Why Driving Improvements Beyond Organisation Boundaries Matter? by Ramkumar Viswanathan

Business improvements and customer experience are topics that are very close to my heart. Driving business improvements is my core capability. Delivering better customer experience through improvements is something that I am passionate about.

As an Improvement lead, my current adventure is to improve O2’s Change Process. On a daily basis, O2 uses this process to make a fundamental difference to its Network & IT landscape – whether it is maintenance, upgrade or rollout of new technology. With close to 100k changes a year, this is a key operational process. If this process does not live up to the expectations, O2’s customers are going to know pretty soon as the service will be affected.

Until recently, the focus has always been on the implementation and delivery of a change on the day. However with growing customer base and changing time, customers' expectations have grown and so has O2’s commitments to them. Therefore, in order to provide a consistent customer experience across the piece, there was a clear need for improving the operational efficiency. However, there was a small challenge. Just like any other big organisation in today’s world, the end-end process stretched beyond the organisation boundary. From the start of last year (2017), I dedicated my efforts to a key yet challenging area of the business that had 60+ vendors(yes, 60+ vendors!).

Recently, I visited one of our key vendors’ office to conduct a workshop/awareness session with 30+ people. The session was very effective mainly because everybody shared the common ethos of delivering better customer experience through operational excellence. During the workshop, we discussed a number of challenging issues and used a data-driven approach to develop a deep understanding of root cause & solutions to it.

Result: Until date, there has been 25% improvement. That means only one thing – Better Service and hence improved Customer experience.

Here is a pic of cross-border team in serious action mode (Sorry, next time I will take a better picture)

Final thoughts:

Irrespective of where you work, the key thing is to understand where your process is delivering great customer experience. Therefore if you are: An improvement or transformation professional - You will have to break the mould and encourage organisations to be bold enough to stretch into its supply-chain. Only then, they can truly become “customer-centric”. An Operations Manager/Leader – Know where your process begins and ends from the customer experience point of view. Then look at how you can improve continuously to deliver better customer experience.

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Ram Viswanathan is a passionate operational excellence specialist with global experience of delivering successful & sustainable business improvements across multiple sectors. In his 15 years of experience, he has delivered business improvements in several flavours. 

Some of them include:
1. Digital Transformation
2. Post-merger integration and Target Operating Model design
3. Pure-play process improvements
4. Cost Transformation

Although Ram has been delivering change for a long-time, he still considers himself as a student and is always looking for ways to improve.