Brad Denning: Welcome back to ‘Two-Minute Q&A Chat’ which explores distribution management, where we ask the difficult questions of how to get the most out of your transformation. In our previous discussions, we introduced the DM maturation curve and discussed how carriers can define their current location on the curve. Today we will discuss where you should be and how you can get up along the curve. Denise, what questions are there for today?
Q1: Brad, carriers are curious, based on your experience in the industry, where should they be on the maturity curve?
Brad Denning:There is no clear answer as to where the conveyors should be on the maturity curve. Each carrier must make this decision for themselves, and it will ultimately depend on a carrier̵7;s respective strategies, goals and objectives. If carriers see Distribution Management as a place where they would simply like to “keep the lights on”, which means maintaining operation in the current state, then the current state is the first or second step in the maturation curve.
On the other hand, if carriers have decided that Distribution Management is a place where they want to differentiate themselves in the market, then the effort to go from the third to the fifth and most mature step should be the goal. If so, and if the carrier has made the necessary investment to undergo a DM transformation, the fifth step should be seen as the ultimate goal, with each step before it being seen as a temporary condition necessary for a complete transformation.
Q2: Interesting – and what are the most critical things to focus on to go from steps 1 and 2 to step 3?
Brad Denning: Step one carriers put in huge amounts of manual effort to stay just one step behind the competition. As a result, business tasks are time consuming, and it is almost impossible to scale to the enterprise level. Information is found in many offline documents that are difficult for business users and operators to access. In step one, questions take a long time to fix and presenting incorrect or incomplete information are pain points.
To proceed to steps two and three, carriers must focus on automating processes and moving data to a unique online portal for all parties to access. In step two, automation and data sharing are mixed with step one manual processes and offline information. Step two develops operational efficiency to reach step three. The organization should see this stage as an “exercise phase” and focus on not being discouraged by slow results.
Once a conveyor reaches the third stage of the maturation curve, sufficient automation has been implemented for the conveyor to notice the operational efficiency that has been achieved.
Q3: Good – now, when a carrier reaches step 3, how can they best differentiate themselves from their competitors and get further up the curve?
Brad Denning:In the third step, operational efficiency has been achieved. Critical business processes are automated, freeing up bandwidth for business users. Users can prioritize research that drives continuous improvement.
Reaching the fourth step means that business users need to invest little or no effort to access the information they need, and the portal features should be completely self-service with human interaction as almost a luxury upgrade. In this fourth stage leadership at the company level will be able to begin to link measurable results to the distribution strategies implemented during the transformation. At the channel level, incentives will be based on target markets, and operations will be driven to the channels that are most productive.
To reach step five, distribution capacity must be sufficiently mature so that carriers have a holistic understanding of their business users’ wishes and needs so that they only focus on developing services or exploiting ecosystems when it makes sense to do so. Carriers will be fully informed of their distribution strategy according to what the data tells them. This step will allow a carrier to completely differentiate itself from competitors because we have not yet seen an organization fully achieve this level.
Q4: Finally, why is it important to continue to measure your organization’s progress along the curve over time?
Brad Denning:These capabilities give your organization concrete goals to achieve as part of your efforts and provide measurable results as the backbone of any business change. Measurable goals provide leadership with a way to quantify change as it occurs, and give team members goals to work towards as part of their ongoing efforts to support transformation
Brad Denning: I hope we have answered your questions about how you can start thinking about Distribution Management and the benefits of defining your current place on the maturity curve. In our next session, we will start to dive deeper into key parts of your organization that are affected by distribution and the path along the maturity curve. If you have a question about the current chat or want to include your question in the next session – just drop it in the comments field.
The post 2-minute Q&A # 3: Where should I be and how do I get on the distribution management curve? first appeared on Majesco.