“Tails” is the regions first all natural pet food brand that has been officially launched in February 2012. Their aim was to provide healthy pet food that is free of preservatives, added colors and flavors as well as the use of 100 percent natural human grade ingredients. They club their services with the Highest Quality, the Best Customer Experience and Value for Money.
Being the first of its kind in the region, and with the general lack of data availability, i immediately thought ” How did they know that this was going to be successful?”
Leap of Faith
i was fortunate to meet with the owners, in class we talked about all the different forecasting techniques and determined when it was best to use each technique. But what do you do if you had no history/data to use?
Well in this particular case there was no entity in Bahrain that actually registers or even keeps track of Dogs in Bahrain. The owners did alot of research and found that the only entity closest to giving them information was the airport customs office, and they only recorded how many dogs came into Bahrain and how many dogs went out. Moreover they started to get samples and estimates from vets. And the final number they came up with somehow met their expectations and they were comfortable with getting even 10% of it.
Within a four month span, sales at Tails has doubled . This led to a bottle neck in their production ( remember the paper puppet activity?) , the machines they had were not able to package and seal fast enough to meet the demand of their customers. They tried to overcome it by cooking more on and storing it but they did not have enough storage capacity to meet this unanticipated demand. to overcome this Tails had to quickly invest in new machines that will be able to seal and package faster in order to meet the demand of their customers, gives more flexibility on variety and size, and to start distribution to supermarkets.
Tails are slowly keeping up with their demand however it has been stressful for them because they were not able to accurately forecast.
So i leave you with a thought : how do you forecast with no data? and which forecasting method should Tails use today in order to help them predict their future sales?
For more information please visit www.tails.co to get your free dog food sample today!
With the innovation in technology and services being offered by banks today it would be logical to think that the volume of physical mail being sent out will shrink substantially seeing a corresponding reduction in the amount of return mail. However over the past year my Bank has been facing an issue of having to deal with huge amounts of returned bank statements.
There were various reasons as to why the statements were being returned; in this case it mostly attributed to a change in banking regulation-obliging banks to print statements to all deposit accounts where previously were only printed for specific accounts. With the unanticipated amounts of mail pouring in, it deemed essential to start to analyze all the different reasons to why the pieces returned and what is it costing us. What is the total operational cost of postage, printing, handling, research and re-mailing? What about the value we lost with returned communications? The delayed or missed payments, unawareness of bank charges and the overall customer service expenses?
The bank has already approved a project to centralize, automate and monitor return mail operations. By having all statements to be printed with bar codes and returned back to a central operation that will be able to simply scan the bar codes and capture how many times the statement has returned, and to ultimately stop printing upon the third time. We will also be able to capture all the problematic accounts and attempt to contact the customer in different methods in order to update their information and encourage them to use e-statements.
I have highlighted one small operation that possibly was not be seen to have a dramatic impact on the banks performance but it is a growing problem and may have a huge impact in the future with our customer base growing everyday. As Head of Customer Resolution I am able to see a lot of the operational and process issues we are facing with at the bank through customer complaints, and by taking this class it has stressed the importance of how reducing operations cost is the best method to optimize in an organization. I am also looking forward to learn the importance of managing quality, and conducting process redesigns and how they ultimately lead to improved efficiency, profitability and operational excellence.
This after all is my view, so do you think our Bank is on the right track with their cost management initiatives?