Home Services Calendar Register Resources Contact Us Search LSI

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Breakthrough Improvement  Thoughts

Welcome to the LSI blog where we discuss all aspects of quality issues and Breakthrough improvement thoughts, with considerable emphasis on Design for Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma.

As we work with various companies around the globe, we will present best case studies without revealing confidential information. We invite you to present your thoughts, favorite Lean Six Sigma tools, and case studies for our editors to review and publish if applicable.

Sometimes, we will also present not just the Good but the Bad and the Ugly as we observe businesses cross the board.

We hope you will enjoy the discussions.

The Good: The Dreamer Giver and Dreamer

On my way to Denver last weekend, I started reading Bruce Wilkinson's parable "The Dream Giver". The protagonist, "Ordinary"  decides one day to leave his Usual Job and the place called Familiar where Nobodies live  in order to pursue becoming Somebody.

As I was reflecting on my experiences and the ideas I read in the book, I was thinking how Everybodies need reminding that they can pursue their big Dream that they have, over time, dismissed.

Listening to all the bleak financial news everyday we might all be inclined to cling to our Usual Jobs and life expectations as they are our comfort zones. In the Land of Familiar the Nobodies only move toward growth if they were forced out of their comfort zone by disaster.  But we can be like Ordinary who was empowered by Choice and self motivation.

We all can become a dreamer and achieve our own dreams. We can start doing what we always wanted to do with passion or do what we are currently doing well until the time is right to move to the next level. We don't have to listen to news and negative people about how things are going to get worse and become mired in the message of apathy and defeat. We have Choice.

Here are a few practical and quick steps to make sure you are on the right path to your big dream:

1. Wake up to your Dream. Realize what it is that you want to do.

2. Know where you are with respect to your Dream. Keep a journal and write it down where you are so you know later how far you traveled.

3. Realize what is missing. Identify what is stopping you from reaching your goal.

4. Invest in yourself - step back and look at the big picture. You are worth it. Devote some time everyday to refocus on your goal(s). Improve your skills.

5. Evaluate your progress periodically- remind yourself about your dream and where you were when you started. Make necessary adjustments.

6. Celebrate small wins along the way.

Wishing you a truly prosperous New Year!

Dr. T.

UGLY: Bad Quality Product, Awful Customer Service, Konica Minolta!  posted on August 6,2008

As soon as our new "top of the line" printer arrived and started using it, we knew this might have been a big mistake. I called the customer support many times. Sometimes, they would promise to investigate the problem further and call us back. We never received that promised call back. After we spent many hours on the phone, educating some of the agents, Konica Minolta agreed to replace our brand new printer with an used/refurbished model less than a couple months after the purchase.

I wish I could tell you that that was the end of story. Before the warranty period was up, we ended up getting another refurbished printer. Having enough evidence for the low unacceptable product and service quality, we decided to extend the warranty for another year. During that time we received two more refurbished printer replacements.

I remember during that time we received an e-mail stating Konica Minolta wanted to improve quality of its service etc. inviting us to give feedback. As their product and service quality, it was a very poorly done online survey with very limited questions and free text field for comments. Free text field allowed users to put only one line of comment!!! I don't think this company was/is not serious to serve customers. They were just checking a task box to say that they have done the Voice of the Customer survey.

What is really  striking is that how such companies in today's economy  can still survive. Why are we, customers not saying enough is enough?

Today our interesting experience (necessity - not choice any more) with Konica Minolta continues with similar problems. We have to call them regularly to justify their pitiful existence.
As many Konica Minolta customers, we are shopping for a great printer with no service necessary or a good printer with great customer service.

We give Konica Minolta the UGLIEST company  in the world award with unacceptable low quality product and customer service.


U.S. Airlines Get Failing Marks From Passengers

Americans don't have much good to say about airline service, according to the latest customer satisfaction survey that gave U.S. carriers their worst scores since 2001.

United Airlines and US Airways Group Inc., scored near the bottom of the survey by the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. The two carriers are in merger talks.

Southwest Airlines Co., meanwhile, led the industry in passenger satisfaction for the 15th consecutive year.

Although results of the survey in recent years have not been very positive, this year's results produced "really dismal numbers," said Claes Fornell, a University of Michigan business professor and director of the research center that compiled the data.

"There's no other industry anywhere that has so many basic mishaps in terms of not delivering the basics," he said. "They're supposed to deliver passengers with their luggage to a particular
destination within a certain timeframe, and they frequently fail to do that."

To be Continued

Are your customers happy?

According to research, Customer service and support is often dreadful.

A recent survey suggests that one out of two customers experience problems with service and support in addition to having experienced quality issues with the product.

And when customers are unhappy, they don't stay quiet about it they often share their negative experiences with others. Such problems can hurt your company's bottom line! Lean Six Sigma can help you fix such problems your company is facing to boost up your profit while increasing the customer satisfaction.

Job openings

- Director, Quality Improvement

Humana Military Healthcare Services, Inc.  is looking for a Director, Quality Improvement & Customer Service Role. The Role requires a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification and 8-10 years experience in quality management.
Contact Crystal Rerecich at 1-800-664-4140 ext. 2033, FAX = 502-580-1555 or email crerecich@humana.com

Quality Assurance Manager

Our client,  a leader in enterprise security solutions, is looking for a Manager of QA to plan, coordinate and manage the entire spectrum of quality assurance programs to assure high quality standards are established and maintained throughout the production process

The selected individual will be responsible for:  defining QA best practices and metrics across multiple product lines; developing and executing test plans, scripts, reports and summaries; managing QA engineers as well as growing the team; and developing the proposed budgets for approval and assure adherence. 

To be considered for this role you must have:

         BA in computer science or related field

         5+ years of QA management experience

         Strong understanding of the product development life cycle, technical requirements, and project management

         Experience driving software automation

         Experience testing both software and hardware products is required

         Experience developing budgets and predicting project costs.

         Solid understanding of computer architecture, data structures, and programming practice

Erica Langdon
Director of Technology
Carlyle & Conlan
Phone: 919-474-0771 ext 102
Fax: 919-474-0682



Home ] Services ] Calendar ] Register ] Resources ] Contact Us ] Search LSI ]

Copyright 2009 LodeStar Institute
Last modified: 3/3/2009