The Challenge

Stormtech is one of the largest privately owned and operated international Promotional Product Companies that has been developing highly technical outdoor apparel since 1977. Customer Service processes have experienced rapid changes over the past decade with the introduction of new technologies and customer needs, requiring organizations to continually innovate. Propel Solutions was engaged by Stormtech to lead a Business Process Review to identify areas of opportunity within its Customer Service Area, implement opportunities for improving service delivery, and create a nimble department that can respond to their customers’ changing needs. The focus of the project was standardizing processes across the Customer Service Area and supporting the organization for a future of rapid growth.

The Objective

Propel conducted a 14-week transformation of Stormtech’s key operations:

  • Process Review: Propel conducted a comprehensive review of the current processes within the Customer Service and Returns departments. Working with key stakeholders, our consultants mapped six processes in their current states. Propel conducted process observations with each of the 26 Customer Service and Returns Representatives and facilitated process map critiques with the entire team to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Develop Method Changes: Over 35 method changes were developed that would increase communications throughout the organization, provide customers with improved service delivery and ensure Customer Service Processes that are efficient, effective and scalable for future growth.
  • Development of a Resource Plan and Erlang C Scheduling Tool: Propel developed a Resource Plan to manage staffing based on the monthly forecasts of orders, calls, and return requests throughout the year. The plan provides visibility into staffing needs and minimizes risk of scheduling issues due to unavailable resources.  Additionally, a tool using Erlang C was developed to schedule staff daily in accordance with service level expectations, monitor actual to forecast transactions, and problem solve variances.
  • Daily Reporting of Results: Key Performance Indicators were developed by Propel to measure performance in quality, productivity, schedule attainment and service level expectations. Daily Operating Reports were installed to communicate results and problem solve variances on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.

The Results

The Business Process Review provided Stormtech with the data and tools to achieve process and service improvements through clearly defined roles and responsibilities, elimination of duplicate work, standardization of procedures and greater visibility and communication throughout their Customer Service Department. Due to the process implementations, management is more engaged with the Customer Service Team through daily operating huddles, enabling management to proactively predict and identify potential problems and ensure continuous improvement within the department and developing a culture that is consistently striving to deliver customer value.

Method Changes Developed

This is the best thing we have ever done for the company.

Blake AnnablePresident & CEO