As CEO of an organisation with operations in Singapore, Germany, the UK and the US, and customers and partners based all over the world, one of the key and obvious features of my working life is travel.
Although I’ve been doing this for a while, and obviously am far too long in the tooth to regard such gallivanting as particularly glamorous, visiting such diverse countries and cultures is always fascinating.
Despite what some jaded souls may tell you, it is possible even in the most intense of schedules to look beyond the cycle of airport, taxi, office and hotel room to pick up at least some of the flavours of the country and region in which you find yourself.
Wherever you are, and despite the growth of globalisation, it is impossible not to revel in the sheer 'different-ness' of the regions and places we work in, with language, culture and climate all combining to set each location apart.
Yet through all this uniqueness runs a thread. Visit any of our locations worldwide, and you will find the same chains of fast food restaurants, organisations that may well hold a lesson for all of us in the business of global delivery.
Stand awhile and peruse the menus outside such establishments in locations as diverse as the US, the Middle East and Asia, and you will see definite local variations. These subtle tweaks to the winning formula reflect local tastes, culture and expectations, and are changes designed to fit the offering more exactly to local needs.
Step inside though, and one thing becomes obvious. By and large, the overall customer experience is the same. Love or loathe the products, one cannot help but be impressed by organisations that strive for, and generally achieve, consistent excellence in delivery across such a vast array of geographic and cultural divides.
In everything we do we constantly strive for, and achieve, such consistency in experience. As many companies have found to their cost, it is not enough to find a supplier who has presence in all the regions where you need to deliver.
Global excellence comes not from having the same name above the door wherever you go; it comes from the selection, deployment and close quality management of best-in-class resources, crafted to meet local needs.
Do you want fries with that?
Bob Dalton is chief executive officer at Intact Integrated Services
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