The telecommunications industry has been a leader in the adoption of business intelligence technologies to refine the processes carried out and service their customers more effectively. Given the industry's high-tech specialties they are generally an early adopter of new technologies and when it comes to business intelligence and report scheduling and automation this has certainly proven to be the case.
As diverse as the industry is we will attempt to identify some of the major areas where benefits can be derived. The first is with major providers to the retail markets. These enterprises have millions of customers who typically are provided with a bill for usage at the end of every month. This is the case for home phones, mobile phones, internet service providers and cable television providers. In many cases the home-based products are packaged and served by a single provider, allowing for cost savings for the customer. A business intelligence system can analyze the usage patterns of customers in order to provide them with a tailored package which best suits their needs.
Then a report scheduling system can be employed to forward bills to customers via traditional mail or email as soon as they are available. SMS notification can also be scheduled so that customers are instantly aware of when their payments are due. Follow-up emails and notifications to call center staff can also be arranged on an event-driven basis, if the customer's bill has remained unpaid for a period of time.
For telecommunications companies who have retail outlets or provide equipment for sale in partners' retail establishments there is a constant need for sales and inventory monitoring. Business intelligence software can be used to determine daily sales across the breadth of the company. These can in turn be analysed in order to commit resources to replenishment of stock levels through manufacturing or procurement from a supply chain. Virgin Mobile is an example of a major mobile company which used this technology to realise large increases in the efficiencies in operations of their supply chain.
Territories which have below average sales can be targeted for increases in marketing budgets or special offers in order to regain traction. The ability to respond rapidly to changes in the market in this manner is a key component to retaining competitive advantage in fast-moving markets such as the smartphone market.
Telecommunication companies dealing with larger corporate and government clients can avail of this technology for delivering performance, usage and other types of feedback reports. Zintel Group implemented report scheduling to automatically forward call reports to their 4,000 clients, saving over $100,000 in the process.
Aviation professionals are becoming acutely aware of the necessity of using report automation technology for maintenance report scheduling. Due to the size and scale of aviation MRO processes, there is a vast ocean of technical information that needs to be processed by MRO professionals in the aviation industry. A major problem that airlines have encountered is that manual, paper driven reporting can’t keep up with changing realities, especially when major maintenance events and overhaul initiatives are in play.
Airline and MRO professionals have assembled in conferences, such as the SAP airlines summit to help resolve the problem of how airlines can improve efficiency, safety and compliance by moving to electronic processes. They have discovered that switching to report automation radically expedites the implementation of changes and processing of major events, in such a way that processes that used to take several months can now be accomplished in a matter of days. This is only one of several benefits that report automation provides to aviation maintenance professionals. Let’s take a look at some other examples:
Usage based maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to aircraft safety and it is imperative for airlines to ensure their fleets are being maintained properly. Using manual reporting, the logistics of keeping track of the usage of aircraft and using that information to dictate maintenance scheduling, make it virtually unmanageable. What airlines have opted to do instead is to change machinery on time-schedules regardless of use. This means that unused aircraft are maintained at the same rate as active aircraft, creating a lot of waste but ultimately ensuring that all aircraft are in good condition before takeoff.
Report automation can eliminate the waste of resources associated with time-based scheduling, while maintaining safety standards through event-based scheduling. Advanced report automation software, such as Christian Steven Software’s Crystal Report Distributor can have reports sent out instantly and automatically when events take place, creating greater awareness of aircraft usage. This means that after a predetermined amount of use, aircraft can serviced by maintenance staff, who will be informed through an automatically generated report that the aircraft is ready for maintenance. This creates greater efficiency and as a result related expenditures will be significantly reduced.
Reduced administrative costs: Manual reporting is not only slower than automated reporting, but it is also more expensive. Once report automation processes are set up, the software generates and sends reports automatically without the need for administrative maintenance. Due to the high amount of work orders and reports that airlines need to process on a daily basis, administration associated with manual reporting can be quite costly. Report automation eliminates the need for these costs by reducing the number of work hours related to report generation.
Improved customer service: Communicating effectively with customers is an integral part of maintaining customer satisfaction. The more information aviation maintenance professionals provide to customers about work orders, the more confident customers will be that their order will be processed properly. Rather than generating an email to internal customers that says “your request is being processed”, it would be better to send an email providing details about each customer’s request so that they can confirm that their order will match their expectations. The scale of aviation maintenance operations prevents administrators from sending out a customized report to each customer manually. With report automation, customized reports can be generated automatically and can provide the customer with a detailed email describing the work to be completed along with photos of the equipment or machinery involved.
Many airlines have already applied report automation to improve the efficiency, safety and accuracy of their operations and are already reaping the benefits. Cessna, an aircraft manufacturer which has sold and delivered more aircraft than any other company in history, uses Christian Steven Software’s Crystal Report Distributor to manage their reporting. As a result, they have saved $200,000 a year and $1.4 million over seven years on a single maintenance operation alone by switching from time-based to usage-based maintenance. By eliminating manual processing of work orders and reports, they have saved over 1,000 work hours per year, getting a full return on their initial investment three months after purchasing the software. They have also greatly improved their customer service levels through more detailed communication between Cessna maintenance engineering and its internal customers.
Find out what Christian Steven Software can do for your company. For more information on how other companies have used our software successfully, visit our Case Studies section, or download a free trial of our software to get started today automating your own report workflows.
This week we check in with Max Pucher, who dusted off some blog posts from his long-running blog on the subject of Business Process Management. Making the rounds in social media this week in particular was this gem: The Texas Two-Step of BPM and ACM. ACM stands for Adaptive Case Management.
And we also want to recognize Michael Menard, who released an important book this week about, among other things, the role of business process optimization in selecting the right projects, as well as the importance and impact to businesses of making the right choices. The book is called, "A Fish in Your Ear: The New Discipline of Project Portfolio Management". It is available for purchase from Amazon.