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Digital Supply Chain Management

The Digital Economy is huge and growing. McKinsey estimate the value of the global digital economy at $8 trillion in 2014. Despite global challenges and regardless of all other change, it grows at 8% per year.

Investment in the digital enterprise is massive: 3-8% of top line, according to Gartner. And it’s made for one reason – to enable staff and customers to interact digitally and effectively with the enterprise. This amounts to tens of billions of investment risk on returns in productivity and digital performance.

Aberdeen estimate that poor digital performance subtracts 9% of revenue. Digital customers can change with ease, and inconsistent quality puts membership and purchase decisions at risk. In the digital economy alone, this leaves more than $700 billion dollars of revenue at risk from poor digital performance.

Does your investment represent money well spent? What happens when the lights are green but customers still complain? How do you de-risk productivity impacts while managing systems transformations? How do you know you're investing where you need to? What is your measure of digital enterprise quality, and how does IT impact that?

In the physical world, these answers are derived through analysis and data-driven improvement processes. At every stage of production, variability in performance is the enemy of quality. Inconsistency of product is the antithesis of great brands. How many Apple phones are defective? Gartner ranks Apple number 1 in supply chain management performance. Competitor and customer voices are united in praise of great companies consistently delivering on their brand promise of quality.

The keys to the processes that build great brands include measurement of the consumption experience and data-driven identification of elements of the supply chain which inconsistently deliver against quality standards. Said simply, great brands stringently measure the Voice of the Customer (VoC) against product specifications and brand promises.

In the digital world, these answers have been impossible to derive. Digital products and services are designed and tested to perform, but every enterprise lacks a consistent measure of performance. Enterprise leaders lack a data-driven Voice of the Customer (VoC) metric.

The capabilities of the Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) include this, and more. It is the first solution that enables business leaders to manage the digital enterprise. The DSCD makes measurements of supply chain performance and produces a VoC analysis automatically, consistently and in real-time. Digital quality dashboards direct IT staff to the sources of misbehaviour in digital products and services, wherever they are found. Similar dashboards confirm to executive leadership that the digital enterprise is capable of supporting the business of the business.

Thumbnail of analytics showing a Digital Supply-Chain Analytics showing a Digital Supply-Chain

Analytics showing a digital supply chain and identifying weaknesses degrading the experience of users.

The business immediately knows that attention should be focussed on the WAN to have the greatest effect on customer and staff experience

No digital business is standing still. The velocity of technology change is also now fracturing the management model, as services are sourced from clouds and through mobile devices. An enterprise can have dozens of digital supply chain variations active at any time. New network, datacentre, application, services and infrastructure requirements appear to have no end. Failure to meet digital performance standards is a risk to productivity, revenue, and brand.

This is what the DSCD does. It enables business leaders to manage their digital investment by measuring the VoC as a benchmark for digital enterprise performance. It decomposes the digital supply chains that sit between users and services and rapidly identifies sources of misbehaviour degrading performance quality. IT can manage digital performance more consistently and Procurement can objectively score supplier performance and better manage contractual relationships. Customer support services are much improved through rapid triage and more informed support specialists.

Kept awake by business transformations?

The velocity of change within the digital enterprise is not slowing. New services from new suppliers, mobile workers with their own devices, and cloud platforms all stress management of the digital enterprise. You need transparency to digital supply chain performance to ensure that staff and customers will be able to work well regardless of change.

One of the greatest risks is that, quite simply, you don’t get what you’ve paid for – people can't work as well as they should, or there are teething problems that hinder staff and customers. The business is affected, sometimes severely, and the value of the investment is brought into question.

Our Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) enables enterprises to harden their digital supply chains, giving you confidence that new services will meet business KPIs. You can be certain that, from the moment of transformation, staff and customer experience will be all it should.

Thumbnail of analytics showing change in Human Experience as a result of an infrastructure change Analytics showing change in Human Experience as a result of an infrastructure change

The first view shows poor experience scores in all locations – and yet close to the limits of the digital supply chains.

In the second view, infrastructure transformation was enacted. Before staff were moved to the new platform, our Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) analysis ensured that the experience of customers, staff, partners and suppliers would be improved to the corporate standard. The DSCD validates the investment and demonstrates there is no risk to the business at the moment of change.

Automatic and continuous VoC analysis of digital supply chain performance identifies sources of digital impairment and misbehaviour before the service goes live.

When those weaknesses have been remedied, our DSCD proves that your investment was justified, by benchmarking user experience before and after transformation.

By linking the effects of transformation to the experience of customers, staff, partners, and suppliers, we give business leaders the confidence to act when change is required.

Click here to see how one of the world's leading publishers relied on us to give them the confidence to transform their business.

Confident you're investing effectively?

The digital enterprise has an unending, continuous hunger for investment. How do you focus finite resources where customer and staff experience will benefit most?

Technical metrics struggle to justify investment. If throughput increases 50%, will anyone notice? Is an application response time of 50ms good or bad? Is investment justified to reduce that to 20ms? It’s impossible to link technical performance data to business KPIs.

Thumbnail of analytics showing best-possible VoC with current Analytics showing best-possible VoC comparison with current

For Calypso, you need to focus human resources not financial ones. Our Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) identifies the sources of misbehaviour and our continuous, real-time Voice of the Customer (VoC) analysis efficiently directs remediation activity.

For SAP, the service is performing as well as it can, but staff experience is still poor. Service Management and support focus can't change that fundamental constraint; investment is needed.

Often, spend is targeted at areas that are perceived to perform poorly – “the network’s slow” or “we need bigger servers”. There’ll always be a technical reason to spend money, but how can you be confident that you’ll improve staff and customer experience by investing here rather than there? What if the experience doesn’t improve? Have you just wasted part of your budget?

Our Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) analysis continuously and automatically benchmarks the experience of using digital products and services. You’ll know exactly where the weaknesses are that hinder people and hurt the business and you’ll know how to fix them. You will not require technical jargon to do any of this; the DSCD provides all the data required for technical staff to address issues.

The data-driven DSCD mathematically links the performance of the digital business to the VoC for staff, partners, suppliers, and customers; enabling smarter, more focussed investment and jargon-free supplier management across the most complex of digital supply chains.

With its historical and current analytical capabilities, the DSCD provides an objective, science-driven VoC scorecard of digital quality. Dashboards on fixed or mobile devices present real-time validation of investment return by the only metric that really matters – a consistent quality experience of interacting with the digital enterprise. It is this experience which defines great brands.

Lights green, but customers still complaining?

Poor user experience hurts the digital enterprise

73% of performance problems are reported by end users rather than detected by monitoring tools. (Forrester)

Only 2% of users complain about bad experience. (Gartner)

Up to 9% top line is lost through underperformance in IT. (Aberdeen Group)

All the lights are green and the SLAs are being met. IT services appear to be working well.

Except they’re not. Customers and staff continue to register complaints, trouble ticket volumes grow, yet the technical tools report no signs of trouble. The Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) is unhappy.

Many enterprises spend countless hours chasing shadows within the digital enterprise. From desktop, WiFi, LAN, WAN, datacentre, Internet to mobile users and cloud providers – digital supply chains are an extraordinarily complex set of moving parts.

It’s all too common and immensely frustrating. The shadows have everyone working diligently for days, weeks or months, trying to diagnose and triage a problem which can’t be found.

As staff and suppliers are pulled into ever-larger service management meetings, resources are wasted and costs rise. The digital enterprise is impaired – efficiency, morale, revenue and even brand can be affected.

Voice-of-the-Customer data cuts to the heart of the problem. Automated, continuous and real-time service triage will inform you of the source of impairment at a glance – regardless of where it is in your digital supply chains.

We won the Institution of Engineering and Technology 2012 Award for Innovation in IT, and the IET said that:

"Actual Experience has been recognised as the only company in the world that can automatically create an IT Supply Chain view based on user experience and zoom in to pin-point and help solve IT problems that are affecting staff"

Thumbnail of Digital Supply-Chain Analytics showing a Digital Supply-Chain
A Digital Supply-Chain highlighting the problem that's hindering staff and customers

Now the scenario is very different – auto-triage alerts you to weaknesses in your digital supply chains as soon as they occur. You know exactly where the problem is – in your own infrastructure or in that of an external supplier – and you have the information required to take immediate action, improving staff and customer experience.

Business operations and brand are protected, expensive and frustrating shadow chasing is avoided and customer satisfaction is increased.

Read a case study to see how we took less than a week from initial engagement to deploy our Analytics and identify a problem that had plagued a business for six months.

Enterprise

The path to digital excellence has no end; it is a continuous journey. The digital enterprise is rife with change from mobility, smart mobile devices, and niche and general purpose cloud platforms. These increasingly complex digital supply chains can be very difficult to manage. Variability in digital performance impacts customer perception of staff productivity, quality, and brand.

In the physical world, rigorous, data-driven processes which manage supply chains have proven invaluable. These processes, such as Six Sigma, Kaizen or TQM, enable transparency to supplier and production performance, enabling enterprises to manage the mix of cost and quality, while minimizing brand risk. At the very front of these processes is the Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC), a critical metric for brand value, quality of production and business opportunity.

In the digital world, these processes do not exist because they are not technically possible. There is no way to ascertain VoC without treading into digital privacy issues. Until now. Actual Experience is proud to offer the world’s first service platform for Digital Supply Chain Management.

Our Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) service enables enterprises to analyse performance quality of digital products and services from the VoC perspective, rapidly triage service impairment issues, de-risk service transformations and migrations, and provides a common business language for comprehensive digital enterprise management.

We’re deployed across the world’s most complex digital supply chains –spanning multiple geographies, dozens of suppliers and thousands of users.

We deliver an analytics service which improves business management of the suppliers, services and infrastructures that comprise the digital enterprise.

De-risk business transformation

Automated, continuous, real-time VoC analysis proves that services deliver the expected performance to staff and customers and that validates investment.

Identify and fix weaknesses in your digital supply chains before services go into production – protecting brand, investment and user experience.

Define performance metrics which should be experienced in any location, before deployment decisions and investments are made.

Focus spend and drive cost out of IT

Understand where to target investment; make data-driven decisions on where to focus investment through VoC – improve productivity of staff and partners; improve the experience of customers interacting with the business.

Identify areas where spend can be delayed or avoided and where budget is wasted on over-provisioned infrastructure.

Improve procurement and supplier lifecycle management through quantified analysis of staff and customer experience.

Continuous service improvement across the entire IT estate

Data-driven VoC performance management of digital products and services delivered to staff and customers.

Benchmark the best experience which can be delivered by the digital enterprise and identify weaknesses that prevent the achievement of that standard.

Continuously quantify staff and customer experience. Identify issues even when all the technical lights are green and triage digital supply chains from the critical perspective of customer and staff experience.

MSP

Actual Experience works with many of the world’s leading managed service providers. Our Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) is deployed to improve customer satisfaction and retention, improve service/support processes and resourcing, manage complex outsources, de-risk transformation, identify new revenue opportunities and differentiate managed service offerings:

Continuous service management

When the SLAs appear to be met and the management console lights are green, it’s hard to know where to look when customers complain of poor experience. Tickets stay open, expensive engineers chase shadows and customer satisfaction is badly affected.

Our DSCD cuts straight to the heart of the problem. It isolates the weaknesses that affect your customers’ experience, and conclusively proves when the issue lies with another supplier or the customer themselves. Fast and data-driven digital supply chain management improves customer relationships, accelerates response time, and makes transparent the performance of other suppliers within the customer’s digital supply chains.

De-risking service transformation

Our DSCD delivers an automated and continuous Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC) analysis to prove that new services deliver the expected experience to staff and customers and that your customer’s investment is justified.

The DSCD provides key VoC quality metrics for service performance before migrating customers, staff, partners or suppliers to new service platforms. You will have the information to identify and remedy weaknesses in digital supply chains before services go live – protecting customer relationships as well as your own brand.

New revenue opportunities

Our DSCD shows you the entirety of the customer’s digital supply chain – from users on fixed and mobile connections straight to the applications they use and the content they consume. We deliver an understanding of what’s working well and what’s not, from the critical VoC perspective.

With this information, you see every part of your customers' digital enterprise and can target sales effort where it will have the greatest resonance and effect. This is proven to be an extraordinarily powerful method of sales engagement – delivering proof of where new products and services will have the greatest impact.

ISP

Both business and consumer ISPs use our Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) to improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, focus infrastructure investment and differentiate by providing a better experience for digital services important to customers.

We are deployed inside ISPs and our BbFix project is already used by thousands of consumers. We have provided digital supply chain management for digital services from Facebook to hosted webmail to Office 365.

Ofcom has used our service to help understand the state of ‘digital Britain’, by analysing consumers’ experience of commonly used Internet applications like iPlayer, Skype, VPN services and global DNS.

Reduce churn and support costs

When subscribers complain, but all the lights are green, the DSCD will tell you why. Whether the issue lies with the user’s WiFi, the local exchange, the ISP’s core or an upstream provider, we rapidly identify the source of service impairment.

Diagnostic triage is automated and continuous, and provides transparency to end-end service performance – eliminating the shadow chasing which is so costly in support resources and customer satisfaction.

Focus investment to greatest effect

With 10s or 100s of millions invested in national and international networking infrastructure, identifying exactly where to focus spend and why is a critical factor for business leaders. By linking the performance of your service to the experience of customers, our DSCD provides the information to validate where investment will have the greatest effect on customers – aiding retention and market competitiveness.

The DSCD also determines where certain investment can be avoided or delayed, if these areas are not the source of service impairment. This links every investment to the most important element – whether it will improve the experience of your customers.

Increase market differentiation and customer acquisition

Because our DSCD baselines the user experience of digital products and services delivered over any wired or wireless infrastructure, they deliver a competitive edge. Customer service is more knowledgeable about performance and can assist customers in triaging their connections. Performance to important services can be validated, leading to enhanced SLAs and internal management metrics.

Integrator

Integrators deploy Digital Supply Chain Director (DSCD) to improve service and control cost in complex, multi-vendor environments. We help to improve customer satisfaction and retention, improve service/support processes and resourcing, de-risk transformation, identify new revenue opportunities and differentiate managed service offerings.

Voice-of-the-Customer (VoC)

When all the SLAs are met and all the lights are green, it’s hard to know where to look when customers complain of poor experience. The challenge is even greater in multi-vendor, multi-supplier environments.

Our DSCD provides the data-driven VoC analysis required to isolate and fix weaknesses affecting your customers’ experience. It conclusively identifies the source of service misbehaviour, whether the issue lies with another supplier or with the customer. It improves customer relationships and times-to-fix, and demonstrates your capability to manage the fast-changing digital enterprise.

New revenue opportunities

The DSCD analysis considers the entirety of your customers’ digital supply chains – from users to content consumed. It defines what is working well and what is not – all from the critical perspective of VoC.

With VoC data, you can know every part of your customers' digital enterprise and target business development effort where there is clear evidence of opportunity to improve customer experience. This is shown to be an extraordinarily powerful method of customer engagement – proving which vendors, products and services will deliver the most value to the customer.

De-risking business transformation

The DSCD delivers an automated, continuous, and real-time VoC analysis to prove that new services deliver the expected experience to staff and customers and validates the customer’s investment.

Data-driven analysis identifies weaknesses in digital supply chains before services go live – protecting customer and supplier brand, investment and experience. Further, the DSCD provides an analysis of what would be experienced in any location, before deployment decisions and investments are made.

IET Innovation Award Winners 2012Impact Award Winners 2014Cisco BIG Awards Winner 2013Red Herring Top 100 Winner 2014Red Herring Global 100 Winner 2014BCS Winners 2013BCS Winners 2014
BCS Winners 2013
BCS Winners 2014
Red Herring Top 100 Winner 2014
Red Herring Global 100 Winner 2014
Cisco BIG Awards Winner 2013
IET Innovation Award Winners 2012
Impact Award Winners 2014