World’s Largest Vehicle Manufactures

Toyota Motor Corporation is Japanese globally automaker headquartered in, Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation has about 325,905 employees working worldwide and was third-largest automobile manufacture in 2011 by production behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group. Toyota Motor Corporation is in top eleventh largest company in the world by revenue. The world’s largest vehicle manufactures, Toyota Car Company was having issues with recall. This issue is going around all over the world as well as in USA, Europe and China. This issue makes the consumer loss their confidence and as well as corporate image dropped. Toyota Motor Corporation their recall was nearly one million vehicles around the world, on top to replace damaged parts that could cause drivers to lose control of the steering wheel. There were total of 10 models affected, including the popular Prius. Prius recall more than 200,000. Due to defective gas pedals Toyota lost a lot of customers. But, to be in market and not to lose customer they are still in game.

Toyota Motor Corporation blamed that the floor mats was the problem, then it came to the gas pedal was the actual cause. But, when car owners they don’t know personally what was causing the gas pedal to accelerate and stick, without releasing. Not only Toyota had recall problems, but cars like Honda and Nissan recall over 3 million vehicles globally due to air bag problems. Not only these two cars had recall problems with their airbag, Toyota recall 1.3 million cars due to this airbag problem. Toyota FJ Cruiser recall affects seat belt retractors on 209,000 vehicles. Still, the numbers are getting bigger and bigger.

To chase the maximum profit and cost minimization, suppliers pay more attention on how to reduce cost. By using raw materials quality Toyota Motor Corporation was over confidence with their suppliers, that they changed their design without taking permission. Toyota Motor Corporation their biggest suppliers changed the pedal design that leading to the pedal problem.

Toyota Motor Corporation lack of an effective quality control cause them recall happening. They did not do enough test of their design before they produced. Their biggest mistake was they did not use quality check after the production they did not even do better quality check. This is a big embarrassment for the world’s largest automobile manufacture, that lack of negligence and having over confidence could cause them big problem in future.

Now the big question is that, let’s see that tomorrow morning you sit in your car to drive to work or anywhere and you are driving, down the road and suddenly you notice that your car breaks are not working fine. What would be your reaction? Are you still going to keep buying the same car brand you were buying before? What do you think that Toyota Motor Corporation should do to keep their name back in world’s largest automobile manufacture?




Higher Price Better Healthcare?

Healthcare is one of the most talked about topics especially recently with Obama care being introduced. Most of us have yet to pay a medical bill but as we are closer to the real world we will be forced to start paying for it .If you were told that if you payed more for healthcare you would receive better quality what would you think? If you couldn’t afford it how would it make you feel to know that the wealthy would be more healthy than you? Most of us probably have never really thought about the link between cost and quality of healthcare.  Research was done on whether or not the link  existed.

healthcarePeter S. Hussey, PhD, from RAND Health, Arlington, Virginia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 61 studies and “found inconsistent evidence on both the direction and the magnitude of the association between health care costs and quality,” they write. “To our knowledge, there has been no previous systematic literature review of evidence on the cost–quality association in health care.” (McReady, 2012) The research  that was conducted included studies from bibliographies of selected papers, informal searches and consultations with experts. In order to assess the quality measures they used 5 categories such as structure, process, outcome, patient experience, and access. The measures of cost were put into 4 categories such as: accounting cost, charges expenditures, and a “care intensity index.

The results were that there was a link of higher cost and better quality of care. They did 61 studies and of them 21 said that their was a positive link between the two. Also, 18 of those studies showed a negative relationship and 22 showed no relationship at all. So we can assume that it is still somewhat unclear as to whether or not paying more money results in better healthcare. Still, more data is needed to come to this conclusion.

Some advice was given to physicians such as learning more about the cost and price of services that they provide.  The article also gives advice to “payers that they should reconsider the extent to which they shift financial risk onto provider organizations, and incentives for quality targets should be offered to promote processes of care that are well supported by evidence.” Lastly, the article states that everyone should participate in monitoring of care processes both  spending and clinical, as well as the patient experience and the outcomes that result for them.

Overall, this article was interesting because it allowed us to think of the results we are receiving from healthcare for how much we pay for it. I would be furious if the quality of healthcare was better if I payed more for it. Imagine all the families that can’t afford it, should we just leave them to receive less healthcare treatment? This would be horrible if it was a huge connection between the two.

United Airlines: Quality Taking Off or Crash Landing?

In recent years, the United Airlines Company has fallen drastically in terms of Quality. Complaint after complaint United continued to try new approaches to improve user and product based qualities. As a result of their changes, they received a ranking of dead last in AirlineQuality Ratings. United is arguing this ranking of 2012 but I would love to hear what you all have to say after reading this blog post.

As we know, United Airlines reputation had plummeted after previous unfortunate events. This has had a huge impact on their quality as a company. They have been forced into the dead last position and now they are tryingdifferent approaches to fly their way to the top. The initiatives that United is implementing include sharpening performance, enhancing passengers experience and making service more responsive. The stigma of their reputation has haunted them throughout the years, but let’s see if the initiatives are taking off, or if the Airline Quality Ratings ranking is accurate.

The judging process of this ranking system is based off four key areas including “on-time arrivals, mishandled bags, rate of passengers bumped off overbooked flights, and the number of customer complaints.” Seeing as the complaint rates have doubled in the past year, I am guessing that United is wrong in what they have claimed to be doing. It appears that the features and conformance that it takes to have high quality ratings guide the performance of their product quality. The only place that they are visibly making an effort to improve is their status is by hiring more full-time reservations agents that angry customers use to vent about their frustrations! As an occasional United flier, I can say that I have seen an improvement in numbers but not an improvement in quality.

United Airlines has taken initiative to improve company quality through thte usage of social media initiatives. Mark Krolik, the Director of Marketing and Product Development stated, “Anyone who’s tweeted at United and gotten their problem resolved is someone who isn’t standing in line at the airport service counter.” This sums up the companies value in quality. They are not succeeding transcendentally. Rather, they are taking the bare minimum initiatives and hiring individuals for venting purposes as opposed to hiring individuals to make improvements.

Although it might appear that United is only making minimal changes, two out of three of their initiatives are being fulfilled through these simple differences. Many individuals have had great experiences in finding alternatives to cancelled or delayed flights and taking advantage of social media has also helped individuals stay calm in hectic times. The key to this ease in customer frustration revolves around loyalty and quick responses. For example, an individual with a delayed flight was so frustrated that she directly tweeted at united and told them about her angers. They responded promptly to her tweet giving her options around her delay but a service representative had already helped her. United even goes above and beyond by following up on tweets even if there is no need to. They are going above the expectations of quality responsive services through social media acts such as this one.


What do you all believe? Does United Airlines deserve the “dead last” ranking that they received? Through your own experiences or simply through this text, please let me know if you think they could be doing more or if they are dong enough in this first step of regaining loyalty and reputation.

1950 vs. 1971

It’s all about reputation, speed, quality, value, and money for Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. It’s up to customers which brand they want to choose between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. The low cost of Dunkin Donuts coffee is a big factor why it is the leading coffee brewery in the Country. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks both have their own one of its kind flavors. National Coffee Drinking Trends Study of 2004 says, “More than 100 million people in the U.S. alone drink coffee everyday”. Most of the people have their own different taste to which coffee brand they like. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks have two different coffee beans, only difference is price and style. Dunkin Donuts started with the donuts and then their coffee, After Dunkin Donuts started doing well in the business Starbucks came along in 1971. The only difference between both brands is that Dunkin Donuts coffee is 100% Arabica coffee while Starbucks has choices of different coffee from different countries.

According to Dunkin Donuts website, “Dunkin Donuts is America’s largest seller coffee by the cup, serving nearly 1.5 billon cups of brewed coffee each year. Dunkin Donuts sells more than 30 cups of freshly brewed coffee each second”.  Drinks at Dunkin Donuts are least 20% less in price than at Starbucks. This helps Dunkin Donuts capture business of price sensitive customers. At Starbuck a customer would pay $1.49 for a shot of espresso while at Dunkin Donuts espresso shot is only 99 cents. Dunkin Donuts prices are low and they offer high quality products. So customers can afford the price and have a good quality of coffee. Starbucks has recently launched a new line of flavored drinks. The new flavored drinks that Starbucks came out with are Blueberry, Coconut, Raspberry, Marshmallow, Caramel, Toasted, Almond and Cinnamon. These flavors can be added with different items of coffee you are getting. The most popular and top selling flavors for both Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are Original Blend, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Decaf. Dunkin Donuts operates approximately 12000 units worldwide, while about 7600 of those are in United States alone. Starbucks operates about 8500 shops in more than 30 countries while most of their shops are in United States.

According to my research Dunkin Donuts is more popular then Starbucks. However, I personally choose Starbucks as my personal choice of coffee, because in my opinion Starbucks products cost more but, have better quality. What coffee shops would you pick between Starbuck and Dunkin Donuts and why?



Youtube Vs. Cable TV

A recent report suggests that YouTube will begin charging viewers for subscriptions to certain channels. It is rumor that has been circulating in the past week that YouTube will allow certain channels the opportunity to charge subscribers or viewers of their channels a small monthly fee. If YouTube indeed enters this market, they will be joining Netflix, Hulu, and as companies that provide content that would otherwise be found on cable television.

YouTube already has partnerships with certain companies such as Disney, Viacom and Paramount and offers a rental service but the content is not as vast as other similar services. With this deal, YouTube is expected to announce anywhere from 25 to 50 premium channels that will charge viewers for their content. Some of the expected channels include content aimed at children such as a Sesame Street channel to channels for sports such as one featuring the UFC.

This seems to be a process management utilizing incremental changes since YouTube will reportedly test out the paid subscription service with only a few partners at first. YouTube is stated to be exploring this approach to see if there is other methods to generate revenue other than the heavy reliability they have from advertisements. It will be interesting to see the reaction of people that use YouTube. It will be interesting to see if people who utilize the site for its free content will subscribe to the premium channels to view content they would have generally only been able to see on TV package they already pay for.

Do you think YouTube, with over a billion monthly viewers, could potentially have an impact on the way cable providers offer their services to their customers? When it comes to a service, quality is very important because every customer wants to be satisfied. With only a few major cable companies, do you think customer loyalty is only due to the fact that there only a limited number of providers from customers to choose from?

It is interesting to note that in class it was mentioned that in regards to service quality “giving customers some extra value will delight them by exceeding their expectations and insure their return.” I believe this could ring true for YouTube is they offer premium channels that offer popular content that could otherwise only be viewed if your a cable subscriber. By charging a small fee to view these premium channels, YouTube could challenge the cable market and force the large cable companies to reconsider their business models and offer packages that customers truly want instead of forcing them to sign up to bundle packages like many companies do. With the YouTube service, you would be able to pick and choose what content you would like to subscribe and pay for.

Would you consider testing out a premium content channel from YouTube if it offered content you already watch on cable television?

The Customer is ALWAYS Right…even when they’re Wrong

Customer Service…where you repeatedly say the same thing as if you’ve never said it before.

I work for DePaul University Housing Services as a student front desk assistant. My place of        employment is customer service oriented. The front desk acts as the first line of defense for the department, answering the questions from students and parents who have various concerns and issues about campus housing.

The concerns of students and parents can range from being wait listed  to not receiving their preferred building, room type, or roommate. Some of our callers/guests receive undesirable information pleasantly and with understanding while others do not. Those are the guests that have to be handled with care.

It is important for me to approach each call/guest with a fresh approach giving them clear, consistent and correct information while ensuring that their individual needs are met. Doing this lowers the chance of receiving angry feedback. This brings me to the ‘5 Service Dimensions’-Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy, and Tangibles.

Reliability & Responsiveness consists of doing whatever you promise to your customers while being willing to help and respond to customers promptly. This should be taken seriously so that your customers can depend on your service or product. When I am on a call and the manager/coordinator needed to resolve a minor issue is unavailable, I take their name and number so that I can gather the information and call them back with a direct answer versus sending them to a voicemail. It is my responsibility to call them back as soon as I have the information. This is done so that the customer understands that their issue is important to our department

Assurance consists of being an expert in whatever information you are conveying to your customer about your product or service. You simply have to know what you are talking about. When I first started this position, I was not well versed in policies, deadlines, procedures, etc. I listened to my supervisor and to my fellow student workers while they were on calls and speaking to guests, along with reading the department procedures. Now, 2 years in, I can regurgitate information in my sleep. If you are an expert in your field, receiving an angry caller is not a big deal because you are able to inform them of clear, CONSISTENT information.

Empathy consists of caring about your customers and whatever issue they may have. Whenever I am on an unpleasant call, it is important that I put myself in their shoes and try to understand where they are coming from so that I can assist them to the best of my ability.

Tangibles consist of physical appearance of service environment and product. We have to make sure that the Department is organized, clean, and professional. This is not only benefits our guests but us as well. It is always easier to navigate and work in an organized space.

Regarding customer service, which service dimension is the most challenging for you?