.
Here’s something I’d like to share.

Since I love drawing parallelisms, I’d like to say we can bring quality in our lives with just a little effort everyday. They say dreams don't come true, goals do. And it is all manageable when you write it down. So here are a few from my list of goals. I have tried to make them as numerical as possible.
1. I want to be an MBA graduate in 3 years' time with course titles- Marketing Communications , Business to Business Marketing, Computer Assisted Market Analysis and Planning, and Internet Marketing
2. I want to script at least one more book before I am 30.
3. I want to have a start-up in the next 10-15 years.In fact I have started with my domain name and server space, I need a web developer.
4. I want to complete M-3 level of degree in German.
5. I want to weigh 58 kg and wear my hair another 15 cm longer.
Got crazier ideas, but these were the saner ones.
Till next time,
Keep dreaming.

20 comments:

zoxcleb said...

quality and retention... sounds like a manager in the making....

saikat said...

abt the courier service instead of quality..a better word would be customer delight...a feedback per se wont come under the framework of quality, its rather one of the moments of truth which as u rightly mentioned goes a long way in customer retention...

quality for me is the ability to perform on the decided set standards day in and day out...its the difference between the customer exclaiming ahaaa! instead of aaaaagggh!

just woke up from mah elixir influenced slumber and decided to come online...kiraaazy me :D

sangram said...

hmm....i m interested in the 5th point :D... i bet it takes a lot of conviction.. UUUUltimately.. i want tht BMW :D... i would rather change point # 4 to "I want to enjoy the M-3 level of BMW and move onto M-6" please no german.. hehe.. now point # 3 is a bit of a kicker ... ahem ahem. point # 2 is feasible provided you get some time off.. frm ur busy executive lifestyle...How abt 3 years in Tibet ... ? i m also planning on a similar trip :).
btw. how do u know wht kindaa skin u have ? (apart from reactive, allergic, dry and oily)..How do u know wht chemicals will react with your skin..? recently i gt a stuff from DHC care.. This company has gt the best innovative products so far.. and are damn expensive. Some of the new innovations are antioxidant co-enzyme Q10, Hyaluronic acid powder, acerola berry, platinum silver nanocolloid cream, alpha-arbutin, tocophero E, etc, etc. They have tested all products and its so famous that a small pack of alpha-arbutin white cream will cost you a 100 USD. So i got it fr one of my relatives back in india..and guess wht? the person gt the opposite effect..eruptions and rashes :D... ITs nt a third grade company, that it will be such a failure. in fact before buying the same, i tried looking into journal articles about the possible effects of alpha-arbutin and this is the only way of natural whitening ...bt doesnt work with the tropical skin i believe :))..so its really hard to say nething abt the skin..the best remedy is "go for natural treatment" for e.g. its always best to use natural sunblocks consisting of zinc oxide and titanium oxide rather than sunscreens which are usually a conconct of PABA, bezophenone, parabens, etc (can react a lot with different skin types + doesnt block most of the UVA). Zinc oxide is the safest as it lies on the skin without being absorbed..woohoo... a bit of a seminar here.. sorry ...:)

passer by said...

jaag musafir bhor bhayii
ab rain kahan jo sowat hai..

Aparna Kar said...

@Sangram
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ 10) or ubiquinone is not really a present day innovation. It was first isolated from beef heart mitochondria by Dr. Frederick Crane in 1957 and is a well-known antioxidant. Most of the "new" drugs or chemical components are primarily variants of old drugs.

Alpha-arbutin is effective in reducing liver spots and skin tanning because it blocks epidermal melanin biosythesis by inhibiting enzymatic oxidation of Tyrosine and Dopa and is credited to have no side effects. The skin rash could have been a result of sensitivity to other chemicals, not necessarily Alpha-arbutin. The usual culprit causing allergy or rashes is PABA (or para-amino-benzoic acid).
But it's true that tropical skins have reportedly reacted to skin treatments prepared for skin types of other zones.
The only thing I consider while purchasing a sunscreen is it's SPF (or Sun Protection Factor). While it's ok to apply anything above SPF 15 in temperate zones, the tropical sun necessiates something between SPF 30 to SPF 70 depending on the amount of exposure expected.

sangram said...

yeah but in market, the cosmetics are available with these components only after rigorous testing and passing standards.. thts wht i was talking abt... tell me frankly, how many years back you came up with any of the cosmetics with alpha-arbutin as an active component,and how many people used it.. thts wht i was talking abt... samjhe...nt the first time whn it was invented..
and yeah..ne kindaa of sunscreen is totally bad for skin..so go for sunblocks instead with zinc oxide..the important factor is not spf..indian skins usually go for spf greater thn 30..bt yeah its more important to go for the type of chemical u use in a sunblock.. nt the spf...

saikat said...

lagey rahooo...ladtee rahooo :D

btw if u want nee info abt COQ10 u can nee day contact me....have a 750 page highly classified docs of the same :).... of which i can share some not so classified info... :D

@ sangram... bacchi ko kyun gabbar banke dara raha hain bhai...

sangram said...

@ saikat
aare bachii ko dara nehin rahan hu..baas info de rahan hu ..ki its really hard to know your skin type. its not so easy.. nd yeah u must be getting the whole point..what i was trying to tell her..is tht these compounds..are recently being used in cosmetics and is proving to be effective in a lot of skin types. Obviously, this was not the case like 4-5 years back..rt ??


@ aparna
and yeah... fr a sunblock, u need to have a broad spectrum sunblock...cz ..ur SPF thingy only protects u frm the UVB..nt the UVA and UVA is the prime cause for ageing of skin (symptoms like wrinkles, skin cancer, collagen, hyperpigmentation, etc, etc). So go for a broad spectrum sunblock which protects u frm both UVA and UVB...u know its like putting a bandpass filter to the sunblock that can absorb the quanta of energy associated with UVB and UVA. :)

yuvaraj said...

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Saurabh said...

Sangram: Sorry to bother you in your arguments but I agree with Aparna, The Article is not about a sunscreen lotion but about what we can do , if we can channelize our energy to improve ourselves then we should definetely do that.

Saurabh said...

So i must say ur mission to create the perfect Sun screen lotion will succeed ,cos u seem to be in the zone for it ;)

sangram said...

@saurabh
no u are absolutely not bothering me..the discussion is definitely not about sunscreens and sunblocks. I absolutely apologize for diverting your thought process from the actual subjective content of the blog. it was a mutual rendering of thoughts between the writer and myself, whose pedigree doesnt originate from this specific blog..sorry for absolutely knocking your attention off :)..

Saurabh said...

Sangram :But then I never intended to stop you from your discussion, infact if you read my last comment i think you will have a great future in making a new and better Sunscreen lotion. Become the Saviour of all the woman ( mostly ) men ( secretly ) around the world ;) So Carry on .. your research.. this world needs you

Aparna Kar said...

@zoxcleb
manager in the making....

Still in the making * sigh *

Aparna Kar said...

@saiki

I subscribe to your idea of quality being "the difference between the customer exclaiming ahaaa! instead of aaaaagggh!"
But it's a two -step process.
Step 1 is when you focus on eliminating the "Aaaaaaaaagh" from the customer by not making mistakes, not wasting time and materials, and not making errors in production and services.
That's where Six Sigma comes into play.

Step 2 is extracting that "Aaha" from the customers by great inventions, hiring real stars, buying other companies.

While it takes considerable amount of market presence to bring Step 2 to effect, any start-up can concentrate on Step 1 and have effective results.

When the courier service provider called me up, they were implementing step-2.

Btw, I had almost forgotten you had your summer internship and PPO in Lupin Pharma and your report was on Co Q 10.
Woh report mujhe de-de thakur!!!

Aparna Kar said...

@sangram
Galti ho gayi mai-baap. Maafi dei do.
Agey se hum cosmetics ka harr component dekh k kharidengey and I won't just rest satisfied with merely the SPF of a sunscreen.
Btw, apka Tibet ka trip kab ho raha hai tanik bata dena.. hum ko bhi bahut lambi chutti ki zaroorat hai lagta hai...

saikat said...

now abt focussing on the saner oops not so saner part of the post, here is my response of how i'll match appu's goals with mine :D

1)I want to forget (forget means completely forget) that am already a MBA in Mktg and i have read all those craps abt Corp Comm...B2B...E-Biz...crap crap crap!

2)I will read both ur books before i turn 30
(Standard Disclaimer: If u write both of em before i turn 30 which will be before you turn 30, which will mean you have to advance ur goals, which will mean you will have to increase ur internal benchmarking, which will mean less planned and unplanned errors, which will mean higher QUALITy *phew*)

3)I want to be the Director - Sales & Marketing in your org in the next 15 years. I'll work most of the time from home...will only have beautiful looking ladies in team...also will not be responsible for any P&L :D

(Standard Disclaimers Apply here also)

4)I want all the German Songs By rammnstein to be transalated to english, so that i understand what i scream :D
and my landlady get a multilingual scream shock :D

5) I want to weigh less than 85 Kg (ol' age discount of the reserval) and ensure no more than 15 hairs fall of every month and for every hair off my sclap i get n+1 back there :D

even i have crazier goals than this (some of which appu knows ;) ) ...but if i spill em here...InsanitY will be the new virus ;) in town :D

Aparna Kar said...

@saiki
Lol. Don't talk of insanity. We are so dictated by our prejudices about what's "normal"- we tend to forget that the apparently outrageous acts might be the only one with some sense.
Here's some celebrity scoop- Demi-Moore and Ashton Kutcher with Bruce Willis
What do you have to say to this?

Saurabh said...

and i realized that quality is something that i deal in every day ... but in a nutshell quality boils down to customer delight.. nothing else...

Aparna Kar said...

@saurabh
The bottom line in any organization is actually profit making. If we perform outrageous stunts to delight the customer and incur losses, we won't be able to sustain the quality. So streamlining our processes is a must for customer's delight + profit