This company has pioneered less invasive treatments for vascular disease. The Company needed to reduce the administrative tasks of its sales reps by 50%, and optimize the order and revenue management process. They used simulation to meet the project goals which resulted in a potential increase in sales of $10 million.
The existing sales representative process at The Company was very complex and included a number of handoffs, in a non-integrated system, that lead to duplication of work. This resulted in the sales representatives and administration spending too much time managing errors and tasks instead of being able to focus on the business. One direct result was the unacceptable level of customer satisfaction.
The team needed to reduce the sales representatives and administrative tasks by 50% and optimize the order and revenue management system for customer satisfaction. When looking at the sales representative tasks, the team found that more than 30% of the sales representative time was spent on managing administrative tasks.
The Black Belt on this project identified simulation as one of the best options for meeting the aggressive timeline associated with the project. ProcessModel was selected because of its ability to handle the complexity, interdependencies and variability of the Order and Revenue Management Process.
Using Six Sigma DMAIC Methodology the team divided the process into key focus areas. The scope of the project addressed the five fundamental steps in the Six Sigma improvement project.
In the Define phase they identified the scope of the project and delivered the project charter, which included the problem statement, goals, constraints, assumptions and the project plan. ProcessModel was used to create a high level diagram of the existing process.
The Measure phase helped the team to refine the problem and to begin to search for the causes. In this phase the team knew that simulation would deliver the greatest benefit. Process diagrams created not only helped the team understand the process, but also helped identify the root causes of the problems. ProcessModel was used to create all of the integrated and functional process maps. The animation allowed the members of the team to review the process to ensure the accuracy of the model.
During the Analyze phase the team used ProcessModel to examine all aspects of the process including timing, costs, resources, capacity issues and bottlenecks. The models that were developed gave the members of the team their first real view of not only their process but how they interfaced with the process as a whole.
Using real world data, the project team was able to determine, arrival rates, processing times, queue times, resource costs, resource status and routing information.
ProcessModel has the ability to handle variable data, which creates a more accurate and realistic model.
With the hierarchical modeling in ProcessModel, the team was able to create a parent chart of the entire process and then develop sub-models of the detailed processes. A total of 13 process models were created for this project.
The Improve phase focuses on discovering, refining and implementing solutions. Using simulation allowed the team to prototype the system changes faster and with greater accuracy. This enabled the team to increase the number of improvements each employee could make and therefore raise the value of each improvement.
During this phase the team could perform “what if” analysis and test proposed solutions without disrupting the current process. Using ProcessModel a streamlined returns process, an automated inquiry process and a restructured sales organization could be tested and the potential benefits could be tracked.
In the Control phase the team used the models for process documentation of the new processes. The models were used to help train personnel.
The project delivered some strong results. The returns process was streamlined from over 29 steps to 7 steps. This change resulted in reducing cycle time from 98 days to less than 30 days. The Sales organization was restructured to meet the needs of the customers and the task time was reduced by 50% to yield a potential increase in sales of $10 million. The results of the project become even more impressive when it is noted that this project was completed in less than four months.