The Evolution of a Supply Chain Planning Support Team

From a small local player … 

When I joined “DynaSys SA”, 16 years ago, the company was an independent French provider of Supply Chain software.

Everything was done locally at that time: R&D, Sales Rep, Project Management team, and Executives were in the same building. For any question, you just had, in the worst case, to climb two floors up to ask it directly to the right person. 

DynaSys was selling most of its products to French customers, and the number of customers actually using n.SKEP, when I joined the Support Team, could be counted on one single hand. We were 3 people supporting them, handling calls, answering questions, fixing bugs, all attached to R&D, in addition to a few additional persons supporting other older software and handling phone calls. 

Of course, the organization was flexible but informal, and even fuzzy regarding the cross-department interactions; the tools relied mostly on Microsoft Office and Outlook for customer requests management, or in-house tools for some of them; the relationship with customers was intimate but unstandardized and neither measured nor documented … That was more than sufficient for our business anyway. 

And then, over the years, DynaSys success story went ahead, and more and more customers started enjoying our solution. Customers requiring help, having usage questions. Encountering difficulties sometimes. 

The number of support requests increased, and with the growing experience of DynaSys in the Supply Chain domain, more complex projects were started.

New people joined the Support team in order to manage the growing success of the solution while customers appeared outside France, in UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and the number of industries covered by the various projects increased; the needs to share knowledge, to adjust the organization, to adapt to different cultures and customers business and organization appeared.

After a while, questions raised about the way we could improve. The way we could better inform our customers regarding the way their requests are handled. The way we could better manage our priorities and have a better overview of our activities. The way we could continue growing, with a larger organization, without losing what makes us appreciated by our customers: the intimacy with them, the trust they have in us, the flexibility, the recognized expertise.

… to a Global Major actor.

QAD acquired DynaSys in 2012. And this has been our great opportunity to answer our organizational questions: QAD, as a leading provider of enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies, already faced the same questions and found the answers a long time before: ISO certified, strong procedures defining the support activity, worldwide 24/7 Support, unified incidents management system, interconnected phone system, internal and external documentation… Everything was in place in order to sustain strong and efficient support for QAD’s customers all around the world. 

QAD DynaSys Support widely took inspiration from QAD in order to adapt to our growing success, like a little brother taking inspiration from his bigger successful brother. We managed to keep our specificity and at the same time reinforce our weaknesses by adapting the solutions already used by QAD. 

One of the best examples is the ISO certification process. We widely adopted the QAD Support processes and added some specific procedures in order to define what was different in DynaSys. Old legacy tools were replaced by QAD ones. We put in place ISO leaders, trained them, and with a large help of QAD people and experience, but also thanks to the strong involvement of every QAD DynaSys Support Team member, we managed to walk on the path of ISO certification. We adapted the metrics put in place by QAD in order to measure our activity, which helped us in understanding what we could do, how we could improve, and what were our limits. We demonstrate our continuous will to improve by frequently reviewing our organization and our methods. 

Today, we can be proud of the accomplishments: QAD DynaSys Support organization is now extended to other sites in order to efficiently answer to our customers in Europe, US, Mexico, Australia … and we improve the way we support our customers month after month, year after year, led in this by our ISO certification process and QAD experience in this domain. Being ISO certified is demanding, it requires resources, time and certain knowledge acquisition, but also a strong engagement from everyone in the team; however, when it is done the right way, it represents a real opportunity to identify what weaknesses affect your organization and how you can reinforce them. Daily work is eased, and driven in order to continuously improve the service delivered. Customer satisfaction has increased and it is more clear-cut for them how and when we solve their questions. 

Of course, there is still room for improvement, and we do not want to stop where we are today.