Operations is one of the major functions and is vital to the success of every organization irrespective of the size and sector. A strong operations management enables an organization to effectively and efficiently utilize the resources (people, process & technology) to provide quality products/services and successfully deliver it to the customers. A well planned and robust operations is necessary to achieve the goals and objectives in the strategic plan.
An IT service company had challenges to drive seamless operations within the technical support team due to poorly defined processes, inadequate knowledge management systems, knowledge gaps within the team, untimely sending of progress updates to the customers and lack of coordination between the onsite and offsite team members. This led to having an adverse impact on business operations due to the delay in restoring normal operations in time resulting in increased customer escalations and high risk of SLA (Service Level Agreement) breach.
The objective was to improve customer experience and create value for the customer. To address the issue, the focus was to develop and execute strategies to build an efficient processes, a robust knowledge management system, training to fix the knowledge gaps, implement a communication process to ensure timely progress update to all the customers impacted and effective collaboration between the onsite and offsite team.
A detailed process mapping was done to identify loopholes and bottlenecks affecting the result. Revised process flow was designed to eliminate the risks and to fulfill the needs of the customers and internal team members.
- A training program was developed and conducted to fix the knowledge gaps among the team members.
- An effective knowledge management system was implemented to promote knowledge sharing and faster resolution of the requests.
- Automated tools were implemented to eliminate the inefficiencies and further enhance the process.
- A systematic workflow plan and communication channel were implemented to balance the workload and effective collaboration within the onsite/offsite team members.
- KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) were identified and a reporting dashboard was created to measure performance.
- Automated reports were created to keep track of pending requests (critical/non-critical) for timely processing of the requests.
- A BCP (Business Continuity Plan) was implemented to ensure the availability of continued operations.
Implementation of robust operational controls helped in consistently meeting the SLA’s and enhanced customer experience. Achieved a 40% reduction in turnaround time. Improved transaction quality to 100% with process automation. 43% reduction in critical requests. Reduced customer escalation by 15% and improved customer satisfaction.
One of the key elements of the sales process is the quoting process. It is critical to prepare a quote in time and with accurate information to create a positive first impression among the customers. A streamlined quoting process enables organizations to quickly turnaround a quote that is accurate and easy to understand. Having a systematic quoting process further increases the opportunity to win more business with new or existing customers.
An aviation manufacturing company’s quoting process was complex and time-consuming. Quality of the quotes especially errors in product pricing was another challenge. Complexity and inefficiencies in the process had an impact on the turnaround time for generating the quote. The average time required to send a quote to the customer was 3 days, which lead to dissatisfaction among the existing customers and increased the risk of losing new business opportunities.
The objective was to implement a process that is efficient, accurate and fast. A process mapping was done to identify waste/inefficiencies in the quoting process. A centralized product & pricing catalog database was created for quick access to accurate product and pricing information to prepare the cost estimate. RFQ (Request for quotation) tracker was created to keep track of all the pending RFQ’s with the due date and the progress to ensure timely response to the customers. Eliminated pricing errors by creating customer-based quote templates with an automatic calculation. Additionally, a database to track customer purchase history was created to keep track of the purchase trend and for upsell opportunity by recommending an increase in order size while creating quotes.
The solution implemented streamlined the quoting process resulting in an efficient quoting system. Reduced the turnaround time to send the quotation to the customer from 3 days to 1 day with 100% accuracy and increased the team capacity to process 20% additional quote volume.
Process standardization is key to reduce variations and bring consistency in the process performance. It gives the organization a baseline to measure performance and enables the team to execute work efficiently with high quality.
An IT firm’s global process in the order management domain was redundant and different across regions, leading to an in-effective and in-efficient process and impacting service delivery to the global sales team.
Developed a framework to define the strategy and approach to standardize the process. Incorporated existing process documents, organizational goals and objectives and the impact of the inefficient process on key operational metrics. Additionally, a comprehensive study through process mapping was done to understand the global process and variations within each region, inputs from subject matter experts to develop a baseline. Breaking down the approach into phases helped to stay focused and accomplish standardization of the process resulting in enhanced operational efficiency.
Standardization helped in having 20% shorter cycle time, a 15% reduction in errors, a 30% increase in productivity, organization capability to increase transaction volumes by 25% without any additional staff and annual savings of US$ 27K.
Managing data is crucial for any organization as accurate data enables effective decision making and keeps their business floating with a competitive market.
A leading hi-tech company’s master data management process involved high manual intervention for data entry in SAP, which led to,
- Delay in turnaround time.
- Risk of SLA breach due to low output quality.
- Increase in customer escalations.
In order to simplify the complex process, a detailed study was done to understand and evaluate the existing process. The root cause and complexities in the process were identified. We came up with a solution to develop an automated tool to address this issue. This tool eliminated manual data entry into SAP enabling fast processing of transactions, eliminated errors, decreased operational costs, and significantly increased productivity and efficiency.
The result of this new solution was a more efficient workflow with a 60% shorter turnaround time, a 20% increase in productivity, a 6% reduction in operational costs, and US$ 55k annual savings.
Strategic planning is important to an organization because it provides purpose, direction and outlines measurable goals. The plan enables organizations to set priorities, and to focus on resources and energy to achieve and maintain an organization’s competitive advantage.
The existing strategic plan of the client was created for the fiscal year 2015 through 2017. To stay competitive in the market, a long-term strategic plan was required to meet the need of customers and build organizational capabilities.
We developed a customized strategic planning process that included strategic visioning, reviewing organization health through SWOT analysis, developed new strategies, focused discussion ensuring consensus and to capture key success factors and identifying metrics to measure organizational performance.
The strategic planning process helped the customer to create a core framework and direction in designing its future establishing realistic goals and objectives consistent with organizational mission. The growth and operational strategies identified enabled the customer to develop a clear path to keep pace with changing client needs, funding and have a sustainable competitive advantage.
Business development is about pursuing opportunities so as to attain long term growth from markets, customers, and relationships. Focusing on ways to develop business is necessary to increase the profits of a company by attracting new customers and also by increasing the spending of existing customers.
The service delivery process of a leading IT service company was not well defined. Additionally, not having an effective knowledge management system further had a negative impact on the overall delivery of the services to the customer. This resulted in,
- Low customer satisfaction scores.
- Risk of losing the customer.
- Revenue loss.
We developed a strategy making the customer experience as the core focus area. The plan focused on improving operational efficiency through process improvement initiatives, enhancing team capabilities, implementing a knowledge management system, and a robust operating model. This resulted in consistently meeting the SLA and improving the customer service and experience.
The strategy helped retain the customer and increased their annual spend. Annual revenue increased by US$ 500K, improved customer satisfaction scores from 3.5 to 6.0.