Thursday, 31 March 1994
When the business volume grows there could be as many as 15 / 20 executives being interviewed daily.
For organizing these interviews, any number of clients would be phoning us daily.
We need to able the client (or he need to tell us on his own).
. Whom (Exe. Code No. or in rare cases "Name") he wants to interview
. On what date / day / Time
Most client will Stop here !
We must question and find out
. For what position / designation/
. For what posting location.
. Venue of the interview.
. Person whom he has to meet.
. Type of reimbursement (Train/ Air etc)
I expect the Marketing manager to enter this information on the Screen, even as he listens to the client.
In course of time, a Telephone Operator (with a head phone) should be able to do this. We may call such a person, a "Marketing Assistant", instead of calling a Telephone Operator - Since, in reality they are expected to do much more.
As soon as this SCREEN has been entered into, the SYSTEM should takeover and automatically.
Send out recorded message. to candidate's resi. Phone (taken from the database). It will instruct/ request the candidate (or the person who has lifted the receiver) to phone - back.
Mr./ Ms _________
Marketing Asst. - 3P Consultants
On Phone No . _________
and CONFIRM whether he / she will attend the interview as requested.
When the candidate phones back, the Marketing Asst. Opens the screen and records his confirmation / regret 9with reason for regret or alternate date requested etc).
Thereafter, MA phones up client and conveys the answer of the candidate and Simultaneously enters into the SCREEN that he has done so (in the FOLLOW - UP section of the screen)
If the candidate does not have Residential phone no (and we do NOT want the VOICE - MAIL to call him up at his office phone no. !),
MA (Marketing Assistant) shall instruct the system to Print/ Send - out a telegram/ courier letter as he wishes
Send - Telegram
System will have a standing - instruction to send all communications to all candidates at their RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS ONLY
In 10 years from today, most executives will have either e - mail or fax at their residence. Then the problem will be much simpler. If the client has a e - mail or a fax at his office (which is much more likely within next 2 years), the SYSTEM could be programmed to send - out candidate's confirmation to the client automatically.
After the interviews are over, the next day, the MM (Marktg. Mgr.) will personally phone - up (not leave to MA) the client and
. Obtain client feedback
. Enter into screen
He will also phone - up all the candidates and obtain their perception of how the interview went.
This will either
. Re in force what client says
. Contradict what client says
May be the Screen should have one more column
"What Next ?"
Where MM could enter his remarks such has
1. Follow - up on ________
2. Send additional bio - data's
3. Arrange further interviews.
- With same candidate
- Other candidates
4. Forget & close the chapter (send regret letter to client / to candidate) etc. etc.
Wednesday, 30 March 1994
If our staff is sufficiently self - motivated / inspired/ achievement - oriented, then internal follow - up should be entirely UNNECESSARY!
This may take some time.
It also pre supposes that every member of the staff Knows "What is expected of him/ her"
This means goals / Objectives / Targets are well - defined for each member of the staff - and fixed in a definite TIME - TABLE.
Then, these have to be clearly communicated, so everyone knows
1. What is expected of him (qty)
2. Of what quality
3. When (Time).
These 3 are Performance - Criteria.
These criteria must be laid down for each type of activity.
If we do not have any NORMS, we can evolve them historically, by keeping OUTPUT - RECORDS on a daily basis - for each staff member, even if he is doing different type of work on different days.
An operator / officer/ Manager must sign "ON" before starting an activity and sign "OFF" at the end.
Each ACTIVITY (Type) itself will be CODED/ NUMBERED, which he will enter while starting.
And record / History will be cumulative as also the hours spent cumulatively.
So cumulative Records/cumulative hours - Average Productivity
This will be low in the beginning and improve as each staff member acquires knowledge / skill.
After a time, it will taper - off and stabilize.
Any improvement (in a person's productivity - level) beyond this stage can only come through
. Change in Methods
. Change in Technology (eg. voice Recognition)
I have digressed abit. Let us get back to "Follow - Up". At the beginning (or the end) of each day, we need to look at the screen and find out.
1. Bio - Data’s remaining to be entered (at each of the SIX/ SEVEN levels which I have defined elsewhere)
2. Bio - data’s remaining to be converted (treating this as a different level)
3. ESR remaining Unattended (i.e. Searches yet remaining to be conducted against ESR's recd.
NOW ESR itself, could be recognized at different levels such as .
A. A stray remark heard at a party that XYZ co. is looking for ABC vacancy to be filled.
B. An "Inquiry (oral)" at a meeting/ party by an officer/ manager of any company that he is looking for such - and - such person
C. An "Oral" request from a regular client (could be telephonic)
D. A "letter / fax" request from any company (including a regular client) - may or may not know / accept our TERMS.
E. An ESR recd. from a client (without advance)
F. An ESR with advance need.
These are arranged in ASCENDING ORDER OF IMPORTANCE and COMMITMENT.
Till volumes of requests, falling under 5 and 6 is substantial enough to keep us busy, we will have to attend / entertain
other types of requests as well. This is the only way we can build up a healthy client etc.
So while Entering the request in the computer we must define its LEVEL.
At the end of the day, system must tell us, at each level, how many requests have remained UNSEARCHED.
4. Having been "searched" for how many ESR we have yet to send out bio - data’s/ one line statement?
5. How many (which) "Interview - call" letters remain to be sent - out?
6. How many "Invoices" remain to be sent out? for which appointments? for which out - of - product expenses?
7. How many "Payments" remain to be collected ?from whom?
- Value wise
8. How many bills (of Suppliers) remain to be paid? How many are overdue? (buy and credit extended by supplier)
9. How many "Mailers" remain to be dispatched?
10. How many letters (from clients / associates/ candidates etc). remain to be answered?
11. How many papers/ bio/ Regi forms remain to be "filled" ? whether manually or electronically.
12. How many "bio - dates" remain to be CODED? Critical activity because without coding, a bio - data will remain outside the SEARCH - ORBIT ! !
13. How many "Advt" remain to be entered?
14. How many letters are pending typing?
Basically, we are trying to define the
WORK BACKLOG SITUATION.
Idea is to minimise "arrears" - If possible eliminate altogether
Idea is to drastically reduce out "Response - Time". This has to be our USP (Unique Selling Proposition). This is what must differentiate us from all other Agencies. 14 activities listed above are not comprehensive. As each backlog situation becomes apparent, we must write down that activity. This way the list will grow.
For each of this activity, we should make one person responsible. If the volume is too much for one person to handle, we should divide the responsibility amongst 2 or 3 person. But with sharpness/ without overlap or ambiguity.
Enter Bio - Data.
. One person for level "1
. Two person for level "2 to 5"
(A to L - One person
M to Z - Second person)
. Bio data Conversion (3 persons)
A to J
K to T
S to Zh.c.parekh
Tuesday, 29 March 1994
Success of our business will depend upon effective follow up. This is true of all business.
We need to follow - up
. Internally, our won staff
. Our clients
. Our Candidates
. Our Associates
. Our Advt. Agents
. Our Suppliers / Vendors
. Our Maintanance Contractor
. Our Pranker
This list will grow as our business grows.
Most companies depend upon
. Manual follow - up systems or till worse,
. The "memory" of their executives
to carry out FOLLOW - UP work.
A few companies have taken help of computers in their follow - up, but to a very limited extent. e.g. In L & T, Computer automatically prints - out at the end of each month, what supplies/ materials are OVERDUE (as compared to normal, cumulative delivery schedule) from EACH of 2000 + Suppliers/ Vendors.
There are many companies, who have, their computers print - out OVERDUE PAYMENTS (Customer Outstanding) every month end for each customer, in
. Descending order of "age" (oldest outstanding at top).
. Decreasing order of "Value" (Biggest outstanding at top).
There could be also one, consolidated statement for all customers put together.
These statements could be
- Business wise/ Product Wise
- Salesman/ Sales Manager/ Reg. Mgr - Wise.
The amount of Follow - up will directly increase (proportionality) with the volume of business.
And, unless we take help of the technology (IT), the more and more of our staff will be spending more and more of their time simply "chasing" matters! They will have less - and - less time left to do any DEVELOPMENTAL / CREATIVE work.
I read Norbert WEINER (?)
"HUMAN USE OF HUMAN BEIGS", Some 35 years ago. Time has come to implement his ideas.
We must harness the powers of
. Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Expert Systems
To take over from our staff, the routine FOLLOW - UP : follow - up which does not add much "VALUE" to our business - but it is still essential, like oil / grease in an automobile.
EXTERNAL FOLLOW - UP
Here the most important (and most voluminous) follow - up will be with
. The clients and
. The candidates
Let us take up one at a time.
We need to follow - up clients (including potential/ Prospective Clients) for
. Getting response to our "Introduction Letter" (General or special) offering our services.
. Feedback on bio - data’s sent (whether interested/ Not interested etc).
. Feedback on "Interviews" arranged (final) (whether candidate rejected / short - listed etc)
. Feedback on "Preliminary Interviews" held by (Whom to call/ when, for final interviews).
. Feedback on "draft Advt/ Artwork/ Estimate" Sent for approved.
. Feedback on "TERMS - acceptance" / "Advances"
. Follow - up requesting expediting of ESR form / Tabulation
. Follow up to expedite Company - Profile / Bal. Sheet Org. Chart. / Job - Description etc. (For forwarding to candidates). Especially required for Sr. level head - hunting
. Sending to client, confirmation of interview - date by candidates called (client should not have to follow us for this)
. Follow - up of "Follow - up" !
Has he received/ studies / taken action (what?) on the ROUTINE MONTHLY STATEMENT sent to him?
. Summary of bio datas sent in last 3 months
. Outstanding Payments (Invoice wise)
. Statement of Running Accounts/ Advance adjustments etc.
. Non - receipt of copies of Appointment - letters issued to candidates.
. Follow up re : Advt. Agency's Press - Bill (due after 30 days)
FOLLOW UP WITH CANDIDATES
. Additional data requested/ queries raised about his geographical preference / housing etc.
. Return of Regi form
. Annual "update" form (Happy Birthday or "Happy Anniversary of Appointment" - in case of those executives appointed thru us)
. Interview - date confirmation (after, first relaying to him interview - date information)
. Rush us copy of you Appt. Letter
. What happened at the Interview? (feedback)
. We have sent your bio - data to so - and - so co.
. Are you interested in So - and - so Company?
. Sorry ! You are not found suitable by --
. Congrats! You have been Short - Listed for further / final interview by ____
. Can you Pl. come and meet me on ____?
. Whether offer from client is acceptable?
. Whether submitted resignation to current company
. Whether resignation accepted by current company.
. Date of Joining.
. Some of the follow - up activity is "fixed - periodical"
Annual update (for candidates)
Monthly statements (for clients)
So, software must define
"Whom" to send
"What" to send
"When" to send
Some are "EVENT - BASED"
. Appointment can only follow interview
. Interview can only follow sending of bio - data etc
. Sending bio - data may or may not follow on "inquiry" or an ESR (we do send bio - data on our own also)
So the "trick" should be
1. Make a comprehensive list of all activities
2. Arrange "Sequentially" (the order in which these can happen / take place)
The moment any staff member enters an activity or event, the system software would flash on the screen the next 2 or 3 activities and ask.
. Which of these is likely to be your next activity? Tick
.When would you like it to be followed - up? Enter date
. For follow - up, whom would you like me to send a reminder? enter name / co.
. What type of standard letter a statement would you like me to send out to that person?
Now the system has clear "Instructions" in its memory which will activate the FOLLOW - UP MODULE on the due date.
The EDP Manager can activate the follow - up module, first thing every morning. The system will flash on the screen, one by one all the follow - ups due on that date.
At this stage, EDP Manager has following choices/ Options, listed against each Follow - up Activity.
1. Give a green signal to go ahead and print out follow - up letters.
2. Because of additional information gained on the subject - matter during the interviewing period, decide to RE - SCHEDULE the follow - up action. On "Reschedule" command, computer will flash all the questions all over again and the EDP manager (or marketing manager) will enter a fresh set of instructions.
3. Decide to follow - up by "Phoning/ Faxing/ e - Mail"
So he gives command "OVERRIDE"
All of these should get recorded in the PURCHASE ORDER EXECUTION file.
This file should be preserved until a few months after the order has been extended. There after it can be erased (DROP DEAD DATE? )
The purpose of preserving it for a few months is that, an occasions their could - whether we had done our job properly/ timely/ efficiently etc. So we will need PROOF. We already had such disputes with
- Shah & Mahajan
- STP ltd
- Mega - Meditex etc.When they asked us to refund advance.