Thursday, March 26, 2009

Customer on the train - an alien or money bringer?

Graham Hill (Twitter), a former Toyota executive and now independend consultant has written about a disturbing experience of a friend with the German Railway (Deutsche Bahn AG). The story is not that unfamiliar and we all know of even harsher stories where kids where thrown out of the train some kilometers from their final destination for not having the right ticket (even other passengers were not allowed to pay for them).

Strange behavior and yet just a negative symptom of a system that is not focusing on its sales base (the CUSTOMER) rather the cost savings and getting money in the first place.

What are the possible structures that make such behavior of conductors happen in real life?

Pressure to stick to the rules (otherwise layed-off -especially in areas with  high unemployment a rather big threat)

We have done it in the past, will continue to do in the future

The plan of going public urges railway people to get customers to pay

Too many different laws, rules (especially where different bodies of operations, that the German Railways operate for exist, such as in the Ruhrgebiet, Rhein-Main Area)

.....how could that present reality be changed towards a more customer orientated behavior that would also have mid-/long-term benefit for the German Railways as well?

Best

Ralf

PS.: Due to present changing of responsibilities and people around the German Railways, even if you try to make some ideas present to the management - nobody knows who is the RIGHT person and if you get the right person, this one is notoriously overworked (MURI, as we Lean Thinkers say) and you don't get a positive answer as well.

...couldn't there be a positive change? It would be quite easy, as customers' voices would be heard by management:-))

1 comment:

Ralf Lippold said...

Another event that shows that something is wrong in the larger system German Railway:

http://www.newser.com/story/95269/hundreds-rescued-from-122-german-trains.html

Of course first reason is the air-condition and high temperatures. What if there is a deeper reason that this could happen?