For Brad Pike, planning Syracuse’s meals requires close attention to detail

first_img Published on March 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm Contact Jesse: | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+ ST. LOUIS — Following Syracuse’s practice at the Scottrade Center this past Saturday, Brad Pike was a one-man assembly line.Without ever looking at his hands, Pike grabbed small plastic bags, filled them with ice, twisted a tie around the top and added to a pile at the end of the trainer’s table. He told players to come get their ice, held short side conversations with other staff members and even stole a glance or two at the basketball playing on the locker room’s TV. All while the ice kept flowing.But for Pike, whose official title with Syracuse is assistant athletics director for sports medicine, post-practice icing is a simple task. Mindless, even. Just a small part of a season-long routine that keeps the Orange’s tight seven-man rotation as fresh as a tight seven-man rotation can be during an NCAA Tournament run in late March.And as that routine rolls along, the same question always lingers in the back of Pike’s head. A very important question. A question that can be the difference between SU’s players feeling settled or unsatisfied at the end of the day. A question that everyone thinks about but Pike has to answer, not just for himself but for a team of college-aged men and the full Syracuse basketball staff.What is the team’s next meal going to be?AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I plan all of our meals on the road,” Pike said, still twisting bags of ice. “… I want to make sure to fill their stomach up with good stuff so they’re not looking for bad stuff later.“Or, if they do look for the bad stuff later, it’s going to be in a small amount versus, ‘I didn’t really like the food, I didn’t eat anything.’”When Syracuse received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament two Sundays ago, Pike started considering the travel variables: St. Louis, a city he hasn’t visited with the Orange, is in the Midwest. The Midwest traditionally has good beef. Beef is one of the core entrees of the Orange’s five-meal rotation. A good start, but only the beginning.Pike then flipped open his laptop and got to work, pulling up a spreadsheet that shows every meal SU has eaten on the road over the last five or so seasons. He has the meals sorted by date, hotel and, most importantly, quality. He’s started to see trends in this matrix of ingredients and hotel chains, like what to eat in certain regions of the country and what different hotels make well. That was how he mapped each meal for the Orange’s five-day trip to St. Louis — which eventually included two wins in three days to advance to the Sweet 16. By 2 p.m. that Monday, Pike was finished and he called the St. Louis City Center Hotel to start discussing his meal-by-meal plan. When the Orange landed there Wednesday, the next step was to make sure it unfolded seamlessly.“There are always wrinkles, like last year I gave in on bacon because Rakeem Christmas was a bacon addict,” Pike said. “But then I worry about the hotel keeping it crispy enough, and other things like trying to make the meals too gourmet and putting in oils and butters. We try and keep it a bit cleaner. This hotel in St. Louis did a great job of that, but I worry.”A lot of what Syracuse does on the road, in terms of food, fits the season-long roadmap. Pike makes sure there are healthy sandwiches within an hour of the team’s workouts every day to restore the glycogen in the players’ muscles. He tries to make sure each rotational player drinks half his body weight in ounces of water every day, which decreases fatigue and gets rid of the byproducts of exercise. There’s always pasta the night before games. There’s always things to consider at breakfast, like if he can get the preferable cage-free eggs and which players’ stomachs are sensitive to certain “mixes” in the morning.Somewhere in between all that, the meals are plugged in.“It pretty much goes like this, Brad points us all to a room and then there’s just all this food in there,” said SU walk-on Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye. “And really it’s like, ‘Damn, where did this all come from?’ We don’t even see it. And it’s not just food anyone can make, it’s good.”Syracuse is already in Chicago, where a Friday night meeting with 11th-seeded Gonzaga awaits. Last weekend, Pike said he felt good knowing the team was probably staying in a nice hotel with a good chef. But there will always be questions. Is the cod as good there as it was in St. Louis? What’s the signature meat? What else does Chicago traditionally do well?And then there’s the deep-dish pizza, a staple of the city’s food vernacular. Will there be room for that on the menu?“Pizza is not bad,” Pike said smiling, then straightened his face and realized he’s responsible for 17 impulsive eaters. “I mean it can be bad. Anything in excess is bad. I’ll have to watch out for that.” Commentscenter_img Related Stories How Dajuan Coleman can provide an added bonus for SyracuseBlum: Syracuse playing rest of NCAA Tournament on borrowed timeWhy Tyler Roberson can be a consistently dominant rebounder for SyracuseSyracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about GonzagaSyracuse basketball roundtable: How to handle Gonzaga’s threats and how SU can improvelast_img read more

West Ham must pay £18million to sign Uruguay World Cup star

first_img targets 1 Laxalt, 25, who can also play in midfield, has Everton and Bournemouth interested in his services, but the Hammers, as in their move for Croatia star Domagoj Vida, are leading the race.Genoa appear to have accepted they will not be able to keep hold of their star but want to sell the player on their own terms rather than be bullied and lose out on cash. Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing LIVING THE DREAM LATEST Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer West Ham have been extremely busy in the summer transfer window as they back new manager Manuel Pellegrini and the club have already broken their transfer record by signing Felipe Anderson from Lazio. IN DEMAND TOP WORK Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Latest Transfer Newscenter_img Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January West Ham United must pay Genoa £18million if they want to sign left wing-back Diego Laxalt, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.The Uruguayan was a breakout star of World Cup 2018, impressing with his displays in Russia and now a number of sides are courting the player. three-way race REVEALED Genoa and Uruguay star Diego Laxalt. Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti RANKED The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star targets moving on last_img read more

Customer Experience Management Learning from Uniteds Mistakes

first_imgCustomer Expectation Sign“I am sorry for making you miss your flight sir, but you really need to put your expectations into the upright position during the holiday season, as our services are in high demand. Here is $250 and a $15 dinner voucher to compensate you for the inconveniences that this has caused you.”This was the response that I received from the United Customer Service Team on January 2nd after their poor planning and under-staffing caused me to miss my flight home from LAX and sit in an airport line for more than 6-hours with more than 100 other disgruntled passengers who were waiting to rebook their flights. What made things worse is the customer experience management staff neglected to communicate with the abandoned customers for this entire period and refused to waive their $150 rebooking fee when several of us tried to rebook our flights ourselves online. United Customer Service Line at LAXBy the time I reached the front of the line, the customer service representative told me that all flights were booked to Boston until the following evening. I refused to accept this resolution and demanded that they offer compensation to any passenger willing to give up their seat on the next flight out. As expected, a seat opened up immediately and I had a same day ticket home. However, this representative neglected to compensate me for the inconveniences and told me that I had to stand in another line for an hour to be compensated for the poor treatment. In all, I spent almost 19 hours on my trip back to Boston and walked away from this experience as a miffed and disgruntled Mileage Plus member.Ultimately, I learned the reason for this fiasco was that United had not scheduled sufficient staff to make up for the number of employees who call in sick during the New Year time frame and consequently was understaffed and unable to meet the needs of their customers.There is nothing more frustrating to customers than poor customer service that is due to poor planning. By thinking ahead and anticipating circumstantial changes companies can resolve many major customer service issues. The problem is that too many companies are engrained in an old fashioned mindset that customer service is a reactionary function.Companies who are high performers in customer service (i.e. Amazon, Zappos, JetBlue) are actually some of the best at anticipating things that are going to go wrong and effective at identifying high risk issues and planning how to resolve these issues before they happen. Customers realize that mistakes happen and reward companies who anticipate problems happening and resolve them in a simple and non-disrupting manner.Too many companies rely on compensation programs to resolve customer service issues and never correct the process issue that is staring them in the eyes: that their customer service approach is outdated and dysfunctional. Compensation programs are a great supplemental offering, but they cannot be the end-all be-all in a company’s customer experience management program.If you are interested in learning more about customer service mismanagement, you should read my blog posts on customer service mishaps that can break a company’s back and Net Promoter Score (NPS) mistakes that can derail the customer management process.  Similarly, if you are interested in learning more about proactive customer experience management, I highly recommend reading Bruce Temkin’s blog on Customer Experience Matters.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more