Success Story: Operational excellence in high-tech manufacturing

Building a superior customer experience one real-time insight at a time

  • Headquarters

    USA
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    A lack of real-time operational insights contributed to customer churn due to satisfaction issues, lost revenue through ‘credits’ issued for reporting errors, and inefficient operations slowed by manual corrective efforts.

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Potential issues are identified and resolved before they negatively impact operations, thereby reducing SLA violations
    • Improved customer satisfaction and retention
    • Increased revenue

Description

This leading global high-tech manufacturer (‘the Manufacturer’) has hundreds of tier-one production suppliers and ships over 100,000 systems each day – that’s more than 1 per second. The company focuses on striking a balance between providing the right product at the right time and ensuring operational excellence.

Complexity vs. excellence in the supply chain

In high-tech manufacturing, excellence in the supply chain typically translates to a superior customer experience, competitive differentiation, and maximized revenue opportunities. On the other hand, with a complex web of parts suppliers, factories, assembly facilities, and third-party logistics providers, a breakdown, miscommunication, or unforeseen delay in any one part of the supply chain has significant ripple effects that can negatively impact the customer experience.  

For the Manufacturer, a lack of real-time operational insights hindered the proactive monitoring and intervention required to meet SLAs and keep customers happy.

Data-driven revenue comes with a tight SLA

To track items they have ordered and received, the Manufacturer’s enterprise customers subscribe to its paid reporting service that enables them to keep an accurate inventory by entering the equipment into an IT Asset Management system. In a single day, the Manufacturer delivers tens of thousands of these reports to customers around the globe – and generates tens of millions in subscription revenue each year. 

To create these reports, the Manufacturer must collect information from several internal systems and marry it with information from third-party factories that assemble and ship all or parts of the orders to customers. The service level agreement (SLA) requires the reports to be delivered 24 hours after the order was submitted by the customer.

In a single day, the Manufacturer delivers tens of thousands of these reports to customers around the globe – and generates tens of millions in subscription revenue each year. 

 
The customer, not the Manufacturer, was the first to know when something went wrong

Unfortunately, the necessary data was not always where it needed to be in order to meet the 24-hour SLA. For example, analysis of reports in a single region of the world found that over 30% contained errors or were missing information.

With no way to proactively identify which reports would fail or have missing information, it was typically the customer that informed the Manufacturer when a report was incomplete or inaccurate, which made for a dissatisfied customer. As a result, the Manufacturer was losing subscribers to the service and/or having to issue credits for missed SLAs or incorrect reports. In addition, the manual intervention required to troubleshoot issues resulted in higher operational costs for the Manufacturer.

Equipping operations to go from reactive to proactive with real-time insights

The opportunity for the Manufacturer was to put the right monitoring and analytics in place to make sure they were aware of at-risk reports due to data availability or accuracy issues. The requirements included end-to-end monitoring and visibility capabilities that would enable proactive identification of issues, faster problem resolution, and, ultimately, no more missed SLAs. In effect, they needed a “single pane of glass” to collect data from multiple sources and present information in a business context that would alert representatives to abnormal patterns or incorrect data, and give them time to remedy the problem before it impacted the customer experience. 

To meet these requirements, the Manufacturer selected AMPLIFY Decision Insight, an operational intelligence solution that enables business users to make faster, smarter decisions. Dashboards and alerts provide full visibility into what is happening now, notify users of threats and opportunities that require immediate action, and assess the potential impact of their decisions on customer, regulatory, and business obligations.

Rapid development yields rapid results

The project began with a “lean workshop,” a rapid engagement service for data discovery, assessment, and development of initial analytic dashboards. The workshop was completed in a few days, and included the build of nine operational visual dashboards. 

Success criteria achieved:

  • A set of analytics dashboards that enable the Manufacturer’s operations team to receive early warnings in time for correction, identify root causes, and automate the discovery of issues
  • Extensibility for a phased, agile development approach
  • Overall governance through auditability of reporting

For the first phase of the operational intelligence solution implementation, the Manufacturer decided to focus on a single region of the world where reporting issues were most urgent. On the very first day using the dashboards built during the lean workshop, the Manufacturer identified and corrected close to 100 orders in just two hours — issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed until the customer pointed them out.

Based on the success of the first regional deployment, Decision Insight is now being deployed on a global basis.

On the very first day using the dashboards built during the lean workshop, the Manufacturer identified and corrected close to 100 orders in just two hours — issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed until the customer pointed them out.

 

Ready to deliver a great customer experience through operational excellence?

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