Author: Jesper Sjogren, Director, Strategy and Marketing
Cloud computing infrastructures, mobility and software defined networks (SDNs) are driving strong demand for fixed broadband services for both enterprise, small and midsized businesses. Telco and cable companies have the mix of technologies to answer these needs for services, including Ethernet, Time-division multiplexing (TDM) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technologies.
The key for maximizing a communication service provider’s (CSP) selling proposition is in how the trifecta of the service offering, time to market and price combine to compete in the marketplace. However, managing the order to provisioning to activation process can be highly complex. A traditional linear process that relies on manual interventions from siloed steps in this progression can inhibit successful execution and service delivery.
As the services provided by telcos have multiplied, so has the complexity of delivering them efficiently. Processes are often not documented, leaving the customer depending on the availability of “tribal knowledge” to complete each step of the provisioning process. This is unreliable and cumbersome and results in many returns to previous steps for corrections, causing missed commit due dates (CDD) and untimely delivery of service (UDOS).
Those missteps will result in higher costs per order and install fails that hinder CSPs from scaling operations to effectively meet demand while preserving margins. An outsourced service provider will bring the expertise, methodologies and innovative approaches needed to resolve this issue, improving customer experience and satisfaction.
One way to benchmark CSP’s time-to-market is market competitive interval targets (MCIT). This chart from various industry sources shows the average business days from order acceptance to completed circuit installation:
If the following conditions exist in your provisioning processes, it can be a prudent choice to consider the value a partner can bring to the back-office processes of provisioning, activation, and test and install:
- End-to-end processes are not documented; KPIs are not mapped
- Commitment demand dates are being missed as a regular course of business
- Revisions per order are escalating
- Failed installations are common
- Cost per order has escalated, cutting into margins
You Retain the Customer Relationship; We Increase Efficiencies in Back-Office Processes
Your customer relationships are critical for success. We understand and collaborate with you to support them by interfacing and collaborating with order management at the front end and dispatch for delivery.
In one case example, with a global CSP and covering 75% of all US Ethernet and TDM provisioning, the following steps were taken to improve the order-to-cash process and meet the goals of the client, which included time-to-market and cost improvements:
- Process review: At the onset, it was discovered that processes were not documented. Upon review, it was discovered that the existing process for order completion required 12 handoffs between teams with additional handoffs often occurring between individuals at the same role for escalations or rework.In the provisioning process, an overlap of duties was identified that created redundancies that could be eliminated by combining the activation and test & install teams. The application of data analytics created an assessment as to where inefficiencies happen, what process controls are needed, as well as to identify KPIs for improvement. Three examples of KPIs that reflected improvements needed for goal achievement included commit due date, days to order completion and number of revisions per order.
- Process Re-engineering: Rather than a linear process that silos skills based on expertise, creating a cell team structure of specialization around total product/service provisioning needs allowed for increased efficiencies and reduced costs. By enabling a cell team with the expertise needed to work together across the steps to design and provision, activate, test & install, handoffs and delays to dispatch are reduced.
- Business model transition: To drive behavior focused on time to market (TTM) a shift from an FTE to a transactional business model was suggested and agreed to. The FTE model was limiting resources necessary to meet the client’s goals. A transactional pricing model allowed SYKES to more intelligently manage the complexity and volume of orders to achieve higher efficiencies. Developing models to measure productivity and completion capacity allowed us to align operational targets, scorecards, and incentive structures with productivity and KPI attainment.
- Continuous process improvement: The incorporation of Lean Six Sigma methodology allowed for a front-load management method that enabled the cell teams to start processing new orders earlier than the original course had even called for. SYKES created a dedicated process improvement team that includes Black Belt and Green Belts. The confluence of Six Sigma project improvements has significantly improved all KPIs.
Results Achieved By Outsourcing Broadband Provisioning
- Assessed and provided carrier provisioning blueprint
- MCIT and Time to Market reduction; No build 53 days to 12 days, Build 70 days to 29 days
- Cost improvements – improved cost (USD) per order by 60 – 70%
- Improved customer experience and CSAT; CDDs were met 95% of the time vs. 64%
- Revisions were reduced 90% from 17 revisions per order to less than 2
- The cost of labor was reduced by 50% by off-shoring services
Meeting the demand for fixed broadband services can become a competitive advantage with the right process blueprint and execution plan for provisioning.
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