Customer Satisfaction

“Thank you, Mrs. Linda Danielis.
I could not have imagined having a better supervisor for my research and the thesis”.
It’s great to receive positive endorsements!

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Adaptive Learning Technology

Adaptive Learning Technology

Adaptive learning technology is where a system of learning on a digital platform is individualised to students’ needs. A difficulty with designing any learning experience is pitching the material at the right level.  In a diverse cohort traditional shovelware course material will mean that some students will not be pushed and can get bored.  Other students will find the content a struggle. The material can go over their head. Particuarly with 1 year masters courses in England students may not only differ in terms of ethnicity and language capability but also in terms of prior knowledge of a subject area. Whilst in some subjects such as business, knowledge can be gained by reading around, the shortness of the study period which in some HEIs can be from October to May can make this challenging. Adaptive learning technology can make for a better student journey.  Writing courses for an individual based on their needs would be logistically challenging and unprofitable. Using a digital platform that enables personalised curriculum and assessment can stretch each student to the desired level. This maximises their learning during a given period.

Example Software

McGraw Hill use Connect 2 at http://www.mheducation.co.uk/connect2

Discussion

What experience do readers have of differing adaptive learning technologies? Are some better than others? Does the learning experience enable grades to be given on work throughout a period. Can plagiarism be designed out of the learning experience so students still have the opportunity to be assessed by coursework, rather than exam? Can coursework to be designed differently so that students are not able to purchase answers from essay mills? If so they would achieve a qualification ethically. Whilst summative assessment in courses is often limited due to workload issues and impossibility of marking say 100 students assignments on a weekly basis, is there potential for assessment to be ongoing and more frequent than in traditional courses?

 

What experience do users have of the assessment evaluation element of adaptive learning technologies?

 

Lots of questions.  I’d be interested in users experiences.

Posted in Digital Marketing Tagged with:

Digital Marketing Strategies

I’m just looking around the web for examples of different digital marketing strategies and plans and came across the infographic which I thought was a useful summary. You might also like the template at webyogi.co.uk/how-to-write-digital-internet-marketing-plan-2016.

Despite the importance of digital marketing strategies and planning many organisations still do not do it!

Why ever not? I always find examples about how others do things to be a great way of learning.

With so many digital tools available there’s a need to plan.  With the complexities of a digital marketing ecosystem, marketers need to be able to plan both strategically and operationally.  This means good marketing camapigns both online and offline that reach their target audience.

It’s just a quick post prompted by the author of the template supplying code which enables me to embed the infographic.

The one pager also helps small business folk busy running around with not always enough time to read.

Enjoy!

Digital strategy template – An infographic by Digital strategy planner dot com

 

Posted in Digital Marketing

How the Public Sector Scorecard Works

publication1If you’d like a nice pdf file of the image just ask me via my contact form

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Social Value

Tendering for Public Sector Contracts: Social Value

Tendering for public sector contracts does not just involve following specific procurement guidelines, it also involves being aware of and mindful of current Government policy.

Social Value Concept

The concept of ‘best value’ has been replaced by ‘social value’ as a result of the Public Services Social Value Act 2012 which came into force in January 2013 (https://www.gov.uk). The concept recognises that resources are scarce. This is due in part to limits on council tax increases due to the Coalition and subsequent Tory Party’s squeeze on the public sector, put in place due to the UK National debt which in 2013 was 90.6% of GDP and UK net borrowing in 2015-16 of 74.9 billion (http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/334/uk-economy/uk-national-debt/). There was an intended bias by the proposer of the Act (http://www.socialvaluehub.org.uk)  towards voluntary organisations, social enterprises and community groups, yet a company may not wish to change its structure in order to bid, although some organisations such as councils have become co-operatives (http://www.councils.coop/) reflecting some of the ideas in the term.

Why Social Value?

The concept of social value implies a greater value to society than just the price charged in a contract and the fact that that price represents money to be paid for someone somewhere to work, which enables them to live. Rather than focusing on the quality of a service provider, or the price to be paid for a service, the idea is to consider the collective benefit to a community. The question then becomes how does the company or organisation tendering for work use the revenue it gets? Revenue clearly represents an income to cover fixed and variable costs plus an element of profit. The costs are in the supply chain involved in delivering a contract and these suppliers can include social value in terms of how they operate. The triple bottom line includes the concept of sustainability into the accounting framework, the three elements of which are social, environmental and financial all of which companies should consider when evaluating their performance (Elkington, 2004). This highlighted the importance of not just profits but also people and planet. The Social Value Act (2012) brings the triple bottom line concept into all organisations applying for public sector work and in particular incorporates the concepts of social and environmental value (Elkington, 2004) into embedding sustainability in the mixed economy.

Wellbeing

The social value hub (www.socialvaluehub.org.uk) details the push to improve economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area. This by inference implies a local approach as a business in Cumbria will be likely to have employees in Cumbria. Delivering a contract to an organisation outside Cumbria would therefore pass some economic benefit to the employee, but not necessarily to the area where the contract was based say Manchester as an example. Where travel is involved there will be more greenhouse emissions if staff delivering contracts need to travel from outside an area.

Social Value Definition

Social value is defined as “the benefit to the community from a commissioning/procurement process over and above the direct purchasing of goods, services and outcomes” (http://www.socialvaluehub.org.uk/about). The focus is on economic, social and environmental wellbeing.  In order to consider economic, social and environmental wellbeing the context of the Local Government Act 2000 and the later Localism Act 2011 are relevant.  The impact of the supply chain should be considered. This extends and develops the concept of societal marketing, the philosophy that decisions should be made not just on the basis of what the buyer wants and their requirements, but also society’s long term interests into a Government to business application.

Not only is there debate about what the concepts mean as they are social constructs and subjective, but also different commissioning bodies may have different principles for assessing social value. The lack of understanding of the social construct makes for difficulties in transparency and evaluation on the extent to which the promise of social value in a contract bid would be delivered. CLES us a social return on investment calculation which seeks to put a cash value amount on the social value by calculating costs to the public purse saved as a result of social benefits given and tools for this are available (www.thesorinetwork.org).

Economic Value

Economic value assumes consumers rather than Governments are in the best position to decide what they want (http://www.ecosystemvaluation.org/1-01.htm). This is underpinned by the concept of opportunity cost. The willingness to pay by a public sector body is influenced by their perception of the economic, social and environmental well being. Present within many contracts is the option of a rebate of around 2% for prompt payment, automatically suggesting to a bidder that the price paid for a service will be up to 2% less than what the bidding company wants. This might help the finances of the commissioning body but will not help the profit margins of the bidder, so the economic well being is dependent on which side of the contract the organisation sits.

ONS Wellbeing Measurement

The ONS measure wellbeing using the following variables:

  • education and skills
  • economy
  • governance
  • natural environment
  • personal finance
  • where we live
  • what we do
  • health
  • our relationships
  • personal well being

Employee Well Being

Clearly employment of staff enables the employee’s well being to be improved. Economic wellbeing is a subset of national wellbeing measured by the ONS (http://www.ons.gov.uk). The economic measures used by the ONS are inflation, measured by referring to the CPI and net debt, as a percentage of GDP, and income per head from national income. Economic wellbeing at the individual level is about a person’s standard of living and this is measured by income. Different countries though use different measures (https://www.reference.com/business-finance/economic-well-being-909c020bab9e11b1).

Natural Environment

The natural environment deals with environmental quality: greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy consumption, household recycling and sustainability issues (ONS, 2016). The challenge of environmental well being is how to improve quality of life by living within our environmental means (Shah, 2005). The idea is for everyone’s footprint to be globally equitable (http://b.3cdn.net/nefoundation/88cb2c4314731314d0_gxm6bq37b.pdf).

Personal Wellbeing

Personal well being is measured by the variables of life satisfaction, happiness, anxiety, mental well being and activity worthwhileness (ONS, 2016). However, different models of well being exist, the NEF having only two dimensions of satisfaction with life and personal development. The NEF explains that a successful society is one where the economic activity delivers benefits for all of society: “high levels of sustainable wellbeing” (http://www.neweconomics.org/issues/entry/well-being). Clearly where organisations exist for the good of a section of society such as a social enterprise, or community group, some sections of society which find life more challenging can be helped through trading relationships.

Frameworks and Policies

Some organisations have developed social value policies and frameworks e.g. AGMA Procurement Hub (www.manchester.gov.uk/download/…/id/…/presentation_on_agma_procurement_hub). This helps to provide detail on how many social value outcomes should be looked for in one procurement bid and some typical outcomes. However the likelihood of micro-businesses wanting to determine the carbon footprint of all their suppliers and having an environmental strategy could be seen as more red tape where they do not have the financial resources to fulfil these requirements. It is likely that if this is not detailed in the bidding documentation that only 1 outcome is necessary for a small bid. The questions area in a bidding portal enables questions to be raised.

Public Sector Balanced Scorecard

The concept of social value also links into how public sector organisations should evaluate their strategy using the public sector balanced score card (http://www.publicsectorscorecard.co.uk/). The scorecard maps service improvement and performance management into a framework. Stellarleadership confirms how the use of the scorecard can be used to create value (http://stellarleadership.com/docs/Leadership%20Blog/Introduction%20to%20the%20Balanced%20Scorecard%20for%20the%20Public%20Sector%20V8.pdf). Clearly the vision, strategy development and action created needs to ensure that social value is integrated into the model.

Four Perspectives

The traditional four perspectives of finance, customers, learning and growth and internal processes suggested by Kaplan and Norton can embed social value into what public sector organisations can ask of both stakeholders and themselves in order to achieve sustainability. The scorecard incorporates both qualitative and quantitative measures. Whilst the formula for calculating social, economic and environmental value appears simple: SROI = net present value of benefits/net present value of investments (http://www.i-r-e.org/docs/a008_social-return-on-investment-_sroi_.pdf)  and there is a clear four stage process of conducting an analysis of boundary setting and impact mapping, collecting data, modelling and calculating and reporting and embedding the stages involved  (http://www.i-r-e.org/docs/a008_social-return-on-investment-_sroi_.pdf) suggests an onerous activity for a sole trader hoping to be able to bid for a contract worth perhaps less than £10,000. Where organisations  confirm the indicators they are looking for such as social value indicators of to raise the living standards of all residents, this can be helpful.

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Segmentation

Segmentation in Consumer Markets
Segmentation in consumer markets has suddenly become more interesting to me. I’m just considering segmentation as I author some marketing materials. The move to more individualised segmentation made possible through data is interesting. I found the infographic displayed. It’s a great infographic. How well do folks think the segmentation bases used in text books for consumer markets are adequate for today’s markets and consumers? What new texts has anyone found that cover the idea of individualised segmentation which goes well beyond data systems such as ACORN.

Clearly secondary data available through companies such as Mintel and Keynote can be helpful to some new companies and give them more understanding of markets and of course established brands will have lots of confidential data.

Are the traditional bases used in texts still fit for purpose?
I’m interested in how well the traditional bases of geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural data now work today. I’ll clearly need to do some journal article searching.

Callcredit Infographic Alt Text

Get Connected by Callcredit

Posted in Segmentation, Uncategorized Tagged with:

Customer Satisfaction

“Ms Linda Danielis is also my Supervisor. She is an awesome person. I have learn so much from her about how to write a quality dissertation paper.  I am well on my way  to successfully submit in July 2016 .

 My research has gone well and now I am using NVivo 11 Starter for my analysis (Ms Danielis recommended it). Although, I am just learning the software (NVivo), it will make me a better qualitative researcher in the future.
Many of my management consultant colleagues in The Bahamas and Caribbean are eagerly  waiting to review my study. I am a member of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants (CICMC).

Yes! Ms Danielis is a great help
Mark Turnquest”
Always great to receive praise from students in terms of how well they are being supported. Customer satisfaction is so important!
If you are considering doing an MBA via distance learning check out Arden University www.rdi.co.uk/.
Many different streams on offer.
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Cumbria Chamber of Commerce Response to Budget

Following today’s Budget Statement by the Chancellor, Rob Johnston, Chief Executive, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce says

“This Budget appears to deliver much of what Chambers have been lobbying for and to be a positive Budget for British business.

The key issues we’ve been lobbying on are longstanding concerns about:

–          The dire need for simpler, better more competitive business taxation

–          The continuing need for a fundamental reform of business rates

–          Significant shortcomings around tax administration and HMRC

It’s to be hoped that this proves in practice to be affordable while still moving towards a balanced budget.”

Commenting on specific measures he adds:

Taxation

“Moves which further address tax avoidance by multinationals, seeking to make sure profits can’t be artificially shifted out of the UK are good news – particularly alongside the further reduction in corporation tax by April 2020 to 17% benefiting over 1m businesses.

For the smallest entrepreneurs the new tax allowances of £1,000 each around trading and property incomes will clearly be welcome and make a real difference to the sustainability of their endeavors.

Entrepreneurs will also benefit from the abolition from 2018 of Class 2 National Insurance Contributions, alongside reform of Class 4 NICs so self-employed people can continue to build benefit entitlement.”

Business Rates

“It’s also good news for SMEs that 600,000 small businesses will be taken out of business rates permanently and a further 250,000 see their rates cut.

From April 2017 small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates (doubled from the current £6,000 rateable value), with tapered relief on properties up to £15,000.”

This means that the rates on half of all business properties will go down or be removed altogether.

We understand there is also an intention to simplify administration and look forward to seeing this in practice.”

Capital Gains Tax on Commercial Properties

From April 2016 higher rate Capital Gains Tax will be cut from 28% to 20% and basic rate from 18% to 10%, with no changes to Capital Gains Tax on properties, creating the incentive to invest in businesses over property. This is good news for business investment.”

HMRC

“We’re pleased to see a commitment to improving the HMRC service, responding positively to what we have asked for, and look forward to seeing what this means in practice. It’s to be hoped that the promise comes to fruition.”

Fuel Duty

“Freezing of fuel duty for the sixth year in a row is great news for businesses as well as individuals, particularly in a county such as Cumbria where travel costs are so high.”

Duty on Spirits and Beer

“Here in Cumbria we have a vibrant brewing industry – and are seeing investment too in artisan spirits. Alongside this we of course have a significant tourism and leisure economy. So it’s good news for businesses in these sectors that there will be no rise in beer and spirit duties.” Whisky protected but wine not so!

Infrastructure

“We welcome the announcements on upgrading of the A66 and A69 and look forward to seeing the detail. Hopefully these are significant upgrades.”

Flood Defences

“Funding of flood defences for Cumbria are clearly good news, and again we look forward to seeing the detail of what will be funded.”

Nuclear

“The announcement around the next generation of small nuclear reactors should create opportunities for Cumbrian businesses.”

An interesting budget illustrating some innovative thinking which we hope makes a positive difference. Also interesting is the move in education to academies and the education paper will be worthy of reading. This shifts the balance of power to private companies away from the public sector. I was scanning the paper on the train earlier in the week and clearly there will be responses to the over 28 questions asked.

The sugar tax is also an interesting one. When I learnt cookery many years ago in school and also in college it was confirmed that sugar is empty calories so it’s interesting how long policy takes to follow knowledge. How much this demonises the soft drinks industry is an interesting thought as I was taught there are no bad foods, only a bad diet.

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Customer Satisfaction

19 March 2016

“I just want to use this medium to thank you for everything you did for me during the entire journey of my dissertation. You made the entire process worthwhile with your positive criticism. You challenged me all the time with this – more like a bitter-sweet experience, but I can tell you that I appreciated every bit of it afterwards because you made me see the acceptable standards. ”

“Finally
by Jubril Ayokunle Sanusi – Tuesday, 15 March 2016, 06:11 PM
Wow,

I am so elated right now. I passed my dissertation and I am through with my MBA. I cant thank the whole RDI staff enough, you all are simply unbelievable. To my able supervisor (Linda D), you rock any day and expect a thank you mail from me.

Thanks a million all.”

 

It’s always great to get positive feedback from students on their business and education journey. Another customer indicating their satisfaction! Good feedback helps to coach the student to reach a high standard and the majority of my students have achieved over 60% for their dissertations, despite many not having English as their first language.

Visit http://www.rdi.co.uk/university-open-courses-2/

if you are considering doing an MBA by distance learning whilst keeping your job going and developing as a manager. In some countries where there is high unemployment, a good MBA is essential for a decent managerial job.

 

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Customer Satisfaction

“Hello Linda,
Happy new year to you and yours.
I got my confirmed dissertation grade today. I got a score of 72%.
You may not readily remember me but my dissertation topic is “Work life balance and its effect on call centre agents “.
It is still unbelievable and words fail me to describe my emotions however I want to say a big thank you from my heart.
I could not have certainly achieved this without your guidance.
You are the best.
May God bless and prosper all your endeavors.
Have a splendid rest of the week.
Regards,
Ogechi”
It’s always good to get positive feedback. I’ve taken off the company reference and the surname for confidentiality reasons but this student did very well. Positive feedback and unprompted comments generated through delight not asked for via a survey illustrate true customer delight.
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