Change is Not Always So Simple- It Takes a Team (Not a Village)

Leave a comment

Over the weekend as I was catching up on some LinkedIn posts, one really caught my eye and made me smile. I happen to work at Honeywell, an organization that truly believes in change and fully embraces, a culture of change. So when I got to the third picture within this cartoon, I know that doesn’t represent Honeywell. As a Honeywell employee, my only ‘constant’ is change. We are always looking to improve our efficiencies and effectiveness to drive increased revenues and shareholder value which is at the core of our Six-Sigma-based process improvement culture.

who wants change

It made me think about an ongoing global process improvement effort to ensure that businesses leverage existing Honeywell technology internally, when logical and a business case can be justified. It’s amazing that so many companies never internally evangelize their own technology. As an almost $40b company, we have lots of amazing technology that can help our more 127,000 employees drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness and help increase our value to shareholders. And in true Six-Sigma process improvement style, we measure everything.

 

 

 

 

 

The chart below shows the results that numerous internal Honeywell “customers” have achieved through implementing various Honeywell technology solutions this past year. I’ve removed the project team and “customer” names to protect the internal information. However, my point is that Honeywell is able to measure the positive impact of ‘enhancing’ its technology infrastructure.  While culturally, no one wants to “change”, making ‘enhancements’ and seeking to get more out of an investment is an easier way for some to accept what is at the core – change.

Honeywell using its own technology for process improvemet

 

 

 

 

In addition to being a business that embraces change, I think Honeywell’s success is due to a few reasons:

First, we always equip the “team” leading the change with the resources needed to enable success. Second, we provide visibility to the ongoing efforts well beyond the core change team. Keeping additional internal stakeholders and teams updated is critical to ensure we can measure performance and endeavor to understand the results. And finally, we look to use these measurements to improve our processes to extract greater results from our efforts for our customers.

Change is a way of life at Honeywell – it’s the way we all challenge ourselves to be better; it’s the way we ensure we never become complacent; it’s how we win market share; and at the end of the day, it’s what excites the really talented people at Honeywell.

How do you handle change?

 

 

I Finally Went to the Masters- Excellent Example of Brand Management

Leave a comment

I was able to live a lifelong dream and be one of the lucky ones to visit Augusta National and attend the Masters tournament last week for the Sunday round.

And to prove it, here’s a picture with my “entry badge”.  By the way, you do not take them home… they are returned to the owner.

Scott Deutsch at 2016 Masters

For those of you wondering about attending the Masters, it is everything you think it will be and then some. As a marketing professional (at least I think I am…), and you wanted to how to best manage a “brand”, this is the place to go and learn. It’s a shining example of how a brand manages every facet of their communications and customer experience.

Let me give you some highlights that I witnessed first-hand.

  • No wires! I have been to many golf tournaments and some have been majors (I have been to 3 U.S. Opens) and many smaller events (such as Doral, Honda, Bridgestone) and none of them can compare on how Augusta National grounds are presented.   At Augusta National you never see any of the wires around the course that is required to support the TV broadcast and there are no camera cranes or blimps (sorry Goodyear or MetLife). All the wiring is buried at August National and beautifully done. The camera stations are all permanent, so all CBS has to do is bring in their cameras and plug it in.
  • No litter! I was amazed at how clean the property was. Thousands of people and a spotless environment.   People were cleaning up everywhere and plenty of trash receptacles around the course.

Augusta National Image of clubhouse

  •  $1.50 sandwiches! That’s not a typo. Wow. What a pleasure to be at a place that had sandwiches for $1.50 to $2.50. And the quality was first rate.   By the way, my first pimento cheese sandwich.
  • The birds really do sing. If you ever watched the Masters on TV, you will always hear birds chirping. Well, I am here to report that the birds really do chirp at Augusta. Those microphones are probably in the woods, but you can hear the birds singing.
  • No cheering for a single player. What is that you say? While clearly everyone has their favorites and “cheers” for them, I have never been to a tournament where you are asked to “please refrain from cheering for a single player”. They literally have people walking around within the crowd to ensure proper “behavior” from the attendees.   By the way, I doubt anyone yelled “baba booey” at Augusta National.   They would have probably been promptly escorted off the grounds. (Howard Stern fans will understand that reference).
  • No porta potties here. The nicest restrooms you will you ever see at an event with this scale. Well managed, well maintained and running water with paper towels.
  • Organized seating. The course had ample seating.   Ranging from well-organized and roped off areas for those with “proper masters chairs”… only Masters chairs allowed… to plenty of well-placed grandstands.
  • Scoreboards everywhere. I love those traditional scoreboards vs. the digital scoreboards you see at every golf tournament. These are part of the Masters tradition. I hope they never change…
  • Easy access to branded merchandise. Ok, the first thing I did when I got to August National at 8:30am was buy my shirts and stuff (I love that Masters’ logo!). Here’s what I was impressed with. Right as you got on the grounds they had a smaller store that had enough of a selection to meet my needs.   I do not think I was in line more than 5 minutes to pay. If you ever have been to a golf tournament, you know this is an amazingly fast. Now here’s the best part: I was able to walk back to my car (about a 10 minute walk) and put the gifts away for safe storage and not worry about carrying them the rest of the day. Nice. Oh, and yes, the main store (it is very large) was on the core Augusta National grounds with longer lines.
  • Beautiful grass and grounds everywhere. My final thought on building a great brand experience was how spectacular the grounds were outside of the fairways. The areas you walked were as manicured as the main golf course. I think the areas you walk around the course are probably better fairways than 90% of public or private courses. It was that well maintained.

Augusta National does not miss much when it comes to brand management. And I suspect the players and their families love the environment almost as much as the audience does.

Now I could not end this without talking about golf at the 2016 Masters.

My day started by walking around to see “August National” before settling on sitting on the grandstands at hole #11 green, which is where you also watch them play #12. This is such a pretty and a scary spot…I think I sat there for almost three hours and watched 33% of the players put a ball in the water…more on that later. Any golfer can picture for themselves almost every hole that they have watched on TV over the years.

Biggest surprises at August National:

  • How hilly the course really is.
  • How small the “landing areas” are on the putting surface to give yourself a chance at making a putt.   After seeing the course myself, I wonder why there are not more 3 putts.   The movement on the putts was even more pronounced than I thought they were from watching on TV.
  • Those greens are fast! What other tournaments to you constantly see pros hit the ball 4-5 feet past the hole with consistency?
  • The roars on the back nine that they always talk about are real! It is amazing to hear from a distance the building of the roar to the final crescendo. The roar from 3 holes-in-one that Sunday was amazing.   It was another really neat part of the Masters atmosphere.

Jordon Speith after birdie on 9th hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After sitting at #12 for two hours, I decided to follow the leader.   I followed Jordan Spieth, the leader and defending champion from #2 through #12…  Here’s a picture of him after making his 4th birdie in a row at #9.  An amazing run. By the way, he really took his time before hitting each and every shot.  On the 9th fairway, he changed clubs 4 times.

It was unfortunate to watch him bogie #10 and miss a 4 footer on #11 for two bogies in a row… but now the rest of the story.

Remember that I said that I had been sitting on the tee box for #12 and watched a third of the shots end up in the water?

Jordon Speith painful second drop image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, Jordon was added to that list. He hit his shot so fast compared to all his other shots that day. And then his second shot also ended up wet.   His 5 shot lead was gone. His hope for victory gone. His march toward history on this day, gone. And my day. Over.
Jordon Speith painful image on 18th with Caddy

Everyone was in a state of shock. I recall watching Jason Day and Dustin Johnson watching the scoreboard as they walked to their balls on the 16th fairway. They both looked and looked again and then at each other. They too were stunned.

This picture is from the 18th green with his caddy trying to console him.

I will never forget my day at the Masters. Nor will I ever forget the stunned silence after Jordan hit his second ball in the water. 20,000 people and total silence. You could feel the anguish. People were in tears… in disbelief. Shock.

Augusta National is magical in many many ways.

I am so glad I had the privilege to attend.

 

Working in an Agile Digital Marketing World

Leave a comment

Deutsch_Scott_25aThe greatest change that has occurred in marketing over the past two years is the need for “real” agile digital marketing. While everyone talks agile, too many marketing activities still follow traditional waterfall (serial) approaches. This approach for certain marketing efforts just takes too long to determine execution effectiveness quickly. Welcome to a world where readers have 10 second attention spans and 140 character communications are standard.

The need for speed and feedback was addressed by many technology development teams over the last ten years by adopting an “agile methodology”. This was in response to bloated and delayed projects. If your business is using an agile development methodology, they probably have “SCRUMs and Sprints” as well.  Here’s a link to learn more about the agile SCRUM methodology http://scrumreferencecard.com/scrum-reference-card/. To align marketing with the business, many of us are adopting this approach. One of the most effective areas that I am personally seeing great success leveraging this agile methodology approach is in the areas of public relations and marketing communications.Agile Image for Scott Blog April 2016Our efforts now are focused on obtaining feedback early and often. Being in market quickly and getting results really makes a difference. Perfection in marketing is not realistic or acceptable, as it often takes too long for that last 5%. And the lost time in market becomes our greatest obstacle to success. I found the graphic below (I cannot recall the source- or I’d give them the credit…let me know if you locate it) which helps begin to crystalize the changing communications behavior needed to complete and win in today’s fast changing online world.

Agile Change of News Cycle- Scott Blog April 2016

I found this graphic to be a wonderful example of how agile digital marketing really makes a quantitative difference. This is the approach we are working to standardize across Marketing Communications at Honeywell S&PS. The exciting aspect about this for me is that it really challenges the team to execute rapidly and forces decisions fast.  I’d rather fail fast than spend weeks and months reviewing elements that at the end of the day, really will provide limited impact on our results.  It’s amazing how projects get side tracked for really no good reason. This approach is helping our marketing team learn and learn fast.

By the way, our product management and development teams now smile at my marketing communications team when we talk scrum and sprints. Who ever thought Marcom could learn best practices from a development team?

Omni Channel Order Management- A Personal Experience

3 Comments

Deutsch_Scott_07aI have been writing and talking about omni-channel order fulfillment for the past year with passion. I’ve been one of many leading the discussion around how businesses need to improve systems and infrastructure to support the demands of their customers. The other day, I participated in the execution of an omni-channel order fulfillment process and, boy, was I smiling.

My story begins with me deciding to buy a new TV on a rainy Saturday, so much for sunny South Florida. Knowing that others would also use the rainy day to run various errands, I really was not in the mood to fight the crowds.  For months, I’ve been doing research on what to purchase, now it was time to do some pricing research for the TV that I wanted. After 30 minutes, I found the best price at a well-known and trusted large retailer. 

Normally, I would have just jumped in the car, but this time I decided to try something that I have never done before. I wanted to see if the nearby store had the desired TV in stock. I just did not want to go there and find out that that they did not have it in stock. Think about it, consumers have now been trained to check stock online and they actually trust online information. Linking real time inventory is the heart and soul of successful omni-channel order management. So, I started to place an order and check stock availability. Bingo, the store had the TV I wanted and it was in stock, and I believed them.

Previously, I would have simply abandoned the online order and went to the store to pick it up, but this time I decided that I wanted to have it waiting for me when I went to the store. This store unfortunately is known for its long and slow checkout lines and I was not in a mood to wait 20 minutes to pay for it. So, I decided to select the order option to pick up the web order at my desired store. I also could have had it shipped to my house the next week at no cost, but I wanted to set up the TV that Saturday while it was raining.

To the store my wife and I drive. As I enter the store, I ask where you pick up web orders. The “greeters” were quite helpful and gave me clear directions on where you pick up web orders. As we weave our way to the back of the store, a large sign can be seen clearly indicating that this is where you pick up online orders. Next, I simply give them my receipt that I printed out at home after placing and paying for my online order. Two minutes later, out from the back of the store warehouse comes my TV.

Label from omni channel pickup

It would not have been any easier an experience. I also was impressed that this store had dedicated people in this area. I marveled at how seamless the retailers systems worked. Two years ago, this just was not the case. When people talk about omni-channel order management and fulfillment, this retailer gets it.

A world of Change has occurred in Retail.

Omni channel order fulfillment

As the graphic above shows, our industry has gone through tremendous change in order to reach the present day omni-channel state. My own experience helped me witness first-hand some of these changes. Many of these changes we take for granted. By my TV buying experience, here are some example changes that we take for granted:

·        Real-time linkage between a website and a retail location

·        Access to real-time accurate inventory

·        Back-of-store inventory fulfillment processes

·        In-store signage supportive of another sales channel for the retailer

·        Dedicated staffing from a different channel within the retailer

·        Willing customers to pay for something online and believe it will be ready for pick up as expected

I am enjoying my new TV and was fascinated by the personal experience. I think the next major retail battleground will be brick and mortar retailers fighting back against pure e-commerce retailers and leveraging their local inventory to provide them a competitive advantage.  But, that’s for another column.  By the way, I was not alone picking up an online order. The person before me picked up two new tires.

Sharknado: Admit it, you watched it too.

1 Comment

Sharknado picture with tara reidOK, I admit it, I watched Sharknado the other day after listening to Howard Stern talk about it. I was watching Sharknado with my daughter Zoe and my wife Marguerite. For the first 5 minutes, nothing but complaints about turning off this awful, almost laughable movie. But, they something happened. What was at one time laughable became a movie to laugh with. Suddenly, we were participating in the beginning of what surely will become a cult film.  I can picture myself years back sitting in my fraternity house at Drexel with everyone and playing a Sharknada game. That’s what a cult film is all about. People develop social engagements around a subject, without always taking the content seriously.

This is similar to what helps make videos on youtube go viral.

For those of you who have sen Sharknado, I am sorry to report that Tara Reid will not be participating in the sequel… yes, the sequel.

Sharknado 2 Invades NYC

The Death of Amar Bose. The Loss of a Sound Visionary.

Leave a comment

Amar Bose Picture

The death of Amar Bose, the founder and chief executive of the audio company Bose is a sad day for consumers and lovers of Bose products.

Bose was an amazing leader and visionary who created an entire new category of speakers for the common man and audiophile as well. He was a believer in producing high-quality products, while making them approachable. It’s amazing that Bose has been able to turn the $25 clock radio into a $400 purchase. It’s amazing that Bose got us to want $299 headphones for our flights.

Bose and Vocollect have many things in common. Both organizations have created new categories of products based upon meeting a unique need, while focusing on engineering excellence. Both organizations continued to change the perceptions and uses of their growing product lines. Both organizations believed that a vertically integrated approach to product design would allow them to create the premier user experience. And finally, both organizations made products that people wanted and that the users were proud to tell others that they were using their products. Yes, the products had “status”.

Bose and Vocollect both have taken many similar approaches to achieving market excellence.

It is rare to find people such as Amar Bose. Thank you.

Dinner with Distribution Center Thought Leaders

Leave a comment

Deutsch_Scott_07aI was fortunate enough to attend a dinner the other night with a couple of supply chain industry luminaries who were celebrating the recent publishing of their book, The Talking Warehouse: (The-Talking-Warehouse).

Attending the evening event were the two authors, David Maloney, Senior Editor, Special Projects & eContent of DC Velocity Magazine and Roger Byford, a co-founder of Vocollect.  Also in attendance were Larry Sweeney, a co-founder of Vocollect and its Senior Vice President, Strategic Markets, Asia and Ron Kubera, Vocollect’s General Manager.  Taken together, these thought leaders represent more than a hundred years’ worth of supply chain experience.

The exciting part for me was to have Roger and Larry recall the early days of Vocollect. Having started and run a software company for many years, it’s always intriguing to hear about the experiences of others during their “start-up years”.  While Vocollect may have almost a million users around the globe of its voice solutions, it took a while for success to really happen. Not that there isn’t a certain amount of stress we all participate in daily, but the levels of stress during the early days of the forming of a technology company are exhilarating, but quite challenging.  It was no different for Roger and Larry.

Together they reminisced about the day they informed Westinghouse management of their intent to start their own company with voice technology applications.  Apparently, Westinghouse was not exactly keen to see some of their best talent walk away from them, even if Westinghouse had shown limited interest in voice technology as a business stream.

The day you take the formal leap to depart your relatively secure job is both the scariest and most exciting day of your business life. Entrepreneurs who have taken this step know well this exact feeling and its associated terror. Day Two, though, ushers in a period where unimagined focus begins (no matter how much funding you have raised to realize your dream).

Together Larry and Roger put the key pieces in place and located enough thought-leading businesses willing to take a risk on this small Pittsburgh-based technology company. The company was able to show an almost immediate benefit to its early customers. After all, voice technology was something we all were exposed to, but just not in a business environment, and especially not in noisy and often challenging temperature-controlled warehouse facilities.

One of the keys to their success was when they decided to put all the pieces together for a customer. They really focused on optimizing the user experience during the early design decisions.  While the company began to have some voice competition (success does draw competition…), they all fell short when compared to the solution the team at Vocollect was engineering.  User ergonomics, seamless data integration and providing the industry’s leading voice recognition software offering were prime harbingers for their success.

It was the desire to excel at providing a superior worker experience that lead Roger and the engineering team to finally design their own headsets. This was after many years of using the “best available” headsets. They began to realize that the main weakness with worker acceptance always seemed to revolve around the headset cords breaking, because too often they were getting caught, as they moved through their demanding tasks in the warehouse.

The introduction of the TCO breakaway connector with Teflon from Vocollect and the offering of the groundbreaking Talkman T2 device (which was 30 percent of the size of a traditional handheld computer) helped Vocollect explode with wild success. Their market share worldwide grew to more than 75 percent – a previously unheard-of market share, except for maybe Intel or Microsoft.

As Larry and Roger talked about each major step in the evolution of the company they started, they made it clear that, by focusing on building repeatable and scalable technology solutions that helped the customer obtain greater business value every year, they would be able to leverage happy and successful customers for referrals and grow the business faster. And that’s exactly what they were able to achieve. Today the company has more users than all of its direct competitors combined.

David Maloney of DC Velocity Magazine has been a real-time witness to many of these evolutions from Roger, Larry and the entire Vocollect team. The three reminisced about various customers that Dave interviewed and met with over the years. It was because of that appreciation for the history and understanding of Vocollect that we initially approached Gary Master, Publisher at DC Velocity, about a project to help educate the broader industry about voice technology and how businesses were obtaining excellent business payback. And we wanted to do this without making the ebook a commercial.

The final product that Dave and Roger have provided has honored that commitment. The celebration of crafting the first book by these thought leaders was long overdue. It’s a journey with many twists and turns, but a journey that I have enjoyed participating in for now more than four years.

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: