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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

FIELD OPERATIONS

Our Client is among the leading, full-service tele-communication providers in North America with a workforce of 50,000 employees and yearly sales in excess of $20B. They currently service over 13 million phone lines. They offer a wide range of communication products and services, including telephone services, wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice over IP.

Objectives

  • Increasing the overall performance of Field Operations.
  • Increasing service levels to both residential and business customers.
  • Reducing operating costs.
  • Enhancing communication with the Field Technicians.
  • Increasing employee satisfaction.
  • Improving quality of work by reducing rework and repeat levels.
  • Improving customer service and satisfaction levels.
  • Reducing contractor costs.

Assessment Findings

Telecommunications Field Operations Assessment Findings

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

  • Travel Time

  • Technicians did not follow existing policies and procedures when preparing for a service call.
  • Technicians were not solving the problem on the first visit, which resulted in rework due to skill issues or subpar job quality.
  • Technicians would will keep ticket orders open for 2-3 hours before informing dispatch which then by-passed the whole automated dispatch system process.
  • Technicians were going on completed jobs causing rework and multiple truck rolls.
  • There was a lack of tracing information on work orders by previous technicians associated with jobs.
  • Extra work was being completed with no charge to the end-use customer.
  • Lack of effective job assignment led to technicians repeatedly calling the Dispatch Center for their next assignment.
  • Mismatched capacities was caused by not enough work being dispatched for the hours of work available for the technicians.
  • Technicians came back early to the Work Center due to a perceived lack of work.
  • Not matching the tickets to the Technician’s skill set resulting in lower customer service and satisfaction levels.
  • Technician profiles were not updated by the Field Directors, generating issues with the dispatching of the technicians and generating more calls at the Dispatch Center.
  • First-Line Managers avoided following-up with their Technicians (they keep to a minimum the number of visits to the technicians on a monthly basis).
  • First-Line Managers believed that since their people have been assigned from the Dispatch Center that they know what they need to do.
  • First-Line Managers generally spent almost all of their time doing administrative activities in their offices, rather than being proactive with their people in-the-field .
  • In planning the use of resources, the estimated work times are averages of historical performances and have not been developed based upon the pure time of the activities.

PVA's Response

  • Improved individual, district and departmental performances resulting in the recovery of hours per technician per day.
  • Reinvested these recovered hours to improve customer service and quality of service.
  • Clarified roles and responsibilities of the First-Line Managers to spend more valuable time in-the-field with their technicians identifying and resolving operational issues.
  • Established structured communication between the Dispatch Center and Field Operations to ensure that all First-Line Managers are kept informed of the daily workload of the technicians and can make necessary adjustments as required.
  • Designed and implemented a standard performance measurement process based on an earned hour calculation and other critical Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
  • Developed and implemented a resource planning methodology based on volumes and estimated hours to assess the up-coming workload requirements as opposed to using historical information.
  • Designed and implemented weekly executive reporting (Balanced Scorecards) of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), trends and performance variances.
  • Transferred hours into capital work through increased preventive maintenance and network activities.

The Results

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Increased load factors in terms of tickets per day for Technicians (25% improvement in tickets per day).
  • Maintaining customer due dates while handling increased volumes resulted in improved levels of customer service and satisfaction.
  • Sharing resources across geographical areas to increase overall performance.
  • Contractor work brought in-house.
  • 40% improvement in overtime levels.

Improvement in Supervisory Activities

Telecommunications Field Operations Supervisory Activities

PRE-PROJECT
3% 1% 61% 5% 30%
POST-PROJECT
40% 4% 36% 10% 10%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Travel Time
  • Available

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed and implemented with the Coordinator.
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems.
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations.

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$1.15
+ BILLION SAVED
4.2
AVERAGE ROI
28
YEARS
580
+ ENGAGEMENTS
220
+ CLIENTS

We engaged PVA based on positive feedback we received from some of their previous clients. In a relatively short period of time, they conducted reviews in the agreed focus areas and identified the cost savings that could be achieved by implementing their approach. They did a job in changing the culture in these areas through the training and implementation of active management and the creation of a management operating system to manage these units. Through their continued focus and support of the management team, we achieved the promised savings and have seen a significant positive impact to business results.

Paul Flaherty, President & CEO - NorthwesTel

PVA has assisted SaskTel Operations in implementing a Management system that focuses on Metrics and Management fundamentals. The PVA professionals involved all levels of our employee base and delivered a repeatable process and framework for continuous business improvement. PVA’s simple and disciplined approach assisted my operations team to accomplish in months what we had previously spent years trying to accomplish. I now have the methodology and tools to balance operational efficiency gains with improvement to both customer and employee experience; and I can measure them. Overall, it is a difficult transition that is far from over, but well worth the investment.

Greg Meister, Vice President Customer Services Operations - Sasktel

I joined SaskTel’s Operations Leadership team half way through the PVA engagement and quickly saw the benefits of the tools and methodology that PVA provided to our team. Using metrics that existed or were newly developed with PVA, we applied PVA methodology to daily operational tasks and identified many opportunities for improvement. Operations team members collaborated to implement solutions that saved time and/or money and addressed customer and/or employee impacting opportunities. The methodology resulted in a sense of urgency to daily activities and ensured that appropriate accountability was shared throughout the organization. This wasn’t a project, but a change to how we manage our business that is sustainable and beneficial every day’

Lorraine Sikorski, Director – Customer Services (Provincial Operations) - Sasktel

PVA’s intervention enabled us to deploy a performance management system for all our Managers in both Quebec and Ontario. PVA’s team was able to adjust to our needs, and bring our Managers from different cultures to adopt a unique management system. We surpassed the anticipated benefits. Two years later, the system is still being utilized daily, and we continue to enhance it.