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Raihan Vincent B.

Cardenas Mgt 186 TF (9:00-11:30)


2014-18484

Ecourier, Cablecom, and Bryan Cave: Delivering Value Through Business Intelligence

Information technologies are vital to businesses and organizations that want to be successful.
In this case, there were three companies that demonstrated how information technologies helped
their business.
The first company was eCourier. eCourier delivers packages around London and wanted to
keep real-time tabs on customer satisfaction. The company found out that it was already
spending more money on personnel yet achieving so little in terms of tracking cargo movement
and volumes of bookings. This led to eCourier to explore other means of communicating and
dispatching orders. eCourier used SeeWhy, a software used for GPS enabled communication
gadgets that could communicate and allocate couriers electronically, to help give them customer
data faster. This software allowed eCourier to see when clients accounts were going dormant or
if there were changes in the bookings. After its deployment, the company has been able to
increase online bookings to 95% which translates to low number of employees and more returns
on investment. With this new data, eCourier saved money by not having to add extra staff to
monitor who was happy with service and who was not. Customers are also able to monitor
movement of their cargo inline without having to contact the company since they have means to
monitor the movement of their cargo.
eCourier has benefited in several ways since making the business decision to implement
innovative IT solutions to differentiate from competitors. Using the SeeWhy software to generate
customer feedback created access to valuable customer information and feedback otherwise
unavailable in an industry so highly competitive that customers are more likely to discontinue
services than file a complaint; the convenience of adding an online booking feature added value
to the company's revenue generator; and the dependability of GPS-enabled tracking helped
improve customer satisfaction and minimize costs by monitoring for efficient deliveries.
As the a marketing consultant, I would advise the company to continue with its current
innovations and further improve it given the increase in the number of bookings. By adding
additional features, like a customer rating widget connected to the database to view customer
feedback, a real time update system, and improving from ipv4 to ipv6 to handle more traffic.
This will enable them to combine automatic generation of customer feedback, analysis of
customer trends, increased reliability, and effective cost control which is a potent recipe for a
successful business plan. In eCourier's case, competitors need only make the capital investment
in off-the-shelf technology in order catch up. eCourier should now focus on increasing switching
costs by web-enabling their account management system.
The second company was Cablecom. Cablecom was also interested in customer satisfaction.
They used statistical software to look through customer data and filter out trouble. Cablecom
used two softwares, SPSSs statistical software and SPSSs Dimensions survey research
software, to study customer dissatisfaction. SPSSs statistical software tells: (1) how many times
problem occurred, and (2) how long does it took to fix the problem. Drawbacks of this software:
This may or may not tell what the problem was. SPSSs Dimensions survey research software
tells: (1) after how many months of service customers gets dissatisfied- 9 months and ( 2) when
customers switch most- between 12-14 months.
Cablecoms attempt to use the SPSS statistical software was not much successful because it
achieved only 70% of the intended target. As a result, they turned to the Dimensions version of
the software which they used to monitor clients who were about to take off and take the
necessary actions. They also found that using survey research in combination with statistical
software gave a more accurate look at customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The data obtained
from this system may as well be used to calculate the amount of campaign they should make to
match take offs and new clients for sustained growth. These two information technologies
allowed Cablecom to see which customers were unhappy and helped them retain those
customers. In some cases, the company may let some clients leave especially when it becomes
more expensive to maintain them than letting them go.
Cablecom's need for IT innovation stemmed from its desire to improve customer retention.
The company combined statistical software with electronic survey data to determine customer
satisfaction trends and identify weak points in typical customer cycles. By utilizing these IT
solutions to identify weaknesses in their services, Cablecom was able to initiate damage control
procedures with high risk clients before signs of dissatisfaction became otherwise apparent and
thus improved customer retention.
As a marketing consultant, I would suggest that in order to gain a strategic advantage over
competitors it would require them to make more innovative applications of their information
technologies. For example, information systems that helps them make better decisions or
strategic information systems that can help give the business a comparative advantage over its
competitors. For example, improving the SPSS dimensions version into a decisions making tool
that can provide an analysis of the data and help predict potential customer turnover before the
period of 9 months. Have significant improvements on the survey itself and adding more
predictors to help identify how to improve their service. This function not only supports the
decision making of the company but also helps them look for ways to gain an advantage over
other companies in the competition for customers.
Finally, the third company was a law firm called Bryan Cave. Bryan Cave needed an
alternative to the hourly fee normally charged by law firms. Clients wanted fixed pricing and
pricing that was adjusted during a project. The law firm had spreadsheets to help breakdown the
collection of fees and how much profit was being made but these spreadsheets were difficult and
confusing. The company used business intelligent tools to help lawyers track budgets in real
time so that they could quickly make adjustments. The use of this technology led to improved
profitability for the law firm and also improvement in hours worked by fee earners in the law
firm.
Bryan Cave, having faced the problem of operating different offices in different countries
while still maximizing profits from its vast amount of lawyers, they turned to a business
intelligence tool to solve their problem. This was made to specifically solve the problem of
analyzing the spreadsheets. The software was also developed to help the customers understand
what they were paying for when it came to their demands.The business intelligence model can be
extended to consultancy services. This can work with consultants who have branches worldwide
using the system to enable customers understand the services prior to requesting for the service.
Bryan Cave used IT to simplify data interpretation into usable formats. Couple this improved
understanding of cost control and revenue generation with the innovative development of per-
square-foot billing for legal services - a billing technique that would have been impossible to
develop without IT statistical modeling and analysis tools - and this law firm has improved both
customer satisfaction and profitability.
Many professions can use business intelligence tools just like in the case of Bryan Cave law
firm. The banking industry can use BI tools to stay competitive. With the competitive nature and
increasing due regulatory legislation surrounding financial institutions, it is imperative that
financial institutions monitor customer's behaviors related to consumption of banking products in
an effort to retain the customers. Business intelligence tools are being developed and marketed to
banks to help monitor, analyze accounts, and determine customer profitability. This type
of business intelligence tool would help the banks market to current customers based on their
propensity to purchase products based on transaction behavior and other products the customers
currently utilize. Additionally, a business intelligence tool that performs an analysis of the
current fee structure charged for existing products in relation to the competition in the market
place would help the bank determine if their pricing structure is competitive and in line with the
competition. This technology would also help financial institutions identify which customers are
profitable and whether or not fees should be increased or reduced.
As a marketing consultant, I would advise them to be proactive and ready to respond to any
changes. Find the problem, fix the problem: Send monthly satisfaction surveys to find the
problem areas. If people are not responding very well then add some incentives to it like lucky
prizes from the drawings of responders. Keep customers engaged by providing some money
saving tips to customers with their monthly bill. Do not consider letting some customers leave in
anyway, unless those are financially unsustainable on long-term basis. There are different reasons
for this: (1) If customer is there then job is available, (2) it takes lots of advertising resources to
get one customer, (3) One satisfied customer brings more customers by word of mouth, (4) one
unsatisfied customer talks bad about company more loudly than a satisfied customer talks good
about company, (5) your competitor is getting your business.
The need to always improve is not always the case. Nowadays, technological innovations
come and go. The only thing companies need to be is flexible and be able to adapt to changes in
technology. At best, most technology innovations provide only a temporary edge over
competitors. Even in the unusual case of patented technologies, the patent runs out after 17 years.
If the advantage comes from how a technology is used, then competitors need only copy these
successful implementations. Often, competitors have the opportunity to learn from hard won
efforts and improve on them to their advantage.
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