The Second Question You Should Be Asking: Does the Customer Experience Include Managed Startup Implementation and Post-Startup Service Assurance?
The short answer is: It should.
A well-crafted Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines the processes and responsibilities that we – you the customer and us as the provider – have from the moment the contract is signed. These will include how we will transition the operations from your team to ours, how we will manage the startup process, and how we will keep you informed at every step of the implementation.
Once the operation is fully transitioned, post-startup reporting commences in accordance with the requirements established in the SLA. These reporting requirements spell out reporting frequency, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), issues management, and other operational characteristics that you define as important to your understanding of how the business is performing.
It is important to stress that reporting is essential to both the startup implementation phase and the post-startup “operational” phase of the engagement. In the latter case, reporting becomes the foundation for the assurance of optimal service.
The nature of the reporting in each phase, however, is very different. Let’s take a moment to understand some of these differences.
In the Managed Startup Implementation phase, reporting is very similar to what you would use when managing a project.
Common tools such as Microsoft’s Project can be utilized to tie startup processes and responsibilities, along with defined resources that each party will assign to the implementation. Thinking about implementation as a project, which has a defined start and end date and specific outcomes that must be realized is a useful way to approach implementation planning. Since these are all defined in the SLA, they will of course be a critical part – and cost – of the engagement.
Post-startup reporting is dynamic and continuous. Think of it in terms of what a pacemaker does once it is installed inside the human body. It continuously monitors and measures a critical function, the beating of the person’s heart. It is pre-set with instructions that require it to take action when measurements indicate that performance is not within optimal parameters. Continuous measurement means immediate response when performance falls outside of these parameters. And, the action – electrical stimulation of the heart to “reset” its performance to meet optimal parameters – is not only timely but fine-tuned to get the desired results quickly and efficiently. So too is service performance monitoring, measurement, and reporting, which leads to quick and efficient remediation and return to optimal performance.
This type of dynamic “operational” reporting provides the basis for trend analysis. Trends can be predicted and, therefore, remedial action can be planned and incorporated into continuous operational improvements.
If you do not partner with a Workforce Solutions Provider that can do this for you, then you will not achieve the full benefit of outsourcing service functions.
And, my answer to your unasked question is, “Yes, that’s what we do for our customers.”