The importance of business excellence in achieving business strategies and corporate social responsibility
Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat. First of all, we congratulate the nominees and the winners of the lopez achievement awards this year. It’s been ten years. I think we can safely say that this achievement awards is very much embedded in the dna of the lopez corporate culture.
Good afternoon colleagues in the lopez group. The lopez achievement awards is certainly an appropriate time for us to get together. Celebrating extraordinary achievement is a valuable element of our corporate culture.
I am asked to speak today on the importance of business excellence in achieving business strategies and corporate social responsibility.
There are numerous definitions of business excellence but let me define it this way: business excellence is the application of outstanding practices from world class organizations following a fundamental set of concepts and principles.
How have we applied business excellence in the communications group?
First, we began by understanding the principles, concepts, and the vast range of models of business excellence. We began by understanding what from business excellence would apply to us and what would actually be detrimental to our organization if we followed principles blindly without taking into account the uniqueness and nuances of our business.
We found there are two major areas where the principles of business excellence have worked for us.
The first is to assess every organizational element of our business and ensure they are aligned with each other. This begins with our mission of being in the service of the filipino. All strategies and goals flow from this. Anything that does not align falls out.
From our mission, the natural progression then leads to attaining a deep and intimate understanding of the filipino - our customer. The continuous study of how our customers' behaviors have evolved in light of rapid changes in technology has led us to a set of strategies that has effectively altered our business model. We are no longer just a business portfolio that has standalone assets in the broadcasting, cable, and telecoms spaces. Today, we are much more than that. Today, we are a converged company that provides bundled content and access offerings to multiple target markets. Simply put, we are a content, access, and consumer company all rolled into in one.
This shift in our business model has necessitated a corresponding shift in our organizational model. The strategies we are pursuing today are making us take a hard look at our processes, structures, and skills. What has worked in the past and has been the basis of our success, now must be upgraded to work in the digital world.
For instance, customer demands require employees from different companies within the group, with different superiors and different compensation packages to work side by side to deliver what the customer wants.
This requires us to redesign our policies and processes to make this happen in a seamless way that is transparent to the customer. This means finding the human resource, legal, and information technology infrastructures that will allow people to work together as though they were from just one organization.
The shift in our business model arising from the focus on the customer is making us ensure that all the organizational elements within the business align flawlessly to attain successful strategy execution.
Another principle underpinning all business excellence frameworks is the use of measurement and fact-based decision- making. This we religiously practice to the extent we have relevant, valid, and reliable metrics.
On a daily basis, we review minute by minute ratings, audience flow data. We study demographic data on viewership mined by gender, age, and socio-economic strata. We look at listenership and readership data as well.
On the telecoms and cable side, we utilize standard industry measures applied to the different operational aspects of the business. We monitor network down and uptime, signal quality, just to name a few.
Furthermore, we track the whole range of metrics applied to the internet such as web site visitors, visitors per day, individual page impressions, repeat visits, and an entire host of other metrics to gather as much hard data as we can to base our marketing, content, and product development decisions on.
On top of this, we conduct literally thousands of focus-group discussions a year to acquire direct consumer feedback on almost everything that we do.
For a business as large, complex, and as diverse as the commgroup, there is a multitude of data that can be mined to reinforce the analysis and decision-making of the organization. The challenge is to find the right data to extract and use.
This brings me to my last point on how to use business excellence or rather, not using business excellence has made the commgroup successful.
It was important for us to recognize where the models and methodologies of business excellence no longer applied to what we do and from there we broke away.
Let me illustrate what i mean by giving you concrete examples.
Global best practice dictates that organizations should be designed around the logical clustering and delineation of functions. This results in neat and orderly boxes within a t.o. or organizational structure. However, we find that following such a convention would stifle and suffocate creativity. The more organization you have, the more your creativity is stifled.
And yet, companies have to organize. But content companies have this dichotomy. They have to organize, but the more we organize the less likely it is that we’re gonna create the kind of creative product that we need to drive our business forward.
So we would have a structure that’s easy to understand but one that doesn’t work.
Our new organization model, where necessary, deliberately builds around people rather than functions. This allows us to harness and unleash talent in a way that is not impeded by jobs.
Efficiency and logic will argue against designing an organization the way we do it – it is always function before the person. And yet, it is the person that fits into the box. We have found that in quite a few instances, it is the right thing to do to create the box to suit the person. So a round peg will have a round hole and a square peg will have a square hole.
Another example is the way we are designing our call center functions. For purposes of productivity and efficiency, call centers require that you monitor average call handling times and the shorter you are the more customers you can manage.
Further to that, to ensure efficiency and compliance with protocol, csrs are required to use scripts when interacting with customers.
We would like to go the opposite direction and we would like to drop call handling time and scripts altogether and increase the ratio of csrs to customers so that customers will deal only with the same csr over and over again.
Reason argues that doing this increases your costs. But what we have learned is that a personal relationship developed between a customer and a csr where the csr gets to know the customer personally and has a view into his lifestyle; therefore when they are recommending products or services to that customer, he’s not upselling but actually providing solutions that match the lifestyle needs of that customer. So the sale is organic. It does not follow a script. It is simply one friend recommending a service to another - kapamilya.
This has resulted in a larger growth rate than those segments that we have not been using this concerned service. But frankly, even if the revenues did not go up and our costs spiral forward, i think that it’s still the right thing to do because it is intrinsic to the company’s mission to be kapamilya.
Have you ever heard of a kapamilya that is with you only when times are good? Or only when your ARPU (average revenue per user) reaches a certain level. Kapamilya is the essence of our corporate culture and it can only be meaningful if it seeps through every pore of your being. It must be real and perceived as such by all employees and only then will customers see it as real themselves.
Ultimately, it will redound in revenues – but maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even in five years, but ultimately if you stick to your mission, you will be successful.
And this is really what business excellence is really all about. It is not just metric or a business model. It is a value that must permeate every action that you do, large or small. Excellence is about integrity it’s about staying true to your values. It is not one-size-fits-all. And so for us, business excellence is and always will be service to the filipino.
Mabuhay kayong lahat.