Arnaud Hédoux, Marketing Director at DynaSys, want to create a global customer community around the DSCP solution. To reach this goal, he strongly believe in Customer Engagement.
How would you describe the Customer Engagement?
Customer Engagement is our commitment to our customers. We engage with 100% of our customers at least once a year as they are constantly growing and evolving with their industry. Therefore, we want to listen to their challenges and opportunities so we could evaluate whether a customer is using the functionality and technology to its potential to overcome their challenges and exploit their opportunities. By collaborating with the customer, we are able to identify the optimal resolution; this may take the form of a solution reconfiguration or a solution upgrade to take advantage of enhanced capabilities. In some cases, additional solutions may be recommended, but these are not sales pitches. Such consulting engagements are provided free of charge based on our belief that successful customers become long-term customers.
Companies seldom achieve optimality in their initial implementation and must continually improve to remain competitive. The Customer Engagement process focuses on developing and maintaining an operational vision and plans for improvement that serves as the strategy for continually improving operational excellence.
How is Customer Engagement Different From Classical Customer Support?
Customer Engagement and Customer Support are very different. Our Customer Support team’s goal is to help our customers with their current Demand & Supply Chain Planning solution by resolving any issues that may occur; their support is reactive. Whereas our Customer Engagement team proactively works alongside our customers to challenge them with their solution and processes. Naturally, there is an element of overlap between the two teams as both are purely customer facing.
Who is Involved in Customer Engagement?
The customer engagement process involves a cross-functional team of DynaSys experts.
First, the Professional Service consultants communicate with our customers on a regular basis to understand their pain points. Next, the Business Manager orchestrates a relationship between the Customer Engagement team and the customer’s team. Then, the Business Consultant contributes domain expertise to determine the best-practice alignment and identify possible improvements. Finally, the Customer Support team is engaged if any questions about the customers’ implementation arise; almost every DynaSys service is involved in the Customer Engagement process.
On the customer side, we typically involve both top level executives as well as those engaged in day to day operations. For a fully effective Supply Chain process, representatives from Finance, IT and General Management are required to contribute to this process; we often find that they are eager to participate.
How Does the Customer Engagement Process Work?
Traditionally, it is the job of the Services team to measure the initial ROI and KPIs before and after a project to gauge the benefits. However at DynaSys, benefit realisation is not a one-off task executed in conjunction with a project, but an ongoing process performed by the Customer Engagement team to ensure the customer’s benefits are sustainable and progressing towards their desired outcomes.
Customer Engagement is a phased series of consultative meetings that include:
- An honest discussion about the company’s business objectives, challenges and priorities. During this meeting, we begin by looking at high level processes to steer the initial discussion. It is through discovery that we identify the specific processes and review unique areas in our customer’s model.
- A meeting with our customers’ senior executives occurs to discuss our findings from the Vision Workshop. This workshop typically results in a list of possible business process improvements that can provide substantial improvements to the customer by focusing on metrics and using the appropriate technology. The Vision process often identifies how to use current assets better without the need for additional software or services.
- The creation of a detailed roadmap for the deployment of the agreed-upon recommendations, including resource requirements, change management and knowledge transfer.
- DSCP-Scans are short, focused assessments offering insight into gaining maximum benefits from the technology that are both diagnostic and prescriptive. DSCP-Scans cover a variety of topics from process reviews, system performance and analytics, to compliance and upgrades.
Before a recommendation is actioned, the customer and DynaSys agree on the expected outcomes, metrics and KPIs that will measure the success of the initiative.
What are the Customer Engagement KPIs?
The Customer Engagement process evaluates metrics against a suite of performance indicators called “Effective Enterprise Key Performance Indicators.” The KPI framework includes a plethora of possible measurements of customer service, supplier performance, manufacturing efficiency, manufacturing schedule achievement, supply chain effectiveness, inventory effectiveness, asset utilization, financial compliance, industry compliance and IT effectiveness.
The metrics that best measure the customer’s performance against their goals are mapped to the solutions functionality. Every business is unique with unique challenges, thus, a unique KPI. Unfortunately, there are not “Magic KPIs” that work for every company; that would be too easy.
Tell us how the Customer Engagement Actually Helped a Customer?
I remember a customer in the wine and spirits manufacturing industry. During our Customer Engagement process, we noticed that the semi-finished products flowing from site to site were haphazard, resulting in shortages and/or overstock positions. At this time, the customer’s S&OP processes were single-site with very little communication between the sites. The DynaSys team recommended the customer extend their S&OP processes to provide global supply chain visibility and implement Distribution Planning to compliment their current Production Planning in order to better manage multi-sourcing. With DRP and global S&OP visibility, their semi-finished product flows are no longer an issue.
A Word to Conclude?
“Customer Engagement” is easier said than done, but we deliver on our promise. When we engage with customers on process improvement, the customer becomes more effective by creating process improvements that allow greater scalability in operations, reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction. In return, we benefit through enhanced customer retention, increased breadth of the solution delivered, growth in users and additional consulting engagements focused on further process improvements. The mutual benefits of our Customer Engagement process fuel our partnership with customers.