Category Archives: Industry Update

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Wow Clients with an Amazing Corporate Event

Planning a corporate event can be a time consuming and stressful task. Figuring out a budget, location, guest list and guest speakers can feel a little overwhelming and intimidating. Get a few ideas of corporate events that have worked for other companies.

1. Special Guest Speaker

Depending on what type of company you are involved with, you might want to hire or ask a special guest to speak to a room of clients. To draw interest your guest should be someone of interest—or at least someone you can create some mystery around. If you work in technology security, hire a hacker to speak to your clients about the types of threats that their businesses might face. Find a guest speaker who is able to convey a message about your company while entertaining the crowd at the same time.

2. Corporate Retreat

People love getting out of town and any excuse to get away from the confines of the city will help draw a crowd to your corporate event. Choose an overnight retreat that complies with your company’s brand and your mission. If you are a local wholesaler of foods designed for spas, choose a spa that will let you display your products on the shelves. Or, ask the spa to serve your food at mealtimes. You’ll probably need to provide free food, but you might get a discount on the retreat if the spa doesn’t need to provide food.

3. Host a Fundraiser

Show your customers you have a heart of gold by hosting a fundraiser. Find a cause that is important to you or your company. Perhaps one of your employees has discovered she has Multiple Sclerosis? Host an event to raise awareness (and money) for the cause. Display your products at the event and tell guests that a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to your cause. You can even go so far as to tell guests that for a select amount of dates, a percentage of the proceeds of your product will be donated to your cause. Customers will feel even better about your product—and they’ll feel swanky after they’re invited to a benefit.

4. Get Outdoors

Not every corporate event needs to be an expensive endeavor. You can wow your clients by simply getting them in a new environment. Host a camping event or a day hike if you want to save money on your retreat. Or, give them a day of zip lining, snorkeling, ATV riding or Frisbee golfing. Getting people out of the boardroom or office and into the wilderness opens up their minds and allows them to drop their defenses. They will be much more open to hiring your company or buying your product.

5. Online Classes and Webinars

You don’t need to be in person to impress your colleagues and clients. If you have funds to host a guest speaker or a guest teacher, host an online class or webinar. Your clients and employees will learn about an overarching task (how can big data help your company) while promoting your product (use our data graphs to help understand big data output). Obviously, the more relevant the class and the more well-known the teacher, the bigger your turnout will be. Offer a class for free that is usually extremely pricey or difficult to take—as long as your clients download a free trial of your product.

6. Rent a Function Room

If all else fails, throw a party. People love parties and they love getting invitations to elite invite-only parties. Try drawing customers in by offering a “play hooky” party and choose the location wisely .Rent a function room at a local center and throw a party at two or three in the afternoon where you ask your clients to ditch work for a few hours. Offer “play hooky” cocktails, wine and beer—and plenty of bar food to soak up the alcohol.

In renting a function room, you can have the entire event catered or you can provide the food yourself. The center can set up the room anyway you’d like, whether it’s a dining room, theater or cabaret-style set up, you can choose the format that works best for your theme.

Ways Project Managers Can Benefit From Lean

"LEAN" (quality process improvement efficiency)
Lean is a systemic business method for waste elimination. It first originated in Japan in the eighties, but has roots dating back to the Ford production line and Fayol’s principles of management. It has since gained global acceptance and popularity in the business world. Implementing Lean is a sure fire way of boosting profits as it directly affects employee productivity and enables business owners to utilize their full business potential. In a nutshell, Lean brings processes that add value to the forefront by reducing everything else. Here are some of the many ways your business can benefit from Lean training.

Quality Improvement and Fewer Defects

Lean simplifies the production process by eliminating lot and batch production, and by doing so, it minimizes the opportunity for defects. This single-piece flow technology means that if a defect does occur, it will only affect the one part. In doing so, a lot of time is saved, that would otherwise be needed to isolate and test other material in the same production line, in order to make sure it is up to par. After a defect is caught, mistake proofing methods come into play that strengthen the production process and prevent recurrence; in turn, improving quality.

Visual Management

The second benefit of Lean manufacturing and management is a method called Management by Sight. When implemented correctly, Lean enables you to evaluate and gage the progress and state of an entire area of your plant, with a simple visual scan. Errors and abnormalities will clearly stand out and can be quickly and easily identified. Creating a visual workplace will forever change your business for the better. It will enable you to know exactly what is going on, in real time. Reorganizing the work environment, this way, also improves employee safety.

Less Manpower

As Lean boosts process efficiency and creates standardized work, one of its major benefits is the ability to do more, with a smaller work force. However, this in no way means that you have to let go of the now redundant workforce. The principles of Lean dictate that these employees can be effectively utilized to perform continuous improvements, be trained to enhance their skill level, or be assigned maintenance of the system upon its implementation..

Full Company Involvement

Lean is meant to be implemented across the whole organization, not just in one specific area. It is a holistic management philosophy that works only if every part of your organization is involved. This goes a long way in promoting the concept that every employee in the company is part of the team.

Managing Made Easier

Lean makes sure that each employee knows which tasks need to be performed by providing standardized and easy to understand workflow instructions. This makes management a whole lot easier. When problems do arise, they will be significantly easier to deal with as the new team environment encourages support groups to work together in problem solving activities.

Boosting Employee Morale

This final benefit has a tendency to not be immediately apparent, as every change in a routined business environment encounters some resistance, in various forms. Lean makes the transition of change feel natural, thus eliminating the stress related to it. By involving and empowering your employees to make tangible and profitable changes to their everyday tasks, they will gain confidence and feel like a valid and contributing team factor. Lean reduces uncertainty and ambiguity in the workplace, which in turn boosts morale by lowering stress levels and insecurities.

There are immense and sustainable managerial and productive benefits to be reaped from implementing Lean. If you ensure that Lean mentality is integrated into the very culture of your business, you will create an environment that minimizes waste while maximizing productivity and profits. Investing in Lean training, regardless of the type (from Introduction, Lean Champion to SMED),  will pay dividends, as your business will become far more competitive, both in the effectiveness of the services you provide and in the prices that you will be able to charge. This ensures a secure foundation for growth and development. .

 

2015 Social Media Map: Tools with Links

social-media-map-customIt is amazing to see how social media has evolved in past 10 years. We can see an evolving social media landscape through Social Media Map which Overdrive interactive has recently updated, that index majority of social media tools. Their map is a valuable social media marketing resource, but I noticed that some very good tools are missing from their list, but it still acts as a quick cheat sheet for any social media marketer and especially who are new to this field.

Social media map lists majority of social media tools including social media websites, social media apps, social media tools and platforms. Anything which falls under social media solution in general, you will probably find it in this downloadable map with live links to those tools.

While you review this map, you will notice that it is a good example of content marketing strategy as well. Through their landing page, they are sharing valuable data in exchange of basic contact details. They are effortlessly generating database for their leads without even pitching for their services. I believe anyone who wants to download this map, will not mind sharing this information.

I have listed all the categories from the map with few popular tools with their links. You can view the full map below and also download the map with links from Social Media Map.

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Greatest challenges in customer service industry today

customer-service-effortsGreatest challenge in customer service industry today is to have well-structured and strategized customer service philosophy implemented within the company. To have an edge in current global competition, business requires redefining how you engage with clients.

My article on greatest challenges in customer service industry is focused on sharing my learning from my discussion with several leaders in this industry, from several articles and white papers. My purpose is to share my own belief on how to address these challenges in client engagement along with create a traceability matrix to improve my skills.

Changing_Mind_SetToday’s customer service industry is not an old school customer support program; rather it’s a customer centric revolution.  Companies need to understand that customer success is not an overnight process and a one man show – entire company should stand together to understand what value customer is seeking. They have to collect, analyse data relevant to clients business, way of using vendor services and propose improvements and new solutions instead of just selling and delivering the services.

As a client engagement manager, I strongly believe in the fact that customer makes their own success.  I, our product and services didn’t make them successful.  This truth helps me to keep my customers first and think how I can serve them better. It is imperative that we as a group believe that project success is much more than just delivering services or support.

For a business to deliver on its customer centric promise, our mind-set needs to be changed by weaving customer insight, intelligence, and feedback to every step we take in engaging with customers.  It is important that we clearly understand few facts and challenges on this industry:

  • Customers are no longer beholden to the vendors selling them services
  • It is critically important to retain the customer we paid to acquire
  • Every day is a test to prove our worth to win customer loyalty, grow relationship and continue to earn their business
  • Just one phenomenal customer experience can make world of difference when it comes to work-of-mouth promotion
  • Biggest challenge is to digest that we don’t push customers towards our vision of success, rather we need to push them for their vision

Hopefully companies have started realizing the facts that customer needs more attention apart from just our services and products. Companies have started putting efforts in structuring the way to determine whether clients are getting value or not in addition of motivating their employees to stand together for their client success. They are proactively organizing to face challenges in customer service industry.

Note:
Thanks in advance for reading my article. I’d request all readers to share their experiences along with valuable tips, documents such as client servicing traceability matrix, any check list or templates to measure engagement efforts or customizable strategy for client servicing specially for IT industry. You can send your documents at hello@globalityconsulting.com. I’ll make sure that I mention about you along with your thought in my next article!!

Role of Offshore Manager or Onsite Coordinator

offshore and onsite coordinatorBeing into outsourcing from decades, I strongly believe that active communication and flawless coordination of tasks are the main factor of successful outsourcing. Companies have learned this by hard way and now they do not hesitate improve this process.  Trend shows that in order to improve the quality of communication between offshore teams and client, companies have started assigning a dedicated person known as offshore manager or onsite coordinator, who can coordinate the tasks and can oversee different activities.

The role of this offshore manager or onsite coordinator is to ensure active communication between client and development team, act as a liaison and present/translate the information without losing its meaning and in a lingo that is best understandable by client and offshore teams.  This person should have mix skills of business analyst, project manager, and knowledge of software development life cycle, sales and marketing.

Onsite CoordinationMain expectation from this person is to maintain transparency in the process, keep client updated on development progress and issues faced by team along with managing client expectations with offshore team.  This person needs to multi task and required to work for long and odd hours.  Irrespective of size of engagement, vendors are required to put a full time coordinator in the team.  Marketers are selling offshore coordinator as an add-on and it is getting heavy attraction.

One of the biggest challenge which this outsourcing coordinator needs to be face is being unbiased. S/he has biggest responsibility on their shoulder to make justice. Their mind-set plays crucial role in a situation where they need to take side. They need to decide whether they take side of the company, which pays them salary, or take side of the client.  No matter how proactive they are or how well they have maintained the transparency between client and offshore team they will always require to justify their work, loyalty and interest to the management.

It is not easy to find good and ethical offshore managers and they are not very cheap as well, however they are real value to your money. Typically, their onsite rate ranges in between USD 60-90 an hour (inclusive of per Diem, hotel, car etc.), which is quite high when compared to offshore rate, which ranges in between USD 25-40 an hour.

Offshore managers or outsourcing coordinators at Globality consulting have solid experience in supporting companies and delivering quality solutions and products while maintaining transparency between clients and offshore teams. Get in touch with one of your consultant at hello@globalityconsulting.com  for more details.

Google made August 16th a Historic Day

google-downAugust 16, 2013 became a historic day in IT world after Google services suffered a complete blackout and global internet traffic dipped by 40% within five minutes.

All of the Google’s services including Google search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Analytics etc. went down for few minutes and left user wondering whether it’s an internet issue at their end or they just gone crazy.
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As per leading news channels, Google has refused to provide any further information on why there was an outage, especially when giant like Google has servers around the world.

According to web analytics, firm GoSquared, a message on the Google Apps Dashboard showed all of its services are down. Message was “We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are able to access Gmail, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior”

Later, another message appeared, which read, “Between 15:51 and 15:52 PDT, 50% to 70% of requests to Google received errors; service was mostly restored one minute later, and entirely restored after four minutes.”

Digital expert Phil Dearson, head of strategy for Tribal Worldwide, said the blackout had cost Google an estimated $500,000 (£330,000) just in the few minutes it was down. As per him “This is completely unprecedented, I’ve never heard of anything like this before”.

While Google is working (possibly) on answering world about its blackout – it has also raised a debate on how important Google is for our day-to-day life and how it has wiped its competition.

It has shown the unpopularity of its competitors such as Bing and other search engines, which were unable to pick up the slack during the outage.

As of now, everyone has only few questions – What exactly happened and how all of a sudden giant like Google went into dark. Did we reach the edge of the internet? Do we have a life beyond Google?