Ultimate recipe of Customer Delight

by Jhanvi Singh
5 439 5.0/5

Once upon a time in the kitchen of ABC Hospital, there occurred a shift in department,which formed an indispensable ingredient in preparing an “Ultimate recipe of customer delight” .

The hospital facilitated in-house catering unit serving all inpatients,relatives and staffs. The departmental wagon was multi-wheeled requiring active interventions from multi-departments for running its core activities.This involved internal team;operations,dietetics and supply-chain management and outsourced team of kitchen and utility staff.

Sunil,the protagonist,acted as liaising between both the internal and outsourced team to generate best outcomes - fortifying the health- of patients and organization.Crucial support services are outsourced to unburden from the cumbersome task to third-party enabling administrators to concentrate more on their organization’s core business.This was adopted and staffs were externalized.

But, to Mr.Sunil’s surprise, outsourcing the staff offered no respite!

He summoned his subordinate Sakshi to dwell deeper for the root causes.

“Sir,there are issues in handling the negative feedback of the patients and lack of variety by visitor’s and staff regarding the meals served. Here, shared accountability is a concern.” Sunil contemplated the shift-Food was no longer a part of medicine.It became part of overall experience further adding to the customer delight factor highlighting the term: Value-based healthcare.Sakshi added  “There are other trials related with managing the daily-wage outsourced workers,containing wastage due to returned plates and adequate inventory management that involved risk of pilferage.” 

On further probing it was found that these invisible costs coalesced alarmingly into the shortest horror story ever-Cost of Poor Quality-amounting to approximately five lakhs a month.

Sunil saw himself intertwined in the input processes;monitoring and policing the outcomes took a back-seat. This was meant to be fixed!

The idea that changed everyone’s lives was to shift the focus from input to output model by completely externalizing the department to an “expert” vendor.There was resistance from the higher management,the risk was due.Sunil,unfazed in his pursuit, proposed the plan for expanding the scope involving newer alliance with the upcoming party and gaining profits through cafeteria royalty.

A planned risk backed-up with adequate change-management initiative was undertaken.Sunil now focused on the outputs and insisted on laid service level agreements (SLAs).The invoicing was based on number of plates served. Delegating and managing “manpower” and “materials” the two villains of any cost-saving tale, was out of the picture.Also, it drastically reduced the COPQ and increased the revenue through royalty received from the cafeteria. Positive testimonials did rounds due to increased variety in meals.Truly a win-win situation leading to yummier-word-of-mouth that resonated with the taste-buds.

The number of returned plates and wastage of meals dropped exponentially, a baby-step towards bettering the environment.

However,newer challenges followed with the new party;

There is more to be served on table but that will call for yet another quality fable!


Lessons Learned

  • Customer testimonials are the best appraisal.
  • Waste that is translated into COPQ .This alarm should ring before it explodes.
  • Managing people involves acing at three basic elements- Communication; delegation and Planning.
  • Well calculated risk with hard-work can have far-reaching benefits and results. Change is the only constant.
  • The Earth is what we all have in common. Green and sustainable efforts should be adopted for better future.
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01 July 2020 by Harshita Vishwakarma
Well written.
01 July 2020 by Jhanvi Singh
14 July 2020 by Lysamma Mathew
31 July 2020 by Jhanvi Singh
14 July 2020 by Lysamma Mathew