Classic Airlines Marketing Solution
February 25, 2013
Classic Airlines put together a team to reduce overall costs by 15% and address several concerns including employee morale and customer retention. The team faces the challenge of convincing senior leadership to look beyond the bottom line becoming a customer focused organization. The team also faces the challenging of making changes without increasing costs, cutting salaries, or damaging the reputation of the company in the eyes of shareholders, customers, or employees. The paragraphs below utilize a problem solving process to tackle these challenges. Problem Solving
Solving problems does not occur in a vacuum or only at the highest level of an organization. The employees who deal with various tasks on a day-to-day basis have the best view and in many cases offer the best solutions. In an article from BPI Consulting (2012) about problem solving, a philosophy of problem solving includes the following: • Problem solving should occur at all levels of the organization • All problems should not be addressed with the same approach • Problems are normal
• Be hard on the problem and soft on the people involved • People should address the problems in their own areas (BPI Consulting, 2012, p.1)
This philosophy lays a positive foundation for problem solving. When all levels of the organization work towards resolution problem solving becomes part of the work process and organizational visions, goals, and direction push solutions that promote growth and meet the needs of customers and employees. The remaining four bullets work together to achieve the best solution. “Problems are opportunities to make things better and should be viewed as such” (BPI, 2012, p.1). Allowing employees from each area to address their own issues promotes ownership. In general employees with a sense of ownership tackle problems head on, offer solutions, and implement the change with little resistance. This also ensures that problem solving excludes finger pointing or personalization. Each problem requires a different approach, some larger issues require project teams and significant effort, but smaller process improvements may be executed effectively by an individual business unit with little or no cost or organizational impact. The figure below represents the problem solving model used for the Classic Airlines scenario. Every problem solving model includes at least four basic steps: 1) Define, 2) Find solutions, 3) Implement Solutions, 4) Evaluate solutions. In the model below there are ten steps, breaking down the four steps above into smaller components. Classic Airlines complex problems require an in-depth analysis and appropriate evaluation of the solutions. Senior leadership’s resistance to new ideas requires a broader view of the problems along with the solutions so that their concerns are addressed. A higher level review would not provide the necessary data to support the solutions provided. [pic]
Fig.1 retrieved from (http://www.spcforexcel.com/problem-solving-model) Defining the Problem
Failure to properly define the problem ultimately leads to failure of the process itself. Brainstorming as a group results in lists of symptoms and causes and provides the most diverse view of the problem. The actual problem should consist of causes rather than symptoms. In the case of Classic Airlines the primary problem surrounds the customer loyalty program, specifically, decreased participation by current customers and the failure to attract new customers. The symptoms include reduced revenue, loss of share value, and decreased employee morale. If the team used the symptoms as the problem definition, searching for the root cause and presenting solutions becomes far more difficult and fails to address the actual problem. Now...