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Optimised supply chain management for tech support enterprises

In the era of bimodal tech support, tech support firms need to have a strong digital strategy to future proof their services to cater customer demand. One such strategy is reducing cost through Optimised supply chain management. I have already written a blog on "Adjacent service strategy" which is another key strategy that tech support enterprises should adopt to be future ready


A tech support enterprise will have a cohesive collaboration of people, process and technologies. In the past few years, the Internet of Things has bombarded enterprises with new age internet tools, computer networks and technologies. This has opened doors for partners, customers, vendors, distributers and suppliers to collaborate beyond the physical walls of the enterprise. However, social networks, cloud adoption and mobile technologies have presented diverse opportunities to optimize supply chain management for tech support enterprises.


This blog captures four essential strategic moves that would help tech support enterprises to contain cost with optimised supply chain management

1. Operations improvement

The new age customers expect effortless, efficient and extraordinary service through any channel of their choice. Customers who encounter positive social customer care experiences are nearly 3 times more likely to recommend a brand.1

68% of customers say they've switched service providers because of poor customer service.

Hence it is imperative to deliver on customer expectations. But delivering an extraordinary customer experience consistently across various touch points is difficult in this disrupted world. Operations improvement helps an enterprise to deliver consistent superior experiences for the customer. An enterprise should be abreast with the changing technology landscape and should formulate operational improvement strategies (right partnership, technology investments) to optimize their service delivery for better outcomes.

2. Mobile and customer-first investments

80% of internet users own a smart phone and use it extensively to avail support.2 Majority of customers are "multiscreening" and hence consistent experiences across device need to be deployed by support enterprises.

82% of mobile media time is via apps.3

The role of mobile technology in people's lives is becoming even more significant as we transition into a Digital Economy.4 The communications space is constantly evolving as disruptive internet companies are increasing their dominance. Communications service providers (CSPs) need their own digital strategies and action plans to face the challenge of this changing business environment. On one side, the physical, network-centric world is being disrupted by software-defined, cloud-based network and on-demand services, which help to optimize operational costs and bring in IT agility. On the other side, new consumer experiences are getting defined by the internet companies, and customers are no longer content with taking what they are given or accepting a process because it suits the limitations of a CSP's technology platform. Investments will need to be made in the areas of mobile, social, and digital to create the right customer experience.

3. Shift left strategies

First contact resolution (FCR) has been a key focus area for agent performance in tech support space for many years. A number or product and service companies are adopting "shift left strategies" to optimise cost.

The shift-left strategy focuses on moving issue resolution to the lowest cost level in the
tech support enterprise, with a focus on resolution at L1 or L0 support.

When the customer calls an enterprise contact centre, the L1 support agent should be empowered, with access to right tools and knowledgeable enough to resolve the problem in quick time (Industry standard: seven to eight minutes, on that first phone call).

L0 support (Self-help KB articles) also plays a vital role in reducing escalations to the L2 and L3 support agents. The shift left strategy integrates people, processes and tools around it better than before. The overall value proposition of shift left strategy is to delight the customer, lower support costs, and free-up expensive technical resources to work on critical projects. Thus shift left strategy is a key strategic move to optimise supply chain cost

4. Six sigma based process optimization

Enterprises that prioritise successful business process optimisation offer enduring customer experience benefits. To deliver great customer experiences, enterprises need to pull together the people, processes and technology that impact the customer's journey with the brand.

Six sigma based process optimization enables an enterprise to zoom into the specific functioning of support processes and agent performances. A right six sigma approach reduces agent call handling time, resolution time and brings down abandonment rates. It also creates a customer-centric brand culture. By shifting focus from profit growth to customer-centricity, superior customer experience can be delivered with ease.

What is your supply chain cost optimisation strategy?

- Ravi Shelvankar


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