- Tech Insights
Nagarajan Muthusamy (Samy), CIO & CTO of Reliable Parts Inc., orchestrated a turnaround and transformed customer journeys and linked the new experience to underlying operational processes. This required a deep understanding of two things: what creates value across a given journey from the customer’s point of view (faster cycle time, personalization, cross-channel functionality, and so on) and what drives business costs and revenues (number of manual touches, extent of customer fallout, additional product sales, and so on).
According to Samy, Reliable had to focus on seeing journeys as customers see them while making concentrated effort to shake off a frame of mind that revolved around internal processes, structures, and KPIs. It took some deliberate effort to stop thinking “this change might be difficult to implement” or “that cost has to be reduced” and start thinking about what the customer wants instead. In the case of Reliable Parts, the digital channel generated 65% of revenue, so it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Samy and his team to redefine the customer experience, by calling for disciplined execution and consistent service delivery. By analyzing customer journeys, Reliable Parts is now able to pinpoint the operational improvements that will have the biggest effect on customer experience.
Per Samy, “Our strategy was to capitalize on our strength which is our ability to serve our customers well and do it consistently. We established technology as a key differentiator, developed digital-first business model and automated many of our key business processes to reduce errors, increase accuracy, and eventually improve customer experience. We strongly believed that understanding our customers and anticipating market evolutions is the winning strategy. Hence instead of focusing on what our competitor is doing, we decided to focus on customers and develop a strategy to create emotional connection with the brand and build loyalty. We leveraged analytics extensively to collect and study customer touch points and deliver solutions that directly address their pain points.”
"We established technology as a key differentiator, developed digital-first business model and leveraged analytics extensively to collect and study customer touch points and deliver solutions that directly address their pain points."
In the past, customers had to wait for 3 to 4 weeks to get a credit refund for their warranty parts and products, which impacted customer experience among other metrics. Customers also had more rejections from the suppliers due to incomplete data in their claim form. In the newly re-designed process, Reliable Parts cut the warranty claim processing time for parts by 85% and provides credits to the customers in 24 hours, resulting in an 80% reduction of waste and operational costs and a massive improvement in customer experience.
For Reliable, technology remains the core element of the next-generation operating model. According to Samy, their transition to the next-generation operating model was a combination of principles, tools, and associated behaviors that drove a culture of continuous improvement focused on customer needs. Reliable Parts embeds process optimization into the DNA to translate top-line goals and priorities into specific metrics and KPIs. Most importantly, critical to success is leading the change from the top and building a new way of working across organizational boundaries. Senior leaders at Reliable Parts support this transformation as vocal champions, demonstrating agility through their own choices. They reinforce and promote rapid iteration and share success stories. Most importantly, they hold themselves accountable for delivering on value quickly, and establish transparency and rigor in their operations. Samy and his team manage the change aggressively, often changing performance incentives, mothballing outdated processes, and assembling communication campaigns to reinforce culture. For instance, the top team jettisoned its legacy budgeting process and asked leaders to be aggressive about capturing more value. They established an ongoing process for redistributing funding to the highest-value technology investments.
We have seen many companies recognize the need for a next-generation operating model to drive their business forward in the digital age. However, we see this in action at Reliable Parts, where sustainable customer value creation has made all the difference between “winning” and merely being a “me too” player in a competitive landscape. IE
CIO & CTO of ReliableParts Inc.
Reliable Parts is your Official Appliance Parts Distributor for Dishwashers, Dryers, Ovens, Ranges, Refrigerators, Washers, Microwaves, and BBQ Grills for All Major Home Appliance Brands.