Operations Insight: Riot Games

We have previously blogged about e-sports.  Just as in field sports, there are e-sports professional leagues with salaried professional players. For people under 35, e-sports is more popular on television than live sports.  The market leader in this sector is Riot Games.  Its League of Legends online game has dominated the market since 2012 and is the biggest online PC game in the world. It has more than 67 m. monthly active users, 27 m. per day, and over 7.5 m. concurrently during peak hours.

Riot was founded in 2006 and from its inception adopted an agile organisational approach.  It has a very strong culture based around an obsession with meeting players expectations. A very high proportion of employees are hardcore gamers themselves. Its mission statement is “To be the most player focused game company in the world”.  And the  phrase “player focus” will be central to any discussion between employees on most topics.

In order to solicit ideas from any employee in the organisation, Riot Games has a  “Request For Comment” (RFC) process. Anyone can make a proposal for any kind of  change. The RFCs are submitted and then publicised in order to elicit comments from other employees.  If there are no objections it will automatically pass, or it will go to a small group of people to make a decision based on the feedback received. The outcome is then communicated across the organisation.

“Overall, the mission clarity and customer focus at Riot is compelling. It gets people to rally around. The user empathy and customer focus is remarkable. The socialization philosophy of change is pervasive throughout this remarkable organisation”.

Source:  https://www.riotgames.com/en/work-with-us/welcome; https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2016/11/26/can-big-organizations-be-agile

Posted in Chap 11 Jobs and people, Sector: Entertainment & Sport | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ryanair – chockers and nuts

Just back from trip to Bonn.  Flew Ryanair Bristol to Koln – no problem.  Return trip had two interesting process issues….

First, it is common practice of low cost airlines, in order to ensure a swift turnaround, to move passengers through the boarding gate into the air walk before all the passengers have disembarked from the incoming aircraft.  That works smoothly if the aircraft arriving at the gate is the one the waiting passengers are going to embark on.  If it is not, it is somewhat chaotic because you end with 90 passengers trapped in the air walk, as this photo illustrates…

Ryanair staff at the front of the queue were telling passengers to go back.  Ryanair staff at the gate were not permitting passengers to return to the departure lounge.  We were trapped  for 15 minutes before eventually being allowed back into the lounge.  Clearly the airport staff did not know what was going, even though the Ryanair app was saying our departure would be 1 hour late – before we went through the gate.  We then advised that we would be departing from the same gate shortly, only to be told 10 minutes later that it would be from another gate – the other side of immigration…  Throughout this “process” there was no explanation and no apology.  Only once we had boarded the right plane did the pilot provide an explanation and apologise.

Clearly there were a combination of process errors that lead to the wrong aircraft being in the wrong place and staff on the ground not knowing what was happening.  All of which is surprising given that this airline is usually highly efficient.

The second process issue occurred on board.  It seemed that before walking down the aircraft aisle, the cabin crew were checking the snacks and refreshments to see if they contained nuts.  If so, they removed them.  Given the recent high profile cases of nut allergens causing death, it is only right that the airline should be proactive in this regard.  However my opinion is that manually checking items on board the aircraft is not the right place for this to happen.  The airline’s procurement policy and practice should be to ensure no nuts are in any product placed on board.  Relying on cabin crew to check this at the last minute is not the most effective or efficient process.


Posted in Chap 10 Processes and technology, Sector: Transportation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chocolate in more forms than you can imagine

This is the retail outlet of Lindt’s Chocolate Museum in Cologne.  Again a highly sensory servicescape, with tantalising displays.

Posted in Chap 04 Location and design, Sector: Retail | Tagged | Leave a comment

Mobikes everywhere!

I blogged about Mobike in May this year.  Interesting to see it in action in Cologne.

Posted in Chap 01 Introduction, Sector: Transportation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Shopping behaviour in Dille and Kamille

This is the interior of Dille and Kamille, the homeware store, in Maastricht, Holland.

It was fascinating to observe the behaviour of Dutch shoppers in this outlet today.  They…

  • stroked fabric products
  • picked up objects to look underneath
  • handed objects from one to another
  • placed one object in another to see what it looked like…
  • …  and queued to purchase items.

In view of this, it seems to me that it is far from certain that death of the high street is inevitable – especially if you have great merchandise and servicescape.

Posted in Chap 02 Winning Customers, Sector: Retail | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bristol Airport Silver Parking

The process consists of the following stages:

  1. pre book a space online, providing car registration number and flight number.
  2. stop at entrance barrier for car registration to be scanned.
  3. drive to “Check-in” and park.
  4. walk to “Reception” building.
  5. queue before handing over car keys to agent and receiving parking ticket.
  6. wait for bus.
  7. get on bus for five minute drive to airport.
  8. get off bus directly outside Departure hall.

My reflections on this process design:

  1. Prebooking means very accurate forecast of flow through the system enabling Reception to be staffed efficiently.
  2. Scanning of car registration is an effective security measure providing customers with reassurance about leaving their car there.
  3. Check-in parking is located close to Reception so walking distance is minimised.  Your car may be moved (they have the keys) to a more distant spot if need be, but will be returned to Check-In parking lot before your return.
  4. Short walk.
  5. Queue and transaction time less than three minutes.
  6. Bus was waiting outside.

My perceptions?  A very well designed process, easy to use and speedy.  But this is the low season, so not sure how efficient it will be at peak times.

Posted in Chap 10 Processes and technology | Tagged | 2 Comments

Process design and service delivery

I am on a trip to Germany.  So I thought I would use this opportunity to blog about the operations I encounter and reflect on their process design and my perceptions of their effectiveness….

Posted in Chap 03 Processes and life cycles, Chap 10 Processes and technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ocado’s automated distribution centre

Given the previous blog about Amazon, I thought you’d like to see this.  Compare it with how you load your shopping trolley….

Posted in Chap 06 Materials and inventory, Sector: Retail | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

’21 data science systems used by Amazon to operate its business’

The headline is the title the second article by Vincent Granville, I referred to in my last post.  It identifies each part of the operation – such as supply chain, inventory, and payments – and identifies what is specifically being managed and in most cases how the data science techniques identified in the last blog are being applied.

Posted in Chap 01 Introduction, Sector: Retail | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Everything you need to know about data science… and more!

Every now and again you come across a source that provide more information than you could ever hope for on a subject….

I am not a statistician and certainly not a data scientist.  But as recent blogs have demonstrated, large and complex operations are increasingly relying on big data and analytics in order to compete successfully.  To get a grip on this take a look at this article by Vincent Granville.  It lists 45 different techniques used by data scientists, each of which has links to articles that explain the technique and how it is applied.  So if you are not sure about geo-spatial modelling, support vector machines, or neural networks – this is the place to go.

Vincent also gives a link to an article about how Amazon  use 21 different data science systems, which I shall blog about separately.

NB The linked article is headlined ‘40 techniques used by data scientists’ but it has subsequently been updated to 45.

Source: https://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/40-techniques-used-by-data-scientists?

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