Getting a 10,000-foot view of MilliporeSigma’s service operation wasn’t easy, thanks to disconnected databases for the company’s field services organization, systems team, sales, and contracts renewal teams. “Each entity had its own database, and to do any kind of analysis, we’d have to extract information from all of them,” says Stephen McPhee, head of service for the life-sciences company, a unit of Merck. “It could literally take a month to conduct the analysis we needed.”
Stephanie Jackson, the company’s area service manager, had the same experience. “We were all on Lotus Notes, and pulling reports was just about impossible,” Jackson says. “We were often forced to use spreadsheets.” And if she or McPhee needed to know how engineers’ time was being utilized, there was no fast answer — which meant there was no quick response.
Delays in analysis and lack of visibility were also affecting opportunities to capture leads from the service organization. “Lead generation is a critical success factor, day in and day out,” says McPhee. “Our traditional business model is that field service engineers find those opportunities, but we didn’t have a way to monitor how they were doing that — or rewarding them for the type of behavior we wanted to drive.”