SFR Gets Client Friendly Using Six Sigma
Client:SFR, French mobile communications provider
- Improve overall quality, enhance the customer experience and also reduce costs
- Apply Six Sigma methodology to identify improvements
- CSC-led technologies to help manage quality improvement projects and host SFR's PowerSteering solution
- Introduced a company culture that integrates customer expectations into its processes
- Improved tracking and management of process improvements
Improving the Customer Experience
With more than 17 million customers, SFR is the second largest mobile telecommunications provider in France. Wanting to better serve everyone, the company decided to launch a series of projects aimed at improving the customer experience, while simultaneously cutting costs. In turn, those savings would finance core projects, invite innovation and reinforce SFR's competitive position.
To achieve these goals, SFR asked CSC to implement PowerSteering application software — using the Six Sigma methodology — and host the solution for three years.
A Six Sigma legacy
Since launching its Six Sigma program, SFR now has more than 500 employees involved in those projects, including more than 30 certified as Six Sigma Black Belts. Due to the program's scope, SFR finds it most effective to consolidate its Six Sigma culture and best practices.
"We were looking for a tool which would help us structure and share our Customer Quality knowledge database, share the projects' deliverables within the Six Sigma community and introduce a system gathering the solutions involved in the projects," says Patricia Silvy Leligois, who heads up SFR's Six Sigma program. "We needed a software application which was simple but functionally rich, and designed around Six Sigma's principles, thus drawing on the experience of the companies who pioneered the methodology."
But before SFR could consider developing a Six Sigma program, many issues had to be addressed, including:
- Consolidation of Six Sigma-related training investments
- Assistance to the Six Sigma Green and Black Belt-certified teams in their day-to-day activities, and
- Ease of establishing real-time financial and project reporting.
PowerSteering’s "customized cockpit"
Accessible from an Internet Explorer-type Web browser, PowerSteering offers a customized cockpit for all employees involved in Six Sigma, including financial analysts, reporting managers, Master Black Belts, Black Belts and Green Belts. It provides the mobile operator with targeted assistance at all project stages, including:
- Gathering and selecting ideas
- Defining the project and associated Six Sigma and performance improvement approach: DMAIC, DFSS, Lean Six Sigma, Voice of the Customer, creation of indicators and operational excellence workshop
- Day-to-day management: Choice of tools and document templates, planning, risk and resources management, reporting and exchanges between the project members
- Review and approval of the stages: Validation of the deliverables and formal closure of the stages
- Capitalization on projects: Sharing of the most representative deliverables and the possibility to group similar projects in order to facilitate exchanges and subsequent searches
- Overall reporting: Follow-up of financial indicators, automatic progress status, including predefined reports or customizable templates (which can be exported in Microsoft PowerPoint).
Effective deployment in 8 weeks
"We needed assistance as part of the tool’s deployment and relationship management with the software provider," says Guillaume Peter, Black Belt expert in charge of the PowerSteering project at SFR. "It was also important to have French contacts who were familiar with the Six Sigma methodology and who could guarantee us the best level of security and availability."
The implementation of PowerSteering, renamed CELLA by SFR, included two main stages. First, CSC teams defined the parameters of the project in compliance with SFR’s needs (organization, user profiles and security rules, methodologies, deliverables and document templates, and training of administrators). Then they headed up a pilot program using current projects, during which they managed the configuration, acceptance process and user training.
The PowerSteering solution is highly configurable without requiring any additional IT development. Almost all adaptations and customizations can be managed by a functional administrator with minimum experience. For instance, the concerned teams could start with one or two Six Sigma methodologies, such as DMAIC or Lean, and then add other types, such as DFSS or Working Out. And, per Peter, training takes no longer than half a day. This flexibility helped CSC’s experts install and configure PowerSteering in just eight weeks, beginning in May 2006.
This dedicated Six Sigma tool helps increase efficiency in day-to-day operations, while focusing on value-added tasks. According to Leligois, Six Sigma "helps us develop a genuine customer-oriented culture within the company by incorporating the customers’ expectations into our processes."