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Systems Thinking - Application to a live business problem


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We used the systems thinking approach and applied it to a live-business problem, and were surprised with the simulated results. Problem solution can be extended to any problem with known constraints - and hence quite generic in approach!

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Systems Thinking - Application to a live business problem

  1. 1. [email_address] For Slideshare Systems thinking approach to solve a problem
  2. 2. <ul><li>RR mess is a real life entity. The problem has been identified by us and is in no way a reflection of RR caterer’s views on the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>This is strictly an academic exercise. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>General : </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple contractors in IIT Campus </li></ul><ul><li>Competition between caterers </li></ul><ul><li>Students can complete the registration through a portal. Administration allots mess membership to a student, if the same is not voluntary. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Problem </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>How do we increase the </li></ul><ul><li>popularity of RR mess ? </li></ul>Figure 1: RRC Notice Board
  6. 7. Desired State Figure 2: RRC at peak hour Figure 3: Competitor mess at peak hour* * Source: Group 1, Class of 2010, STA MS506
  7. 8. <ul><li>Problem Description </li></ul>
  8. 9. ~ 3 years IIT Madras Students 1 semester
  9. 10. Administration Food Competitors (The entire fish bone diagram will get repeated) Mess Administration Infrastructure Contracts Resource Allocation Feedback Registration Motivation Inventory Control Physical location Ventilation IT infrastructure Quality Quantity Variety Seeking Change Peer pressure Mess Popularity Aesthetics Students Extra Charges Influence
  10. 11. <ul><li>Problem Structure </li></ul>
  11. 12. CCW Infrastructure Food Students Competitors RRC Mess contracts caters generate revenue/popularity assets services provides competition to equips registration mess allocation Attributes affect
  12. 13. <ul><li>To help RR Mess realize the various aspects leading to their average performance, and provide inputs to increase their student enrolment. </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>To transform and sustain RR mess’ position as one of the most valuable caterers in IIT Madras through excellent performance, creating growing value for its stakeholders. </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Maximize student enrollment </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize student satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize poor review </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Increase student satisfaction index among the student fraternity. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify a strategic activity mix for the mess for the next three years to help them achieve higher levels of utilization of physical and human resources, and increase the value addition per employee significantly. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Problem Simulation
  17. 18. Mess Enrolment Food Quality, Quantity, Variety Feedback/Ranking Peer pressure Influence due to Competitor’s performance Efficacy of Infrastructure + + - - + + - - - + +
  18. 19. S.No Variables(Xi) Name Explanation Xi(t=0) 1 X1 Mess Enrolment Number of students enrolling for RR Mess 0.2 2 X2 Food Quality, Quantity, Variety Quality, Quantity and Variety of food served in the mess 0.3 4 X4 Peer pressure The group dynamics among student groups on the choice of mess 0.8 3 X3 Influence due to competitor’s performance Effect of competitor’s performance on student enrolment 0.9 5 X5 Ranking Feedback/Rankings released on mess performance 0.3 6 X6 Efficacy of Infrastructure The infrastructure includes building, registration portal etc 0.2
  19. 20.   Students enrolment to mess Food quality Peer pressure Influence due to competition Efficacy of infrastructure Ranking Students enrolment to mess 0 0.8 -0.5 -0.9 0.2 0.3 Food quality 0.2 0 0.2 -0.3 0 -0.1 Peer pressure 0 -0.2 0 0.7 0.3 -0.2 Influence due to competition -0.4 -0.5 0.6 0 0 -0.1 Efficacy of infrastructure 0 0 0 0 0 0 Ranking 0.7 0.6 -0.5 -0.5 0.2 0.1
  20. 22. Initial values   Students enrolment Food quality Peer pressure Influence due to competition Efficacy of infrastructure Ranking Marketing Quality policies 0.2 Students enrolment 0 0.8 -0.5 -0.9 0.2 0.3 0.7 0.3 0.3 Food quality 0.2 0 0.2 -0.3 0 -0.1 0 0.7 0.8 Peer pressure 0 -0.2 0 0.7 0.3 -0.2 -0.6 -0.2 0.9 Influence due to competition -0.4 -0.5 0.6 0 0 -0.1 -0.7 -0.2 0.2 Efficacy of infrastructure 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.3 Ranking 0.7 0.6 -0.5 -0.5 0.2 0.1 0.5 0.2
  21. 29. <ul><li>Repositioning - RR mess is second preference for south Indian & north Indian students both because food taste & preparation is neither very south Indian food nor north Indian. So it should reposition itself by addressing food taste & quality needs of one or both of communities. </li></ul><ul><li>Attracting niche segments from North students-Providing value added stuff/niche foods. Eg- Bengali food , Punjabi food as extra or regular items </li></ul><ul><li>Student relationship management- Regular feedbacks & change implementation to retain enrolled students. </li></ul>
  22. 30. <ul><li>Differentiate (extra food offerings)- Quick & hot/fresh serving of add-on extra food items, Chettinad dishes, fish, juice etc </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate service by leveraging core strengths- 1) Central Location in hostel area 2) Better infrastructure and ambience 3) Better service & catering non –unionized staff </li></ul><ul><li>Faster turnaround time during peak hours especially lunch </li></ul><ul><li>Friendly professional staff- Service with a smile </li></ul><ul><li>Better ambience & furnishing, Better dining experience </li></ul>
  23. 31. <ul><li>Providing Trial-offer to invite students to eat in RR mess & have a first hand feel of “new changed RR mess” </li></ul><ul><li>Providing evening snacks as promotional offer which other south Indian messes dont provide </li></ul><ul><li>Attracting group enrolments by offering free/bonus plate of add-on extra food items to student groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Mess helpline for flexible meal timings </li></ul><ul><li>Arranging for music/cricket telecast </li></ul>
  24. 32. <ul><li>Frequent menu changes to attract variety seeking students, circulation of new weekly menu through e-mails/hostel & mess notice boards </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing food festivals & announcing it one month in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Publicizing students’ testimonials & references about RR mess, Change of student perception through communication campaigns </li></ul>
  25. 33. <ul><li>Institute a Quality Control programme which would include regular and stringent checks on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Food quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hygiene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mess secretaries of all hostels to be included as advisors to this programme </li></ul>
  26. 34. <ul><li>This exercise, concerning the problem at RR caterers in IIT, convinces us that with effective marketing strategies and quality control, students’ enrollment in RRC mess can indeed improve and the problem of popularity of the mess can be solved, over a period of 18 months. </li></ul>