Case Study 7
We help a UK IT Company earn £millions
A large UK IT company won a new customer, and retained their largest customer, by employing one of our interim managers.
Winning a New Customer for the IT company
The potential new customer, a leading player in vehicle leasing, wanted to transfer their Print and Post contract from their existing supplier. With just over a month remaining on their old contract, they needed a firm assurance that the service could be transferred in time. Eight document types (including invoices, statements, and direct debit advance notices), for four group brands were required. The service would need to receive the data, verify it, mailsort, create print images with appropriate logos, print, fold, envelope & post hundreds of thousands of documents a year.
Achieving this in the timescale would be a challenge to any company. Complexities included installing a new secure 80 mile communications line with gateways and routers, receiving the files in a proprietary format that the company could not read, bespoke logo printed envelopes, writing applications to verify and process the data, and not least, no budget. This service was vital to the customer, since if the documents were not sent out on-time, millions of pounds of revenue would be delayed, and if the service failed, the customer's existence could be in jeopardy.
No one likes projects like this; a month is hardly long enough to find appropriate and available team members, acquaint them with the requirements, and draw up a plan that they can all support. The ability of our man to manage the almost impossible was to be put to the test. During the project, the project manager:
- Identified the required tasks & skills, and pulled together a dynamic project plan.
- Persuaded 42 people from different locations across the company, many of whom had never met each other, to contribute their expertise to a new virtual team.
- Found and persuaded another customer to allow the use one of their computers that could read the propriety data format.
- Organised data to be couriered to a location where the data was read, then transmitted to another location from where it could be uploaded to a mainframe where the applications software would run, until the dedicated communications line and gateway could be commissioned.
- Prioritised each document type according to the date on which it first needed to be printed, allowing each document type to be ready 'just in time'.
- Produced daily work schedules and closely managed and motivated the virtual team to deliver.
- Kept the new customer reassured throughout.
On the day when the first documents were due to be posted, the envelopes arrived and the documents were printed and posted; other document types following in time. Rather than the IT company turning away a potential customer, our man ensured that the now impressed customer was onboard with a medium-term contract.
Customer and Revenue Retention
The same IT company was at risk of loosing a customer worth £6m in annual revenue at the end of the existing contract. The famous brand soft drinks customer thought that the quality of services rendered had been in decline and had reached an unacceptable level, with perception ratings at an all-time low.
The same interim manager was asked to run a major programme to improve the quality of the whole range of services provided to that customer, including Desktop, Client-Server, Database, Help-desk, Event Management, and Networks.
While talking to the customer, he discovered that the real problem was one of IT company staff attitude, particularly a lack of "can-do" thinking. A programme of 21 service improvement projects was run alongside a set of initiatives to improve the working of the IT company and its staff.
Following the conclusion of the programme, the customer perception ratings reached an all-time high, the contract was renewed, and additional business with the customer gained.See other case study in this section Back to Project Management