What is our best option for minimizing vehicle claims: using Option Solving?

At a recent practitioner’s workshop, one of the participants raised his dilemma with other group members about his need to minimize vehicle claims from their users. He pointed how his company moves people’s cars to and fro from the US to other destinations in the world. The name of the game is to do this with minimal or no damage to the owner’s vehicle, which is not always easy due to logistics, passing them through third party port staff, and the actual shipping activity where you are subject to mother nature’s weather conditions.
For this reason, his company uses vehicle processing centers for cars to be brought to, properly “wrapped” and then loaded onto and off-loaded from ships. The cars are closely inspected when they arrive and leave inspection centers at both ends. However, owing to the nature of the vehicle owners, word can spread on how to take advantage of the system.
So with the aid of his workshop “buddies” they set out to solve how they could keep claims to a minimum: his advantage was that he would get input from people outside his business. Those people could also be users of his company’s system. The group set about developing the best question, which commenced with: “What is our best option for minimizing vehicle claims, considering…”
They then came up with a list of seven considerations and reckoned on making use four of them (a little more than 50%, since it was an odd number of considerations) – both constraints and opportunities – that included: “Need to sustain high client satisfaction, minimize financial losses, maximize employee education, and ensure we encourage good customer ‘ethical’ behavior.” The blog’s Latest Example shares the question in full.
Once they had their question ready, they knew they had to produce two “bookends”: two extreme, “yin and yang” options that would challenge their intuitive minds to reject in a search for more plausible options, but also set limits on their option picture’s range of possibilities. Their collective intuition would not accept extreme options, so would quickly start them searching for more feasible ones. Following some deliberation, two bookends emerged: “Status quo: continue to accept X% claims on delivery,” and “Terminate sub-performers: a major investment.” Note how they came up with extreme stances, but qualified each one to clarify what “status quo” or “terminate its own staff” would mean; rather than just state extreme options. With these provocative “bookends,” their intuitive minds went to work on better alternatives.
This group then created 5 alternative options; these can now be viewed in the blog’s Latest Example. Perhaps their most interesting choice was: “Have customers complete an inspection ‘pre-form.’” We can assume they were referring to users doing their own pre-inspection at the time of handing over their vehicle: this was offered by a group member who was not part of the company. Their other four options can be found in our Latest Example.
They broke off for about 10 minutes to allow for some “emotional distancing.” They went in different directions: refreshments, catch up with people on their cell phones, find the bathroom, or break off into other conversations. After 10 minutes, the issue sponsor was anxious to get them back and get their confidential votes. Their choice is not important to readers because you were not in their shoes and tempt you to second-guess them. Even so, it was clear the Vehicle Executive was pleased with the outcome because he received fresh perspectives and they had explored all reasonable options.
If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area. Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving for an executive to decide, ‘What can I do to win the cooperation of an important alliance?’” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)


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