The Pinky and the Brain Couldn’t Do It, But Android Has… Over the World of Technology That Is!

As the title of the referred article suggests, Android really is everywhere… you just don’t realize it. Not only is Google’s Android the number one mobile operating system currently out there, but Android is in just about anything with a computer chip and is becoming the standard for operating systems in smart devices. As more devices with the Android operating system hit the market, Google is continually widening the gap between its competitors, Microsoft and Apple, and is making its home as the dominant software player in the tech device world.

So how does Google’s Android tie into quality?


One of the things that we learned in class is how important quality is to consumers. In the end, your product does not really matter. It all comes down to customer satisfaction and delivering on the fulfillment of their needs. In a sense, this is what Google has done through Android. This open source software can easily be manipulated by virtually anyone to get just about anything to do whatever they want it to. Users are not limited to certain functionalities already pre-decided by the makers of the operating system, but instead allow consumers to keep their freedom of choice and allow them to act upon them. In the end, consumers fulfill their own needs and end up with their own unique, customized product.

This not only allows for Google to keep its current customers from switching to competitors, but Google is also benefiting from expanding its consumer base to include individuals who like to experiment with technology. As more consumers join the Android community and take the operating system into their own hands by modifying its uses and capabilities, Google is getting developers to make their product better and its application vast. And it is all done free.

Android isn’t just popular with consumers, but also with hardware and software companies. As its popularity has increased and its dominance established in the market, Android is becoming a standard for devices. More and more hardware and software companies are becoming “Android experts” to ensure that their products are compatible with the software.

By allowing its software to be easily accessible and modified by anyone, it is no wonder that Google’s Android has risen in popularity so quickly and widespread.  Although many companies, such as Apple and Microsoft, strive to keep their product’s formulas secret in order stay ahead of the competition, Google has proven that doing the exact opposite can be done. Not only that, but that one can benefit from it as well.

Personally, I think that what Google allows to be done with Android should be applicable to other devices. As an Android user who took advantage of making my phone better to suit my preferences, I am a big fan. On the other hand, Apple’s I-phone has left me wondering why I ever made the switch.

What do you think? How will Android affect the future of technology and the way products are being deployed?



Vance, Ashlee. “Behind the ‘Internet of Things’ Is Android—and It’s Everywhere.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 30 May 2013.

Are Super-size Smartphones the New Tablets?

Over the years, the sizes of smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. Designers are beginning to create phones with the idea of the bigger the better. The best sellers for smartphones are the ones with the larger screens. The resolution for the screen is as high as 1080p. Smartphones are becoming the size of tablets. This means small tablets can soon replace smartphones by implementing it with the same functions.

For example, Android smartphones have grown in size over the years, from “4 inches, quickly followed by 4.3 inches and 4.5 inches, and now up to 5 inches and even beyond” (Tofel 2). Android created their products according to their consumers’ desires. The majority of the people wanted larger screens of “4.5 inch display or larger” (Tofel 2), which made using it more enjoyable. Most people use their phones for web browsing rather than to use it for calls. A larger smartphone means users will need to hold it with two hands. The convenience and mobility of using it with two hands is not a problem, because most people use it while they are sitting down. The majority of the consumers want larger screens, which is about 77% of the people. What about the other 23% of the consumers who do not desire the large screens? Android will lose about 23% of their consumers to their competitors with smaller phones available.

The growth of smartphone functions has made it necessary to increase the screen size. The more functions that are put into the phone, the more pixels are needed for the graphics to look visually good. Research has shown that most consumers’ ideal good quality smartphone are the ones that offer the most functions and has the largest screen. It is also viewed as a better value for their money. The dimensions of quality define this as user-based. It is the products with the desired attributes that satisfies the consumers’ needs the most. In this case, smartphone consumers want more functions and a larger screen. The product attributes only meet the needs of majority of the consumers. Android phones are designed to appeal to the majority and neglecting those who do not want a larger screen. The problem with this is that, not all consumers want the same product attributes. The quality is determined by the consumer’s needs and wants them self.  The product attributes need to meet the customer’s expectations for them to be satisfied.

As a consumer myself, if a phone can do more than other phones can for the same price, it would be considered a better deal. The size of the phone does matter to me, as it has to fit in my pocket for convenience. I would prefer to have a smaller phone than a larger phone that requires two hands to hold. My idea of a good quality phone is different from other consumers because it has to fit my needs. The quality of a product is subjective and every consumer’s needs and wants are different.



  • What is your idea of a good quality phone?
  • Is it true that most smartphone consumers want bigger screens?
  • Do you think tablets will soon be replaced by smartphones?



Best Buy Questions Whether New Management Strategy Can Steer the Company Back on Track


Best Buy has to rethink it’s management plan because it is losing business. From a sales perspective, it has not been doing as well as it once was, and in this economy, it is really taking a toll on the business. The number one reason for the drop in sales is due to inexperienced sales associates who can not adequately tend to customer’s questions and needs. One retailer analyst, Gary Balter, referred to the franchise as “that blue and gold store where the salesperson usually can’t help you.”  This does not send out a good message to consumers nor help to turn this around. So what is Best Buy going to change in it’s operation strategy? Clearly, what they are doing now is not working.

One possible solution is that the Vice President is trying to turn this around by starting to implement product knowledge education into the company. If the number one reason for lack of sales is the sales people, then that is where the VP should start. By training the employees properly and quizzing them on the products, they can be more helpful to the customers who are asking the questions. Giving incentives for reaching sales goals is another great way to boost sales and invigorate energy out on the sales floor. Scheduling the strongest employees on weekends, when Best Buy stores are at their busiest, is another smart approach that the company has begun to implement.

One problem that Best Buy faces is it’s online competition. Twenty percent of Best Buy’s business comes through online purchases, but it’s competitors have a one-up on them. Running online operations is costly, far higher than other websites because of the high labor costs and long-term leases that come along with the fourteen-hundred existing retail stores. Another issue that pops up with the retail locations is the fact that many of the people that walk in the door are “browsers,” not “buyers.” Many will seek out different products yet resort to purchasing online or not at all, causing some stores to go out of business. There has been no improvement with store closures yet, but with the new strategy implementation taking place, customer satisfaction has gone up a bit recently.

Amongst other problems, staff turnover is higher than ever, historically speaking. The average staff turnover to date is about sixty percent, increasing from thirty five percent in previous years.

It is always a sad thing to see American companies go out of business. Hopefully, the VP’s plan works because as we’ve learned, understanding the marketplace and customers needs, wants, and demands is a crucial element in the success of maintaining a business. Operating costs are a key factor to take into consideration as well. Do you think Best Buy has a chance?


Would you eat a glazed donut sandwich for breakfast?

The new trend in today’s culture is to encourage having a healthy eating habit. Studies show that when people are at home, they are more conscious of what they are eating because they are making the food them self. While when they are out, they are less likely to stick with the healthy eating habit because of the tempting new food choices. Thus fast food restaurants do not offer as much healthy options available.

Most fast foods are targeted and are geared towards male consumers by labeling them as “dude food”. The food industry reports that 34 percent of men eat fast food frequently each week and only 23 percent of women would occasionally eat it. Fast food restaurants are beginning to have unexpected food choices to their menus to attract customers. For example the Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos, which contains a Doritos flavored taco shell with the regular Taco Bell’s filling. Pizza hut has its cheesy crust pizza which contains five different blends of cheeses in the pizza’s crust. These foods might turn off some people. The majority of the consumers are the younger generation, who would want to try something exciting to have as a conversation starter. The targeted consumers for the fast food industry would most likely be the younger generation, but Dunkin’ Donuts wants to reach out to new consumers and expand their customer base.

Like other fast food restaurants, Dunkin’ Donuts also joined the trend of creating something odd for their menu. Dunkin’ Donuts also added an unexpected food choice to their menu to attract new consumers. This new menu item is a glazed donut breakfast sandwich. This sandwich contains a pepper fried egg and is filled with cherrywood-smoked bacons. What inspired Dunkin’ Donuts of this idea is that they have seen customers buy glazed donuts to use as burger buns at family outings. They want to expand their consumer market to families. They thought this was a great food item to target most consumers because it used in family events. This assumption that all customers would like it is wrong because everyone’s preference is different.

The sales are great in the beginning, but it is starting to go down because it is not exciting anymore. In order to meet the consumers’ needs and expectations, Dunkin’ Donuts should ask their consumers what they want. They failed to do this and the sales were up only temporarily. This was similar to the paper airplane activity that was done in class. The designer group had to design a paper airplane and present it to the customers group. The customers are the ones who decide what is considered to be the best quality. Some teams did not meet the requirements because they did not ask their customers what they want.

Consumers are the one to receive the product or service. They have a set of standards of the quality and service they expect to receive. Since most people are health conscious, Dunkin’ Donuts should add something healthy to the menu instead. This is what the consumers want and desire.



  • Do you think customers set the standards of quality of any product or service?
  • Was it right for Dunkin’ Donuts to make this assumption that most people would like it?
  • Should Dunkin’ Donuts have followed the health conscious trend?


The simple joy of McDonald’s? Ba-da-ba-ba-ba, i’m hatin’ it


In 1948, the McDonald brothers re-organized the drive-in and completely restructured food delivery by focusing on quick and efficient “Speedee” self-service system which lowered prices as well as increased speed and volume of sales. Now, the McDonald’s Golden Arches logo can be seen throughout every continent except Antarctica and is one of the most recognizable in the world. McDonald’s Corporation remains to be the world’s largest restaurant chain focused on providing cheap fast food and delivering quick service to their customers.

However, the fast-food giant has been struggling with falling sales due to a vast number of complaints with its service. According to the Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s customer service is “broken,” because too many customers complain about the speed of the drive through, chaotic service, and unprofessional employees.

Slow service and inaccurate orders are known to be caused by management problems. Main reasons include employees being only trained for specific job tasks, lack of communication among fellow employees and poor wages. These problems lead to an increase in employee turnover and according to Wall Street Journal, McDonald’s Corp. contribute to 60 percent turnover rate. Furthermore, customers are outraged by rude or unprofessional employees and leave restaurants disappointed after experiencing chaotic service, which contradicts its traditional practice of “service with a smile”.

It is clear that customer satisfaction has a great impact on sales. What are the solutions to these management problems? First, McDonald’s new leadership has decided to focus on customer satisfaction to expand its brand name. The company will evaluate its performance through restaurant inspections, and conduct customer and employee surveys. The biggest change or improvement will be with the incorporation of the new “Dual-Point” ordering system. This will provide a simple and better service along with improved order accuracy. After the customer orders, he or she will be handed a receipt with a number and that order number will then appear on a screen and the customer will pick up his or her food at the other end of the counter. The “runner” will take on the responsibility of fulfilling requests and making sure the customer is satisfied with the order. Finally, the dedicated employee who delivers the food will thank customers and encourage them to come again.

In addition, new software has been installed to help managers decide the optimal number of employees to have on staff within a time frame. Also, the new management structure will designate managers to each area of the operation in the restaurant for efficiency. At the end of the day, by enacting these new changes to its management, McDonald’s Corporation hopes to win back its customer with improved customer satisfaction and encourage them to keep coming back for more.

There are number of restaurant chains that already carry out the new ordering system, will the new “Dual-Point” ordering system improve overall customer satisfaction for McDonald’s Corporation?

If you were part of the McDonald’s operations management team, what other implementations or suggestions would you incorporate to boost sales?


Nine Retailers with the WORST Customer Service


In today’s changing world the product is no longer the most important thing in the shopping process, people are beginning to care more about customer satisfaction, especially in the retail industry. Although its true that customer satisfaction is improving, not all retailers are keeping up with today’s expectations, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

Brick and mortar are still the highest rated retailers; however e-commerce is beginning to excel as well. On the negative side, traditional retailers are the ones that are receiving the most negative assessments.

Although many traditional retailers remain with good or average scores, especially the ones that compete with online shops.

In the latest ACSI study, the average for retail companies was 76.6 of a 100-point scale in 2012. With the exception of Internet retail, which is considered as e-commerce for ACSI. This Industry got an 82 score, and from the nine worst rated retailers from ACSI scores, there was just one online retailer.

But even an “average” score, can be considered bad for business, because customer expectations are very important for a company’s score. However customers are lowering their expectations. They’re not actually looking for better shopping experience in the traditional retailers, and for internet retail is the other way around, customers are expecting more of them.

The businesses that failed to impress customers last year have been having a difficult time for many years. As we learned in class, many companies go under because they failed to understand what the customer really wanted. For example, Safeway has been struggling with customer satisfaction for the past 10 years.

For other companies underperforming is a relatively new obstacle, like the case of Netflix, that outperformed average for four years and in 2009 was rated the top retailers, but in the past two years the Internet video retailer has been considered the worst Internet rated company.

Although traditional retailers are struggling to keep customers satisfied, they still have the majority of the sales, but its probable that if Internet retailers continue outperforming in customer satisfaction (compared to traditional retailers) they will gain brick and mortar market share eventually.


Nine retailers with worst customer service:

9. Walgreens– Health/ Personal care

• Customer satisfaction score: 76

• 12-month revenue: $70.79 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 22.42%

8. TJX Companies — retail

• Customer satisfaction score: 76

• 12-month revenue: $25.88 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 20.18%

7. Gap — Retail

• Customer satisfaction score: 76

• 12-month revenue: $15.65 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 45.84%

6. Supervalu — supermarkets

• Customer satisfaction score: 76

• 12-month revenue: $34.77 billion

• One-yr. share price change: -35.60%

5. Sears — department Store

• Customer satisfaction score: 75

• 12-month revenue: $39.85 billion

• One-yr. share price change: -34.60%

4. CVS– health/personal care

• Customer satisfaction score: 75

• 12-month revenue: $123.13 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 15.95%

3. Safeway –– supermarkets

• Customer satisfaction score: 75

• 12-month revenue: $44.21 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 13.60%

2. Netflix – e-commerce

• Customer satisfaction score: 75

• 12-month revenue: $3.61 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 70.80%

1. Wal-Mart — department store

• Customer satisfaction score: 71

• 12-month revenue: $469.16 billion

• One-yr. share price change: 22.65%


Sources Cited:

Former JCP’s CEO summoned back

Little did Myron Ullman know that he would be summoned back at JC Penney seventeen months after he retired in 2011. Last week, April 8th, Ron Johnson was fired by the board of directors and was replaced by former CEO, Myron Ullman, after the company lost nearly a billion dollars in sales revenue.

While Ron Johnson accomplished several good things, like cutting operation costs and making stores look more attractive and uncluttered, his biggest mistake as CEO was taking away coupons for customers. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, last year sales fell by 25%, which resulted in the company to lose about a billion dollars.


“Customers hated ousted CEO Ron Johnson’s move to eliminate sales and coupons in favor of everyday low prices, and Johnson’s backpedaling came too late.” (Bloomberg Businessweek). Though Johnson’s plan to eliminate coupons may have made sense to him, it didn’t make sense to JC Penney customers. Their middle-income customers want coupons and want to feel the satisfaction of saving money. Johnson failed to realize what his customers actually wanted.

This reminds me of our first class activity where each group had to create paper airplanes for their customers and convince their customers that theirs was the best. Each group’s airplane was different and unique in their own individual way. While the groups practiced making their paper airplanes, not once did any of the groups visit the customers to ask them what they were looking for in the paper airplanes. Even though each group tried to answer any questions made by the customer with the “right” answer, in reality they didn’t know what the “right” answer was because they didn’t know what the customer really wanted. They answered questions by assuming that that was what the customer wanted to hear. Just like Ron Johnson didn’t take into account that JC Penney customers want and love coupons and just assumed that customers would be happy with everyday low prices, our groups in class didn’t take into account what their customer wants were and just assumed.

Now that Johnson is gone, it is Myron Ullman’s job to bring up sales to JC Penney. This will be tough for Ullman, as the article states, “Persuading lost customers to return to the fold is a bit like trying to win back a girlfriend: Occasionally is works, more often it ends in heartbreak.”. Ullman will need to research to see what it takes to get JC Penney’s customers back.

Overall, I believe it is going to be hard for Ullman to bring up sales. As a result of the new idea of no coupons that Johnson enforced, I believe that many customers were lost and it will be hard to get them back.


Will Ullman be able to bring back JC Penney? What new strategies will he come up with? Will coupons be back at JC Penney?

The Cost of Cutting Costs

Have you ever gone to the store only to find that the shelves are bare and you can’t get what you’re looking for? Many Walmart customers nationwide are complaining that they cannot find what they need at their local Walmarts. Because of this, Walmart lost many of their customers to their competitors such as Kohls, Target, and

Why the empty shelves? Since the recession, Walmart has tried to cut costs. To accomplish that, Walmart cut staff. “In the past five years the world’s largest retailer added 455 U.S. Walmart stores, a 13 percent increase, according to company filings in late January. In the same period its total U.S. workforce, which includes employees at its Sam’s Club warehouse stores, dropped by about 20,000, or 1.4 percent.” So as Walmart continues to open new stores throughout the country, they also continue to cut their workforce. This has had some severe consequences. Some of these include longer checkout lines, less help available to customers throughout the store, and disorganization.

These issues have caused Walmart to place last amongst department and discount stores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. This is the sixth consecutive year that Walmart has tied or taken the last spot. The lack of customer service due to a lack in staff is definitely to blame. Walmart has so much inventory in back, but not enough staff to stock the items on the shelves. Customers cannot find what they are looking for and cannot find an employee to help them. When the customers go the check out, they are faced with long lines and few checkout lanes open.

In the past, other retailers have viewed labor as a controllable expense that is an easy way to cut costs. In the early 2000s, Home Depot had the same thoughts as Walmart. They could easily cut expenses and grow profits by cutting staff and relying on part time workers. Eventually customer services and satisfaction plummeted causing sales growth to fall throughout established Home Depots.  If Walmart continues to cut costs by cutting labor, they could face the same fate as Home Depot.

Adding five full time employees to Walmart’s U.S. stores would cost around $448 million a year. This would add about a half-percentage point to Walmart’s selling, general, and administrative expenses. For such a big company, a half-percentage point is nothing, especially when looking at the future and long run of the company.

If Walmart continues to cut costs by cutting labor, they will fall into a vicious cycle. With no staff to stock the shelves, the company cannot sell things that are not out and made available to customers. Eventually customers will choose Walmart’s competitors over Walmart for all their shopping needs. A change definitely needs to occur or Walmart will have many problems in the future. What are some ways that Walmart can cut costs without cutting out customer service and satisfaction?