Thursday, December 09, 2004

Schick-Wilkinson Sword - Installment 2

Requisite Variety - Diversifying our tactics in order to broaden our sales scope we must diversify from within as well as externally. Schick’s internal communication system is largely limited to e-mail. In order to have employees thinking outside of the box and experimenting with new sales and marketing techniques wikis should be implemented as a means of connecting the entire company, as earlier stated.

However, perhaps this is not enough. Many companies, including Schick use task groups in order to work on special assignments. I would like to make up a task group of employees with similar positions at every Schick location worldwide. They would be able to post ideas and messages on separate "private wikis" that could be viewed by people in their own field worldwide. This might inspire new thinking and fresh ideas. It will also give employees a sense of companionship with others in their field, while at the same time sparking a certain amount of competition that will encourage productivity. Seeing more individuals whom are devoted to the same tasks as themselves, employees might be given a heightened sense of responsibility and respect for their position.

Also, as earlier stated, along with e-mail the company relies heavily on voice mail to receive messages. I find voice mails to be a hindrance, there is a lack of interface, and after you’ve said something there is no way to change it, other than calling that person back and leaving them another voice message. To listen to voice mails is a process in and of itself. Dialing the phone number, typing the code, deleting and saving messages; plus there is the occurrence of static and outside noise, which sometimes make them difficult to understand. In all of these ways, e-mail is much more efficient than using voice mail. The only major advantage to using voice mail over e-mail are the mobile capabilities.

With this being said, I would like to include a text messaging system on all company cellular phones. Text messaging is fast, cheap and effective. Those proficient at text messaging (as all our employees will become) can rely messages back and forth with others more than twice the speed of voice mail. There is much less room for error or message disruption as compared to voice mail. Storage capacity and retrieval are also more efficient with text messaging devices.

The law of requisite variety tells us that if we wish to diversify in the outside world, we must diversify from within. Retailers are looking for fresh thinking and new methods of getting to customers. In order to think outside the box we must change from within. In order to expand out into the market and reach more customers we must first be able to expand our communication capabilities within the company.

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