Friday, November 25, 2005


Books on Management and the words of Management gurus define ‘Customer’ in numerous ways . Right from the days of ancient civilizations , success of a business has been essentially determined by none other than the “King” Customer .
From a petty retail trade to cutting edge technology solutions, Customer and Customer Service holds the key for success in business.
In this context , one of the interesting definitions on Customer & Customer Service from a person not directly connected to business, calls for a special mention.

It comes from - Mahatma Gandhi, who is fondly remembered as ‘Father of the Indian Nation’ .

"A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider to our business. He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favour by serving him.
He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so."
- Mahatma Gandhi
( 1869- 1948)

These perspicuous thoughts from a legend , conveys a noteworthy message for today’s modern business ,where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) rules the roast .

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At 5:21 PM, Blogger OS said...

Reference : for Gandhi's quotes

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If not broken……don’t fix it (Yesterday)

If not broken……make it better (today)

Kaizen, 5S, kanban, CEDAC, pareto, histogram, flowchart, takt time, Ishi kawa (ok….fish bone…just to add some spice) all these have one aim, one target, one mission to accomplish “Eliminating Non- Value added activities”. Books say that 95% of activities done for a product is non-value added(frankly I don’t believe and yet it is true!!!). Japanese (Toyota in particular) use the TQM tools to minimise the non value added activities inorder to reduce the cost incurred on the product, improving the productivity and ultimately contributing to the society (as per the guru GenechiTaguchi).

Being a greenhorn and just starting my journey in this vast ocean of quality, with my target set (definition of problem), I have ingrained in my mind about these tools. Even though not to a great depth, I have equipped myself with these tools, so as to know when and how to use which tool ( adopted 5W1H to find this!!!).

Elimination of the 7 wastes of manufacturing, is my motto. Viewing through all the process in a manufacturing organization to classify it into value and non-value added activities, I came across a concept called “Supply Chain Management” (SCM). Now is the problem. The inception of SCM is from Japan. It is Japanese who is propagating on eliminating the Non- Value added activities and developing SCM which according to me is a NON-VALUE ADDED activity. Is Japanese contradicting themselves????

One may laugh at it and ask!!! “So is HR, Finance etc. will u eliminate them aswell???”. My perception for this is that, all the above mentioned activities have come up not because of any problems or defects in an organization, they are the innate fuctional groups of the organization with out which the organization may not function. But if you go to the root of SCM and find out how and why it evolved, there is a shocking answer.
People in organization found out that the units in the organization starting from tendering, sourcing to packing and dispatching have different misson statrements for them which not aligned with the overall organization objective. Inorder to intergrate the missions of the discrete units to overall organisation’s objective SCM evoled.

“A place for everything and everything in it’s place” (Seiton)

The above statement as you would know explains on of the 5S. I have brought into light the above phase as to limn the focus of the quality tools on perfection. If everything is moved to perfect such as 0 defects, 0 handling time etc (concept of JIT…again told by Japanese) automatically everything is integrated and there is no requirement for a separate team with a badge SCM to integrate the units.

Adding fuel to fire, Japanese claim that quality inspection is a Non-value added activity (I totally agree with them) and that it has to be eliminated (frankly speaking most of the Japanese units don’t have quality inspection….). If such an activity is to be called as Non-Value added then what about SCM????!!!!!

But not to come to a conclusion quickly as a quality engineer, as quality stresses on analysis, I have just put forward my crazy conflict to learn more about the subject.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger OS said...

I appreciate your views on the various aspects of quality..
However I just get a feeling that you are trying to compare too many things in one shot.
Supply Chain Management is a discipline by itself and comparing it with 7 wastes of manufacturing may not be a good idea. SCM is a set of activities to manage your supplies ,suppliers with logistics and supporting processes . The right way to look into it would be to identify what are the non value added activities in SCM and eliminate them rather than trying to compare them on the plateau of manufacturing waste.

Because being a dedicated discpline SCM is indispensable like the needs of HR,Finance.
Though any organization would have Purchase activities , SCM covers a gamut of activities and it is a need for many organizations especially who source materials from all over the globe and those who have multiple suppliers.

So rather than looking at SCM as a whole as a Non value added activity. identifing the bottle necks with in SCM may be a better exercise to strengthen your cause.
Even ISO states "Mutual Beneficial Supplier relationships" for which SCM as a discipline defintely is a means to an end .

Note: I would appreciate if you could post identifying yourself with your name..
Looking forward to your views..

At 9:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

time and date of the satatement has not been provided


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