Notes From Services Leadership Symposium

11/09/2006

It's about the stories.

That's how Steve Brown, Executive Director and Professor of Marketing at W. P. Carey School of Business opened day two ofServices_symposium The 17th Annual Compete Through Service Symposium

Last week I had the honor to speak at one of the best bloggy conferences around. The 17th Annual Compete Through Service Symposium presented by the Center for Services Leadership W. P. Carey School of Business at the University of Arizona.  The focus of the symposium was service as a competitive advantage.

Girlfriend, I can hear the bloggers now. "That doesn't sound like a Web 2.0 or Business Blog Conference or even a BlogHer event." And they would be right. It was not. But the Service Symposium was just as bloggy. Maybe more so because the speakers that Steve Brown and Mary Jo Bitner brought together walked the talk of combining transparency, culture, customer and employee respect into their organizations. Sure sounded bloggy to me.

Sidebar: The icing on the cake was an article written about my session, Is your company ready to blog?, that is included in the prestigious Knowledge@W. P Carey, an online resource of the W.P. Carey School of Business that offers business information and trends. My favorite line from Carrie Barrett's article -

" ..  (a) well-executed business blog is part marketing, part magic -- a 24-hour opportunity to interact with customers, impress Wall Street, spark business-to-business opportunities, track industry trends, spot brand deterioration and spook competitors, all maintained at a low-rent cyber address.

I intended to post a recap of my favorite take aways, however, there were so many interesting and important points I wanted to share, to make an easier read, I've split them into a series of posts. Next year live blogging. Right Steve?

Globalization of Services

Gary Bridge
, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Global Lead, Internet Business Solutions Group
Cisco Systems

  • My notes to self about Gary read, "Elegant, passionate speaker."
  • Watch the growth of China. Did you know that Wal-Mart is the 8th largest trading partner of China?
  • Dell is building a multi million dollar call center in Ireland to support customer service of its mid and large size customers. Seems there was a culture challenge with their outsourced labor (surprise!). Which reinforces the importance of understanding the culture of both/all countries involved in off shore out sourced initiatives.
  • The healthcare industry is off shore out sourcing claims management and even radiology analysis
  • Question: Can service innovation be out sourced?

Atul Vashistha, CEO, Author of The Offshore Nation: Strategies for Success in Global Outsourcing and Offshoring neoIT

"Boarderless services" is how Atul positioned the increase in off shore outsourcing. As companies look for competitive advantage off shore out sourcing of core activities will play a more prominent role in the new business model.

7 Secrets of Successful Globalizers

1. Embrace globalization - Understand the advantages of operating in different countries beyond cost saving to growth and quality improvement opportunities.

2. Welcome globalization as a transformation lever - Determine how can globalization be used to build competitive advantage.

3. Adopt a life cycle approach - Build a plan to manage the entire process on an on-going basis.

4. Align business and globalization objectives - Determine if your company is right to adopt a globalization strategy. Is business strategy driving services globalization? What part of the business strategy does globalization help us execute?

5. Assign the best people - Strong, well-placed internal leaders help ensure support of the initiative and maintain the quality.

6. Implement a strong governance model - Prevents the breakdown of the initiative after the roll out.

7. Embrace a continuous improvement mindset - Develop measures to establish benchmarks, goals and expectations. 

Seems everyone I meet has at least one horror customer service story about off shore customer/tech support service. Let's hope companies put resources against this strategy to do it right.

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"7 Secrets of Successful
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