This project was shortlisted for the Global Sourcing Association (GSA) 'International Project' category in 2022. View here.
The Global Head of End User Services at a global life sciences business faced a perfect storm.
Budgets were being cut, service improvements had stalled, compliance with global standards were inconsistent and user experience was severely limited.
The client made improvements, e.g. with localised language service desks, but weaknesses remained in the service model, such as poor user experience.
The challenge was to deliver a step change in service while reducing cost – with users spanning 100+ countries including very expensive locations.
Coeus was asked to design and test a new service blueprint to improve user experience while meeting a 10% budget task.
Best Practice & Governance
Coeus’ starting point was a Current State Assessment interviewing key stakeholders and reviewing operational documentation.
It would have been easy to look for incremental improvements to a mature and frankly conventional service model (client owned ServiceNow instance, centralised Service Desks and localised field engineers).
Instead, working with a client with the courage to pursue a more radical agenda, Coeus began from first principles to develop a variety of hypotheses for a new service model. Each would be disruptive to implement with the outcomes far from certain.
Coeus took a highly data driven approach to understand the workload content, probe how service varied geographically and model how throughputs could be decentralised to more local delivery.
Coeus analysed a year of ticket data finding numerous corruptions and inconsistencies along the way. It would have been easy to abandon the analysis as a lost cause, but they worked through the anomalies with corrections and synthesised throughputs until they had a usable baseline with clearly articulated assumption base.
A by-product of this granular data-centric approach was the identification of geographic disparities in productivity as input to future improvement initiatives.
In order for the proposed service model to work effectively, Coeus designed a new governance structure to address previous inconsistencies and promote continuous improvement on a global basis.
Coeus modelled each hypothesis for the impact of moving ticket resolution away from centralised low-cost operations to a higher skilled, individually more expensive Level 1/Level 2 Unified Workforce operating predominantly in country and in native or near native language.
This second stage analysis allowed them to narrow down to a favoured option that they developed into a design blueprint at site level offering a mix of walk-in centres, full or part-time on-site presence and virtual walk-in centres.
The analysis also determined the case for investment in unmanned walk-in pods at medium sized locations (vs on-site resources) and vending options to improve request/incident resolution at smaller sites.
To ensure the blueprint could be implemented in practice, Coeus considered the practicalities of minimum resourcing levels, operating local shift patterns and continuing to provide a follow the sun ticket resolution service.
Coeus developed an outline business case including bottom-up global model to cost workloads on a geographically dispersed basis, synthesise supplier margins and estimate the costs of change.
Coeus supported the tender process to define requirements, set the service metrics (including balanced scorecard to drive global standards) and lot up the scope according to geography, scale and language drivers.
It was expected that the incumbent supplier would struggle with such a radical shift, particularly as they had a vested interest in leveraging the existing shared resources and infrastructure but were pleasantly surprised that they embraced the challenge.
They recognised the need to focus on user experience and welcomed the opportunity to revisit their own operating model as a springboard to a new service offer for their wider client base.
Coeus stayed committed to its approach and offer despite the assignment proving to be much more challenging than could have been anticipated. This was appreciated by the client.
Coeus brought a broad and experienced skill set spanning data analytics, service management operating model assessment/design, solution design, business case derivation, contract and tender support whilst working collaboratively with the client team to develop the final blueprint.
Implementation of the new blueprint has recently completed.
User experience is greatly enhanced with First Time Fix rates up to 74% (from 35% previously) and customer satisfaction ratings are at an all-time high.
75% of end users now have direct access to engineers or support pods (up from 60%).
Remote support for the remaining 25% of smaller sites is delivered by the better skilled Unified Workforce, often in native language.
Strategically, the Client wants to ensure the best possible information is available to growers in often remote locations with limited access to technology. The improved service to these far-flung parts of the estate will enhance crop reliability and the lives of many farmers around the world.
Cost reduction is also on target to hit the business case savings of 22% over the five-year term.
The service blueprint was developed and implemented during the Covid pandemic. A side benefit is that services are now much more resilient to global or local impacts.
Shared service centres are inherently more vulnerable due to their concentration of resources. The distributed model in the blueprint has in-built flexibility to shift workloads in the event of a local disruptive event.
Read how Coeus conducted an EUS review and strategic sourcing assessment for a Financial Services organisation here.