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Deutsche Case

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Submitted By aamirc7
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John Doe
Deutsch case

The SPC initiative is very important to senior management at Deutsche because of the charter for differentiating the organization through unparalleled customer service. In 1995 there was a race in the commoditized industry of insurance; the first company that could reach the ultimate in customer satisfaction through the minimizing of hassles would enjoy dominance. It was also a time period that was just before the commercialization of the world wide web in organizations1, and the early adopters were finding ways to, for example, make it easier for their clients to access products or services via the web.

Management recognized that the New Policy process was a major bottleneck and frustration for its clients, and Annette was on the right track to focus her energies there. However, there are things she could have done differently, and will need to make some changes to succeed in the proliferation of Statistical Process Control (SPC) SPC throughout the organization. This report will outline the major issues being faced and then make recommendations that will need to be implemented in order to ensure that SPC can succeed in an organizational culture such as that of Deutsche.

The following have been identified as the major roadblocks standing in Annette’s way:

* Temporary Workforce: In our studies of GE and Toyota, we saw that the “lean” quality mindset needs to be a decentralized, bottom-up movement from within the company where all members of the organization believe in and are empowered to act on the processes put in place. Because of seasonal nature of the industry, Annette is faced with the uphill battle of trying to “sell” a way of thinking in an organizational culture accustomed to turnover based on a large portion of temporary employees. * Lack of Focus: Annette was on the right track until she let others in the organization influence the focus of the pilot study. The pilot called to focus on the bottleneck that was discovered in the New Policy group. By involving 15 groups with varying processes and varying levels of efficiency, attempting to find patterns in that large amount of dissimilar data does not help to identify root causes of failure. * Too much testing: This is related to the lack of focus, and because of the involvement of groups that were already running smoothly with minimal “defects”, there was a need for more samples to find problems. This increased the measurement time, while effecting employee’s work and lowering morale. If employees find the process to be tedious and bothersome, this becomes a major threat to the sustainability of the SPC process. * New Policy process: The New Policy sign up process itself is extremely inefficient and stuck in the past. Employees are left doing scribe work and have to deal with the increased probability of human error. Again, it is 1995, and the world is about to change with the internet. Annette didn’t need to be an technology expert, but should at least recognize a potential opportunity to overhaul the New Policy process with other sites such as ebay and Amazon launching in that very year.

The following are recommendations for Annette and her team:

* Pilot for one group: This recommendation would have helped Annette 6 months ago. I believe that the measurement process could have been cut down from 6 months to 2-3 months if the pilot was focused only on the New Policy group as originally planned. Her boss was wondering why there were no results 6 months into the process –and rightfully so. Too much time was being spent gathering measurements from too many groups and too many different processes. This recommendation can still help Annette to consolidate the remaining work of making the actual improvements. Annette should just look at the data of the New Policy group, track the defects, and make improvements to this group and use those results to penetrate into other groups at Deutsche.

* Less is more: A tool such as a Pareto chart could be used here to focus the team on problems that are causing the biggest issues, and it would have been clear that new policy sign-up was that issue. Less work with theoretically less samples need to be taken because of the large amount of defects inherent in the process. Annette needs to ensure that the sampling and improvement effort undertaken in the pilot does not cut into other work being done by employees and does not hurt the morale of the company.

* Don’t use temporary workers for pilot: Because there should potentially be less work to be done for this pilot by focusing on one group, Deutsche should not use temporary workers, which is again a lesson we learned from GE and Toyota. New people will need to be trained, motivated, and bought in to abide by the new processes put in place. The pilot should be conducted by those within the organization who already have the training and rewards built-in to make a difference. If and when this program is rolled out, knowing that realistically Deutsche will continue to use temp workers based on the seasonal and cyclical demand of its industry, Deutsche must work with its temp agency partners to ensure that these processes are understood.

* Involve IT: Playing Monday Morning Quarterback, the initiative of building an IT team with strong web design skills could be one of the most important things Deutsche could be doing for the DAV group. With a tool such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD) that can map needs of the customers (i.e. ease of use) to the metrics that can be used for measurement (i.e time it takes to complete forms), Annette will be able to identify that many of these ease of use and efficiency issues can be alleviated with a strong website that could piggy back the success of ebay and Amazon. Now clients can go online and enter information without the need for multiple touch points by Deutsche employees and could use simple tactics such as “re-enter data” cells to ensure accuracy in information.

1://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World_Wide_Web…...

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