Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – June 2, 2014
In my new book, Redefining Operational Excellence, I talk about four phases of operational excellence:
  • Phase 1: Lack of Direction
  • Phase 2: Awareness
  • Phase 3: Commitment
  • Phase 4: Mastery

Most organizations never make it past phase 3, and even if they do, they don’t stay there very long. The organizations who make it to the Mastery phase and stay there (think Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, 3M, Disney) do things differently than other organizations. They are able to find money and performance boosts in areas that others don’t normally look.

Here’s how:

  • They look for departments, divisions, and areas of the organization that have not been recently reviewed and they review them.
  • They hire not just based on past and current needs, but also on future needs that align with the direction the organization is taking.
  • They look for opportunities in what’s happening in the industry or with their competitors.
  • They don’t ask customers what they want, they show customers what they need.
  • They constantly innovate and look for ways to improve performance.

If you are interested in determining what phase of operational excellence you are in and some strategies to achieve mastery, contact me and I will send you a self-assessment that only takes a few minutes.

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

Andrew Miller

My new book, Redefining Operational Excellence, is now available. Click here to order your copy.

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Why can’t hotel check-in be like airline check-in?

A recent article in the Globe and Mail discussed how some hotel chains are beginning to use apps and kiosks to check guests in, so those guests can bypass the front desk.

Here are some musings on that idea:

  • Airlines are already doing this by allowing passengers to check-in online the day before their flight and use electronic boarding passes, so the technology already exists. The unknown factor is whether guests want to bypass the front desk.
  • Disney Hotels uses floating staff with iPads to check guests in, thus providing a person to speak with, but avoiding check in lines. They actually check you in while you are unloading your baggage so there is virtually no waiting from the time you arrive at the hotel to the time you have your key.
  • Hotels want to be careful about how hard they push this idea out to customers as checking in at the front desk provides them an opportunity to engage with their guests. If they lose that opportunity, they will need to find a different way of engaging. Maybe a quick phone call or visit 30 minutes after the guest arrives.
  • Offering a choice lets the guest decide, so it doesn’t mean removing the front desk altogether.
  • The online check-in or kiosk would seem to be attractive to business travelers or guests arriving late who just want to get to their room and don’t need the live interaction when they check-in.
  • Like any other technology option, success will be in how it is rolled out and executed, not the technology itself.

There is still some good in the world-thankfully

This will be one final shoutout to Disney for the great experience that we had. But after what happened, it goes even further than that.

After walking through our front upon return from our vacation, we realized that we had left some very valuable items on the night table next to the bed in our hotel room. These items were both valuable financially, as well as emotionally. What a horrible, empty feeling realizing that we were helpless in determining whether or not someone had found them or taken them after we left.

We frantically called the hotel and described the valuables and asked if anyone had found them. Luckily, not only had someone found them in our room, but they were honest enough to return them and we found out they were locked up in a safe waiting for the owners to discover they were missing.

As we speak, our valuables are on a plane back home. I could make this a story about business and customer service, but it is really about human nature and the fact there are still good, honest people in the world. The person who found our valuables could have easily taken them and probably would have never been found out, but instead decided to do the right thing. We are grateful to that person. We have their name and will shown our appreciation appropriately.

If you ever get frustrated or down with the world, just remember that there are good people out there, so don’t get too discouraged.