Monthly Archives: July 2011

Are Service & Production Quality Two Sides of the Same Coin? (be careful how you answer)

I suspect most readers will instinctively answer, “No.” Production quality refers to meeting a normative standard with as little deviation as possible. Service quality means meeting customer needs and expectations, which are all over the lot. So they’re not only not two sides of the same coin. But they’re different currencies. They just don’t equate.

But here’s a catch, at least for process professionals. You can’t answer “No” yet still maintain we should use the same process design approaches to achieve both a fixed standard and a highly variable “non-standard” – at least not rationally. But too often traditionally trained production process people, anxious to move into the customer process world, fall into “Maslow’s trap.”

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, than all the world tends to look like a nail”


Follow for further illustration.

Do Software Company Sales Methods Predict Post-Sale Service Levels?

As part of enabling new process for clients where we’re replacing software E2E, I reviewed for clients on the net and through follow-up over 100 software systems and applications during Q2. Way more than enough to see clear seller patterns as well as assess my own response patterns.

Software web sales approaches – and the web is the only practical way to screen as many vendors as possible within a segment – fall into 2 segments:

1. Companies that tease with scant information on websites but require personal contact for the evaluator to learn enough about products to develop an informed opinion

2. Companies that may request information before allowing access to online demos, yet provide enough “meat” on the web and through demos – including rough price ranges – for evaluators to screen out systems that don’t meet process enabling requirements or cost realities

The seller patterns are what they are. But I’d like your opinions on my reactions. I believe software developers (or VARS) insisting on giving a sales pitch before I can assess system functionality are significantly less likely to provide effective post-sale service. Is that causal link valid? What’s your opinion –for both software sellers and more broadly?