Entries from Cadbury, Pitney Bowes, Primark and Sally Salon Services, all had commendable attributes and reflected the great efforts that are being made by companies to improve the customer experience. But there were two entries that stood out.
Argos Direct was looking to improve overall customer service standards and in particular to reduce the number of first-time delivery failures. By working closely on training initiatives with its logistics services partner, DHL Supply Chain, the company has produced some impressive improvements to customer experience, raising customer satisfaction to 90 per cent and reducing customer complaints by 54 per cent. An extensive programme of customer service training across 4,000 staff, operating over three national distribution centres, 28 customer service centres and a fleet of 600-plus vehicles, has resulted in a delivery “right first time” of 98.8 per cent.
However, it was the scale of British Sky Broadcasting’s change programme and the meticulous planning that went into its approach to redefining its supply chain for the customer that won the day. This was a “huge organisational change” involving the integration of two separate supply chains and required engineers in the field, supported by supply chain, to become the “face” of BSkyB. The realignment was cross-functional on a geographical basis, straddling all levels: Strategic (SC Services, Procurement), Tactical (SC Planning, Logistics and Repair), and Execution (Heads of Field). “Strong processes have been implemented at BSkyB that have been designed to support and not inhibit the engineers in their tasks,” say the judges. “This was a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s customer-facing supply chain – an effort worthy of a European Supply Chain Excellence Award.”