Here is an example of the adversarial approach to overbooking. Felixstowe has had serious problems handling cargo over the last several months. Port management is blaming it on everyone but themselves. Ocean carriers are avoiding the port or canceling visits, or cutting and running without fully unloading cargo; truckers can’t get slots to pick up or deliver; and customers are unhappy with the ability to get their cargoes delivered through this port.
I don’t know anything about the actual situation, except what I read. But when there’s poor performance, overbooking is one of the responses to expect from customers. YOu look to game the system to be able to get what you need when you need it, and rely on canceling to avoid payment. It happens everywhere. To me, it’s more a symptom of a broken system than a ‘crime’ to be punished.
I think it’s probable entirely too little time was invested in finding out what some of the customers (users) needed from the system, and when it was developed, not enough attention was paid to making sure the prospective users were able to see its advantages. When you don’t work with users closely and cooperatively, they won’t see how the system can help them.
I’d tell management, fix the problems with the system. Make it fair to all, and make sure you understand participant motivations so you can prevent gaming. Because if there’s a weakness, there will be gaming, for sure.
By Mike Wackett 12/10/2020
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