Naga Chokkanathan

Why Not? — Weakest Link

Posted on: May 7, 2010

File:Broad chain closeup.jpg

Image: Toni Lozano

Sources: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Broad_chain_closeup.jpg & http://www.flickr.com/photos/quiero-un-pantano/176909201

During one of my recent business trips, I stayed in a small hotel. The room was quite good, and clean.

But the problem was, quality of service. Whatever food items I ordered through room service, reached me very late. By the time the door bell rang, my appetite and interest were long gone. Even a simple coffee took them 25 minutes, I decided not to eat anything in that hotel anymore.

Next day, I was in a class and during break time a student asked me ‘where do you stay here?’. The moment I mentioned the name of that hotel, he immediately said, ‘Wow, I love the food there!’

I was surprised. Because, for me food there tasted horrible. But that student insisted that it’s one of the top restaurants in that region and asked me to give it another chance.

That night, Instead of ordering food through room service, I went to the restaurant itself and enjoyed a tasty dinner, with fantastic (and swift) service.

This means, in that hotel, rooms are very well maintained, food is excellent, but the weak link is, the people who carry the food to the people who stay in their rooms. Because of this lousy link, I came to a (hasty) conclusion that their restaurant itself is bad.

In today’s competitive environment, any company having one or two great departments may not be enough, a consistent quality deliverables in every aspect of business is necessary, even a small, careless mistake in an insignificant area can cause the whole show to collapse – As the old saying goes, we are only as strong as our weakest link!

What do you think is your (or your company’s) weakest link? What can you do to bring it up at par with other ‘great’ links?

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