eNewsletter August 2008

August 2009
YSD Concludes

Dirty Hands United : Johan Vermieren, Managing Director of GAC Thailand, shares his experience of YSD.

Customer Service Excellence : Because "the customers is always right" doesn't cut in the highly competitive business market today.

Ann Simm : Process Analysis and Design through the eyes of an education and management training expert.

The YSD workshops have drawn to a close, and from these 8 weeks, some exceptional outcomes have emerged. See what what the Top 100 minds of the GAC World have come up with.


The YSD, or Vision-Y Strategy Development course, has concluded, and out of the 8-week melding of the Top 100 minds in the GAC world, some exceptional outcomes have been achieved.

"YSD was, among other things, an amazing opportunity to focus on vision, mission, values, and the comprehensive framework of GAC in the next five years." Said Damien O'Donoghue, General Manager of GCA. "And, we are looking forward to presenting these outcomes at the GBM."


"Once we have identified the key strategic ideas that have come out of YSD, we can then talk about implementing them. This is wonderful, this means that GAC's future is being shaped by its people in real-time."

"I have very positive feedback to report on YSD," says Jan Farnelid, Group VP of Human Resources. "The President endorsed it as a very positive exercise, and went through the feedback from Jen McGlennon and Debbie Nicol."

"The Regional Directors and VP's made their presentations based on objectives, measurements and initiatives for their respective areas, some require fine tuning and we now have a deadline of September 15 for their final work to be submitted."

The outcomes and strategies developed by the Top 100 will be presented during the upcoming GBM, and future plans based upon these may be developed in the upcoming year.

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Dirty Hands United: Johan Vermeiren on YSD

It has been a great 8 weeks and I truly enjoyed every bit of it. It was time consuming and sometimes a challenge to combine with the daytime jobs we all have, BUT it was worth it! During the first 4 weeks I sometimes wondered where all the questions and all the postings were leading us though, but it all came together during the workshop in beautiful Bangkok where we were guided by a splendid facilitator (I actually mean this).

I was happy to be part of the "Dirty Hands United". As most of you will agree, most likely, the best team. The strategic thinking in the team after the workshop was fascinating and I'm looking forward to what will come out of all our efforts. I'm excited and anxious. However, whatever comes out if it for the group, I have learned a lot in terms of team work, strategic thinking and balanced score card.

I truly hope that after these 8 weeks we have helped to create the basis for an even stronger GAC, well aligned, with clear directions, with well trained people and with all noses in the same direction. Thank you all, colleagues and facilitators.

Johan Vermeiren
Managing Director
GAC Thailand

Johan Vermieren

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Course Feature: Process Analysis and Design (PAD)

Customer Service Excellence What is a process? In a business context, the term "process" refers to a collection of related activities used by an organisation to produce a service or product for its clients. Because these processes account for a significant portion of the costs involved in running a business, it is crucial that they be as effective and efficient as possible. Apart from the cost factor, those other drivers of business success - output quality and service - are also directly proportional to the effectiveness of the processes involved in creating that output.

Fully understanding the processes involved in large, constantly evolving organisations like GAC can be a major challenge for managers, but it is one that can be successfully met by learning the fundamentals of process analysis and design. By learning how to analyse, measure, control and improve the processes that underpin your business, you will not only learn how to more fully meet the needs of all GAC stakeholders, but you will also enhance your effectiveness as a manager.

This course is aimed at all personnel interested in enhancing their processes within the GAC Group.

What this course covers:

The course is delivered in two parts. The first part is a review of the fundamentals of Process Management and it covers:

  • The concepts involved in Process Management - what it is, the benefits for companies that become process focused, the various stakeholders involved, the types of business processes that exist and the role of process owners.
  • Structured methods to map and document current processes. This involves defining the purpose, scope, inputs, key activities, outputs and change deliverables of the process.
  • Measurement of processes. This is used to show progress towards a goal, to provide justification for action or investment, to act as a basis for reward and recognition, to allow facts to reduce hearsay and emotion and to use as a basis for improvement.
  • Auditing/reviewing of processes. This is a structured procedure that involves the entire process (not just one department), checks for effectiveness (not merely compliance), produces a report and requires follow-up.
  • The next steps for GAC are discussed.

The second part of the course involves Process Improvement, and it covers:

  • The concept of continual process improvement and how to decide when an organisation is ready to adopt such a system.
  • The benefits of a structured, process-focused approach to problem-solving. Organisations using this approach avoid problems such as vague problem definition, arguing and time wasting, lack of follow through of solutions, customer dissatisfaction and unmet targets.
  • A six-step procedure for identifying and improving problematical processes. The steps discussed are as follows:
    1. Define the problem. Using tools such as brainstorming, a solvable problem is clearly identified and agreed upon.
    2. Assess the scope and the causes of the problem. Cause and effect diagrams, known as Fishbone diagrams, are used to visually define the problem and its root causes. These diagrams clarify the causes and ensure a common understanding.
    3. Collect data and analyse causes. Measurement tools such as surveys, check sheets, record sheets, trend charts, run charts and histograms are used in this phase.
    4. Select and analyse solutions. Tools are used to systematically select and prioritise solutions.
    5. Implement, test and monitor. A plan is devised to link process measures back to corporate objectives and targets. Milestones, resources, training, responsibilities, actions, deadlines and
    6. Standardise and report. The solution is refined and standardised with respect to training, procedures and best practice. Improvements are documented. Regular reporting is carried out to demonstrate the progress being made and keep staff focused.

How this course will be taught:

Process Analysis and Design is conducted as a two-day, intensive workshop. Each day's program includes four group activities, which provides the opportunity for participants to put their newfound knowledge to practical use on real world scenarios.

Who to contact:

The course is open to all personnel. For further information, please contact Rehan Naeem , Business Development Manager - GAC Corporate Academy.

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Profile: PAD Facilitator Ann Simm
Ann Simm

Ann Simm's work in the training field has spanned multiple disciplines-management training, Optimus Benchmarking, Operations Management, quality improvementand now, she is bringing her expertise to GCA's Process Analysis and Design.

PAD is an interactive and thought provoking course designed to make us look at ourselves through our customer's (internal or external) eyes in a structured way that gives us the opportunity to improve how we meet their needs

We can accomplish this by working together across departments and countries to share experiences and best practices in how to operate effectively and deliver service. It also allows us to think through and come up with answers to practical issues in the workplace

The key points of the course are the identification of opportunities for improvement, finding and testing solutions and getting agreement to implement the change

I believe the PAD course is at a high level of education as I can draw on stories and experiences from many countries, companies and industries to give sound advice and guidance while letting participants get fully involved in debating the topics."

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Course Feature: Customer Service Excellence

Customer Service Excellence The "customer is always right" no longer cuts it in the highly competitive markets of today. Going beyond customer relationship management, GCA is now offering its Customer Service Excellence course to not only meet our customer needs, but exceed them.

This course will empower GCA people to take active ownership of the needs of every customer through structured learning opportunities. Each section of the course is reinforced by an interactive simulation to demonstrate how the principles being learned will be applied in daily interactions with real customer

This course is designed for all personnel who wish to raise their customer service skills to the highest possible level.

What this course covers:

The course comprises the following eight modules:
  • Fundamentals for Employees: You will develop the skills needed to effectively relate to customers and exceed their expectations. You will also learn to differentiate between internal and external customers and make sure they are completely satisfied.
  • Solving Customer Problems: You will learn how to quickly identify the style of the customer so you can speak their language. You will learn customer-friendly language that keeps the customer from becoming upset. You will also learn how to effectively solve customers problems and benefit from their complaints.
  • Working with Upset Customers: You will learn how to successfully calm and serve upset customers and also how to deal with abusive customers. In addition, you will learn how to control your own emotions and reduce your level of stress.
  • Establishing Service Standards: You will learn what customers really want from your organization and how they evaluate your service. You will also learn how to create, implement and monitor effective service standards and how to correct problems that cause service to fall below those standards.
  • Providing Superior Customer Service: You will learn how to develop and maintain a positive attitude, show extra attentiveness to your customers and use customer-friendly language.
  • Creating Customer Loyalty: You will learn how to create a customer service climate, as well as how to provide memorable service on a regular basis. In addition, you will learn how to understand customers' experiences, encourage loyalty from them and form a partnership with them.
  • Communicating with Your Customers: You will learn how to build rapport with your customers and also how nonverbal communication is interpreted by them. In addition, you will learn telephone skills, including how to project professionalism and how to provide quality customer service over the telephone. Finally, you will learn how to communicate effectively with your customers through e-mail.
  • Creating an Exceptional Service Environment: You will learn how to create the necessary foundation to help employees deliver exceptional customer service. You will learn steps for writing your customer service vision statement, as well as suggestions for ensuring that the appropriate processes and systems are in place to support exceptional customer service. You will also learn ways to be a role model of exceptional customer service for your employees.

How this course will be taught:

Customer Service Excellence (CSE) runs for eight weeks and is delivered via our state-of-the-art interactive online Learning Management System.

Who to contact:

The course is open to GAC employees. For further information, please contact Rehan Naeem , Business Development Manager - GAC Corporate Academy.

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