The Three Corner Solution
For an order-to-activate strategy to be workable and acceptable it must first focus on three underlying areas - customer experience, cost optimisation and cash flow / revenue management. When these three are scrutinised and improved, the order-to-activate process stands a better chance of being aligned with current business needs.
- Customer experience - There are two components to creating a great customer experience. The first is to offer a predictable and consistent service that meets customer expectations. The second is to reduce cycle time in provisioning. By implication, it is important to improve customer communications. Keeping an information-rich dialogue open with the customer reduces churn. Additionally it can help build powerful differentiation through service rather than through price.
- Cost optimisation- Cost reduction/ cost avoidance is fast becoming core to a successful order-to-activate story. First, the cost to serve itself must be optimized. This can be achieved by reducing labor inputs using automation and optimizing inventory.
- Cash flow/revenue management - Cash flow can be improved by reducing cycle time, reducing errors in order processing, reducing process steps and resources required to fulfill orders. Revenue management on the other hand can be better managed by reducing order fallouts and the costs associated with retrieving an order.
The benefits of ripping and restructuring the order-to-activate process are innumerable from a CSP perspective. With increased revenue through early billing there is an improvement of 15 per cent in order to bill cycle time. There is cost avoidance which involves 15-20 per cent reduction in engineering visits and 10 to 15 per cent improvement in inventory utilisation and a 15 to 20 per cent reduction in test. There is cost reduction as well with reduced customer churn through predictive analytics.
The crux of a CSP is that as technology and network proficiencies improve, so should processes that define customer satisfaction and revenue management. Digging into every aspect of the order-to-activate process, upgrading it and streamlining, is an immediate way to ensure that service management becomes a way of creating a differentiator as well as leading to revenue growth.