Flexible Deployment Methodology Accelerates Adoption

Flexible Deployment Methodology Accelerates Adoption

The broadband marketplace faces constant transformation, attempting to derive as much value as possible from existing infrastructure, while simultaneously adding new products and services. To achieve this the business requires systems that allow routing by service or service combination, matched to the technician skill-set and location. With increased choices, customers have come to demand products and services that are faster, higher quality, and less expensive. Customer loyalty has created a conflict between escalating customer expectations and profit-driven management.

For this purpose one of the largest Multi System Operators (MSO) in the broadband industry sought the assistance of Cliintel to align their workforce management operational support systems.

Focus on the routing group resulted in an increase of two jobs per day that the in-house technicians could complete. In doing so, the market’s dependency upon their contract groups was reduced.

The Client:

The MSO was the nation’s largest provider of cable television, high-speed internet and local telephone service in 14 markets across the country.

The Business Issue:

The Sacramento market has over 40 dispatchers and 300 technicians supporting a market with 350,000+ subscribers. The market utilizes multiple groups of contractors to assist in field installations, service and audit functions. A recent billing system conversion prompted the client to implement CSG’s Workforce Express product to enhance service delivery. The market had limited success in previous implementations of similar projects. The client assigned Cliintel to manage the Sacramento market implementation to increase the probability of success based upon the experience gained in similar markets. Cliintel project managers worked with the Sacramento Management Team to determine where the largest ROI could be achieved, and then to help them achieve it.

The Solution:

Cliintel and the Sacramento Management Team determined that the largest ROI could be achieved by gaining control of the contract groups, as well as their internal technician group. For this project Cliintel utilized their proven implementation methodology referred to as “DART”.

DART is a representation of the four critical areas within a service provider’s Field Operations organization:

  • Dispatch
  • Administration
  • Routing
  • Technicians

DART enables all resources working on the implementation project to focus their energies on a specific department while reminding them that there are other departments dependent upon them for success.

Lessons learned from previous implementations had shown that different markets, even though they deliver similar products, have widely varying delivery processes and procedures. Due to the variations, a flexible deployment methodology would be required to increase the adoption of the tool and the resulting return on investment.

During the initial scope meetings, the team determined that the most appropriate manner to approach the implementation would be to focus initially on the Routing group, followed by the Dispatch group, and ending with the service technicians, with the appropriate administrative aspects being handled within these three groups. This approach would satisfy the market’s greatest needs by increasing the client’s control over their contract groups and their internal technician group. In addition, it was believed that by winning over the highly visible Routing group first, the remainder of the groups would align themselves quickly thereafter.

Within the implementation process, even though initial focus was given to the routing group, the technicians were given their new handheld devices at the beginning of the process. That way the technicians could become familiar with the capabilities inherent to the new handheld solution by the time the system was installed.

The Results:

By managing the implementation with a process that allowed for flexibility based upon the client’s needs, the approach maximized the ability of the Sacramento market to succeed. Focus on the Routing group resulted in an increase of two jobs per day for the in-house technicians. In doing so, the market’s dependency upon their contract groups was reduced. The net result was an increase in control on the available work to be done.

Also, since the technicians had familiarized themselves with the handheld devices, they began utilizing the wireless functionality provided by the WFX product before the “turn-up” of the devices. In doing so, the technicians realized that they no longer were dependent upon the existing paper Work Order system. Thus, the technicians helped push the implementation of the project.

Even though the focus of the initial project was on the routers, it was the technicians that took advantage of the implementation. In doing so, it increased the buy-in to the system and ultimately added to the success of the implementation.

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Business Intelligence, Key Performance Indicators & Strategy

Business Intelligence, Key Performance Indicators & Strategy

Since Robert Kaplan and David Norton popularized the “balanced scorecard” approach to managing business performance in 1996, senior executives have eagerly embraced its prescription for measurable objectives and key performance indicators as the answer to all business problems. At the top of the pyramid, enlightened corporate leaders understand the need for strategic direction and solid KPIs that demonstrate progress toward strategic goals,
facilitated by comprehensive business intelligence. But too often, the connection isn’t made between “big picture” strategy and the activities of front-line employees further down the pyramid.

Today, corporate leaders live by robust sets of metrics that track their contributions to profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee retention. Their employees likewise focus on their individual numbers for sales, customer response time, and professional development. Unfortunately, because they may not really understand the relationship between their daily performance and their company’s strategic direction, much can get lost in translation. Widely disseminated business intelligence can be the missing link.

Strategy vs. Metrics

In a cable company call center, for example, customer care agents pay close attention to statistics like time spent with each customer and the abandon rate for incoming calls. These metrics are factors in a company-wide strategic pursuit of happier, more loyal customers. But without business intelligence that illustrates the relationship between customer loyalty strategy and call center metrics, progress can stall. Even the most conscientious employee may rush a customer call to meet a time target, ultimately damaging the relationship that is the core of business success. Business intelligence helps all employees see both the forest and the trees.

Your Business Intelligence Advisor/Knowledge Broker

For many companies, the most effective way to bridge the divide between the top and bottom of the organization chart is with assistance from an independent business intelligence advisor skilled in communicating with people at all professional levels. An objective consultant can bring a fresh set of eyes to longstanding issues, acting as a knowledge broker between the executive suite and employees in the field. The resulting business intelligence tools will give everybody the information they need to improve. Look for an advisor who understands business performance and the technical tools available to resolve issues, and who is experienced in breaking down organizational barriers of culture, resources and education.

Share the Wealth: Business Intelligence for All

Limiting your view of business intelligence to performance measurement will limit its impact. Executives are often nervous about distributing corporate-level data such as risk management and financial reports too broadly. While there may be legitimate reasons for such concerns, they should be weighed against the value of building the most well-informed workforce possible. An organization’s leaders know what happened and when, but the people with first-hand knowledge of why it happened are usually in field offices. Making your organization’s business intelligence widely available at all levels lets the C-suite learn from the field and vice versa. Isolating information limits your company’s ability to get smarter.

To learn more about business intelligence software, please visit www.cliintel.com or e-mail askcliintel@cliintel.com.

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