It has been months, I was unavailable in my blog. Let us discuss today on some interesting topic.
Last two three months I was working with one of my ex colleagues and present business associate Mr.Chandraketu Verma for a specific global projects. The activities were covid related items like gloves, mask, PPE, medicines etc.
Interestingly every time any opportunity comes, it is on fire i.e. customer wants on yesterday basis. In effect all the people in the value chain including Chandraketu and Me keep pushing the downstream. However, at the end of the day it was happening like neither downstream nor upstream was getting moved by the push, rather they were becoming much more reluctant, slow and apprehensive if unnecessarily we are creating a situation always. Suddenly it struck my mind and I have named it “ASAP Syndrome ”.
In my 20 years of career, I have observed it across the community, eco system. Customer always jumps into the last moment and needs the same immediately. They always threaten at GunPoint as if otherwise he will place the order to someone else. The poor fools like us who thinks it real, jumps into the sea, get pressurized, take tension, thinks the situation as life and death scenario and try to achieve for something really war footing.
There are several pros and cons with this “ASAP Syndrome”. Oops, my apologies, I have not yet explained what is “ASAP” ! This is the short form of “As soon as possible”, and the same is quite commonly used in corporate world.
Now “ASAP Syndrome” is like a trap. Only few people gets attracted towards it by thinking about customer centricity.
Lets give an example of last Sunday. A specific material was supposed to be sent to Mexico from Bangladesh. Customer had given a purchase order on Thursday evening along-with payments as per payment terms. The moment the swift transfer slip passed to us, the pressure was building on us if the same could be dispatched. Mexico being 10/11 hours behind, they were pushing us to dispatch immediately. However, that was evening at Bangladesh and business hour already closed. More precisely Bangladesh is closed on Friday and Saturday being weekly Holidays. Hence last Sunday was the earliest possible time the same could be initiated. Sunday morning onward there was continuous push on updates on every half an hour form upward chain. Ajay Swin was getting pressure from Mexico and was pushing Chandraketu. In effect he was chasing me and I was further passing the same to Chandrashekhar, Ajhar. My counterpart Aminul Islam was also chasing them locally. Counter response was always ” we are working on the same and it will be done ASAP”. But unfortunately, the material was not available in the city and that had to be sourced from outskirts and in effect it could not be possible to dispatch on Sunday. But the customer pressure was still on and in effect all of us (me, Chandraketu, Ajay, Ajhar, Aminul etc) had sleepless night. Even our time night 3am, customer demand was to supply the courier slip of dispatch. How much in unrealistic it may be, customer was not ready to listen any practical difficulties. Even after the next day (Monday)bonce actually material got dispatched through DHL and tracking sheet shared , there was follow-ups like when tracking will be made available online, why they have not airlifted as yet etc. No one in upward chain was interested to listen that we do not have any control on DHL process, there are scarcity of flights in Covid situations.
This is just an example and I had mentioned the story with the name of Chandraketu as this was the recent one and “ASAP Syndrome” got evolved through this incident.
One of my other customer had a Cyber Security software product and they did not renew with software AMC last year. In effect many of signature based services were unavailable to them. After also one year struggle they had released a PO 15days PO for the last year backlog as well as this year’s renewal together. After releasing the PO, very next day they have started demanding not only the lic related features and services, but also started accusing us as if we are delaying the same and in effect their business dependencies are getting impacted.
They were not ready to understand, there will be certain procedures on deal approval, order loading etc at our side and OEM side as well. As they delayed the procedure for more than a year, old price clearance got expired, prices got escalated by 25% by now. Still they started blasting us why these processes could not be done in 24hrs. While we had asked for money as AMC renewal loading to the back-end distributor has to be 100% advance as the customer was defaulter (lic was not renewed last year), customer reaction was again accusing us as we had to manage it. They can not release money unless their internal processes are cleared. Almost every two hours there were follow-up calls and mails to extend Services to them “ASAP”.
Actually this reminds me good old story of “Cowboy and Tiger”. The cowboy was kidding every now and then seeking help with imaginary claim of Tiger Attack on his Cows. Every-time it appeared to be fals while people came for assistance. Finally one day really tiger came and alas no one appeared for his help.
In life everything can’t be “ASAP”. That actually dilutes the real urgency in emergency times. Most of the time most of the people will not react/support to the people with ASAP Syndrome. This may result many mistakes, mess, unwanted issues as no once can think in peaceful mind under “ASAP” pressure. More precisely, the rare people like us (who still responds to this syndrome and acts on war footing) suffers as upward steam keeps on pressing as we appeared to be responsive on pressure and down-steam does not bother to respond or shows reluctant to react. As a result the people like us suffers in a Sandwich Situation and struggles with dual pressure.
Have you faced “ASAP Syndrome”? How was your experience?