Editor’s note: Contributor Ellen van Aken is an experienced intranet adoption manager. Follow her @EllenvanAken
One of the most successful “SharePoint solutions” has been the Incident Log of one of the APAC companies. It was built to be a temporary (1.5 years) site to solve an urgent business problem, until SAP would provide the proper CRM functionality. Due to postponement of the SAP rollout, it is still heavily used today (more than 3 years later). The site is praised for its user-friendliness and transparency. In fact, rumors are that users are NOT looking forward to changing this system to SAP
What was the problem?
The country’s Customer Service Desk received their customer complaints in various ways: from 7 different systems, via email, snail mail, telephone, fax and by going to the Customer Service desk. Information provided was seldom complete, and there was no central system or agreed process to log and manage complaints. Many complaints were lost during the process, and if they were not, turnaround could vary from 2 weeks to 2 years.
All complaints were reimbursed to the customer, because it was almost impossible to properly investigate a complaint.
There was no insight in root causes of complaints, so it was not easy to make any improvements to systems or processes.
What is the solution?
The country organized a workshop with all involved disciplines, describing the current and the desired process. The Business Process Owner Order-to-Cash and I worked together to turn an Issue List into a streamlined Incident Logging, Processing and Managing system, that would enable all involved parties (Customer Services, Quality Assurance, Warehouse Managers, Finance, and even the external Transport Company) to quickly add, review and edit information. Every complaint was one list item.
On the Home Page an overview of all open incidents, and their accumulated value, are shown as a very high-level dashboard.
The Homepage is dashboard for open incidents and process information.
We added some Corasworks tricks, such as a Search function and an automated email that would copy much of the Incident’s information into an email to the transporter, in case a delivery had to be taken back to the Warehouse.
Of course, with a major process like this, it took a long time to get this realized. But as usual, thinking was the most work. What is the current process? Where does it hurt? What is the best flow? How can we make it complete, but keep it simple and workable? How do we train people? How do we manage changes? How do we make this truly a part of a new way of working? The BPO and I spent long hours discussing both the process and the functional implementation.
First part of the data entry screen.
What are the benefits?
- The country now has one database for all Incidents, enabling different ways to sort, group or filter: by Product, by Complaint Type, by Customer, Open for longer than 2 weeks, etc.
- Key Performance Indicators have been agreed and can be monitored.
- System and process are agreed and transparent, eliminating the need to discuss the process repeatedly
- Turnaround time has decreased to as low as 2 hours due to more insight and less handling
- Due to the better insight it has been possible to improve processes and performance. One transport company has already been discontinued since they caused many problems. Others have been given a warning. Changes have been made in the factory to solve certain issues. This has decreased the total number of Incidents by about one-third.
- Significantly less money has to be paid to customers. Now that the process has been agreed, it is easier to assign responsibility. If the customer has caused the problem, no money is reimbursed. If the transport company has caused the problem, they have to pay.
All in all, this Team Site has saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and there is much less discussion about the process.