The dabbawallahs have successfully managed to improve their system of keeping up with the growing managements in the world all over. Eating home-cooked lunch is still a tradition for the people of Mumbai and India. And, despite the increasing number of delivery services, the dabbawallahs still manage to deliver the "dabbas" or the home-cooked lunch to people all over Mumbai in a very precise time, without the help of state-of-the-art systems in which they are able to keep track of the items being sent. This puts advanced technologies to shame, since even with the help of very high-tech systems, they still fail when it comes to precision and time-management (Dabbawallas, UPS, and FedEx 2007). What is more interesting is that dabbas are sent out and transported to numbers of vehicles or means of transport just to get to their destination. The work of dabbawallas are extensive, having them exert so much effort just to effectively deliver the boxes to the respective people. A chain of dabbawallas are waiting at each transport area to pick them up and segregate them to be able to deliver them effectively and on time. Not a single machine is used to segregate the lunches; instead, they are hand-sorted, which is a very tough job to do for the dabbawallahs. These are sent via railways and buses until they reach a specific station and their targeted location. The systems of the dabbawallas are simple, but complex at the same time. They have adopted the philosophies of the Quality Gurus, which made them very effective in their job of delivering home cooked lunch for their customers. Although they still do them by hand and manually, the help of the philosophies are obviously of great help, and is something that makes quality delivery systems very ashamed of. Dabbawallahs have whole-heartedly adopted the sayings of the Quality Gurus. The gurus have given their points and views on how to improve not only business companies, but also other organizations from the government, military, educational institution, etc. With this in the minds of dabbawallahs, they have managed to stick with their system, which is with human workforce without the help of any high-tech equipments, and is now globally recognized, and even is in par with LG and Motorola. Deming's Philosophies One of which the dabbawallahs look up to is the philosopher, Edward Deming. Deming states that 10-20 percent of the management errors are from the workers, and the remaining 80-90 percent is from the management itself. It's the responsibility of the worker to communicate effectively with the management for them to clearly understand what they have to do next. One wrong step or decision during the start of the process could cause a lot of trouble as it goes by (Quality Gurus 2007). One of the most vital theories of Deming would have to be his System of Profound Knowledge, which consists of 4 parts: Theory of Optimization, Theory of Variation, Theory of Knowledge, and Theory of Psychology. In theory of optimization, optimization of the whole or total system weighs more than that of the quality of each of the subsystems. If in any case, the subsystems have very low or bad quality can greatly affect the totality of the whole system. It is best that the system possesses, if not the best, higher quality systems, since it is best to aim for the company to work in a longer period of time. At the same time, the system is then a win-win solution, since you start good quality for the subsystems, therefore resulting to a good totality of the system. In this case, the dabbawallahs came up with the idea of color-coding each of the boxes according the destinations, and the specific people it should be delivered to. This is done throughout the operation of the service (Deming's Quality Chain Reaction). The next theory is the theory of variation. In this theory, there are times that certain circumstances result to different results. If there isn't any variation, it could cause greatly delayed deliveries. So, alternatives and variants of systems should be established to ensure that every circumstance have a corresponding action to them. In the case of dabbawallahs, there would not only be one instance that there would be problems during the course of their deliveries, like for example transportation problems. But they come up with different alternatives that they could adapt to unexpected situations. Without alternatives, they wouldn't be the effective delivery service that they are now. Next would be the theory of knowledge. Deming states that with just knowledge with the lack of theory isn't possible, and that experience alone wouldn't be a theory. If you only aim to copy the way to success, without the theory on how they achieved success leads not only to failure, but worst, to disaster. And lastly, the theory of psychology, which is concerned on understanding your employees under the management. Without the knowledge of psychology, you wouldn't know what to motivate your employees with, in turn of their hard work. Lacking this could lead them to work poorly, therefore causing the service to be of low management. Dabbawallahs have very extreme work that not all people can do. They have to patiently sort out the dabbas one by one, and send them out again to their specific destination. This requires them to work for a very long period of time, which could really be tiring and stressful. If the management do not possess the knowledge of psychology, ignoring the employees needs and satisfaction could lead them to a very poor management. They should reward them accordingly for their hard work. The dabbawallahs possess the fourteen points to help eliminate the problems that could be encountered in the process of the deliveries. Firstly, they clearly have come up with a plan to effectively ensure that the box arrives to their respective places. Without planning, they wouldn't have as much time-precision as they have now. One of their plans is that they color-code the boxes for them to easily identify to which the box should be headed to. These boxes reach the stations and again are sorted to a particular set, and then sent again by train or by bus. This process continues for the dabbawallahs to accomplish for them to make sure that the box arrives at the right place. Next, as mentioned, they inspect and check the dabbas to make sure that they are in good condition when they reach a certain destination. Alongside their sorting, they already get to inspect the products if they are in good condition before sending them in. This way, it would prevent the next dabbawallahs who are receiving the dabbas on the next station to check one by one if there are any problems with the items. If they need checking, it would be very minimal since it has already been closely checked by the first workers. Comes next is price tagging. Not only do the dabbas possess a good price tag, but they effectively get to deliver them in the expected time. Quality as well is already checked and ensuring that they are sorted to the right places to avoid misdirected products is what keeps the dabbawallahs the best delivering service. Price tagging alone does not define the business, but the quality of the service is what greatly affects the system of the dabbawallahs. Surely, the employees are well trained to execute the jobs they are put in as dabbawallahs. Without the proper knowledge on how to manage the deliveries, they would definitely fail in sending the deliveries effectively. Proper training could help greatly in the production of the employees while committing very less errors. Juran's Philosophies Juran's Quality Trilogy and Quality Planning Roadmap is what make up his philosophies. In his Quality Trilogy, the roles that emphasize this are quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. During the quality planning stage, needs of the customers and features of the system is needed to come up with an effective system or service. Without the knowledge of these, it would lead to a very poor quality of service as well. In the case of the dabbawallahs, they most probably determined the needs of the customers for the lunch to come on time, which is during their lunch break. Since they have work to be done, and probably little time to eat, they need the dabbas arriving on time for them to be able to accommodate to their schedule. If this isn't taken into consideration, then the dabbawallahs wouldn't be able to effectively come up with a plan to have the boxes arrive on time. Next to quality planning is quality control. This is used to prevent anything from resulting to a worst situation. This is where the products are inspected and determine which of them have defects of don't pass the factors needed to pass quality control. Upon determining the mistakes and defects, this could then lead to the last of the quality trilogy, quality improvement. Upon getting defects from the previous products, and action plan should be formed to ensure that on the next batch of works or jobs, there would be less defects due to improvement of the said products. Dabbawallahs have a very huge difference when it comes to couriers with very high-end monitoring systems. Services of couriers nowadays have all the best monitoring systems, but still they fail in getting their deliveries in time. Upon knowing that dabbawallahs do not possess such systems to help them monitor if their deliveries have reached the right destination and most importantly if they reached on time. All they can rely on are the next dabbawallahs who are in charge of taking the deliveries and correctly sorting them to their right transports and destinations. Another thing that keeps the dabbawallahs apart from high-tech delivery systems is that they have no special means of transport for the items. They just board them on a bus or train, and the next dabbawallah will take care of waiting for them on the next station, and collecting them, sending them to the next train or bus. With other popular delivery systems, they have special or private buses, trains, trucks, and even planes to send the deliveries. Most of these deliveries could travel faster than those the dabbawallahs have, but then, they dabbawallahs still beat these popular deliveries when it comes to time-precision. Modern delivery services often fail to deliver their packages on time, which makes dabbawallahs so impressive. Imagine just the hands of the workers doing the work, as compared to courier systems, which have all the vehicles they need to effectively deliver the packages, and don't have any other side trips aside from their deliveries still fail to accomplish such a simple task. Dabbawallahs have very simple delivery systems, only tedious. All they have to do is sort out all the deliveries that arrive at the station. And that's how simple it is. Couriers have very complex systems, which maybe is the reason why it takes even longer for them to send in the packages, having to go through so many processes. One way the couriers could possibly and effectively improve their deliveries is maybe trying to simplify the system they currently have like those that the dabbawallahs have. Fewer processes, as clearly seen from the people of Mumbai, generate more effective ways of delivery than that of leading courier services. It seems to be that the more processes the packages go through, the longer it takes for them to reach its destination. Another way could be better segregating of the packages to be delivered. With that in mind, they will have better control on where the packages are directed. It would cause lesser conflicts during the process of the delivery. Then, maybe formulate other means on how to get the package on time. There sure are a lot of unexpected events that can happen throughout the delivery process. One thing that makes the dabbawallahs effective with their job is that they have multiple of alternatives if in case in the course of the delivery, something unexpected happens. They have an action plan in hand to solve the problem in the shortest time possible, making them avoid much problems or worse problems in the future. Despite the dabbawallahs having no advanced monitoring systems, they still are in par with the leading companies like Motorola and LG. They have earned the Six Sigma, a term used in quality assurance if the correctness percentage is 99.99 or more. To make it simple, this means 1 error in more than six million transactions. That is pretty impressing, knowing that the dabbawallahs do their work with their own hands and transportation available to them. They do not need all those advanced monitoring systems to get the job done and to satisfy customers. This hopefully will be the strategy of other couriers, especially the leading couriers ever known. (SIX SIGMA AND DABBAWALLAH).
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