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A global organisation has cut costs, improved customer service and released staff from thousands of hours of painstaking clerical work every year in one of its operating companies through smart use of its SharePoint 2003-based intranet.
This is just one example of DWG members using their intranets to make their organisations more efficient and effective – an urgent requirement in these straitened financial times.
A bit more detail . . .
The operating company in question was receiving a high volume of complaints from customers, but its method of logging and processing them was haphazard and ineffective.
There were eight separate systems for recording complaints. Many of them were not recorded efficiently (some were even being sent by post), and there was no reliable way to analyse complaints data.
As a result, the company found itself paying out large amounts of compensation to customers without being able to determine fault. In addition, dealing with complaints was proving very time-consuming, and the company had no insight into the root causes of problems.
As part of a group-wide lean programme, a cross-functional team re-engineered the complaints-handling process. To make the new and much streamlined process work, a single, easy-to-use system was required. And that’s where the intranet came in.
The intranet team set up an Issue List in a TeamSite, customising it to turn it into an incident log that opco staff could use to record complaints quickly and accurately. The new incident log also allowed users to drill into complaints data and analyse it by, for example, type of complaint, originating customer, and third-party involvement.
The new incident log has brought major benefits:
· The company can identify and act on the root cause of problems – for example, it has been able to take action to get poor-performing transporters to raise their game.
· The total being paid out in compensation has been cut – partly because the company is fixing many of its logistics issues at source, and partly because it is now able to tell when problems are caused by customers and no compensation is due. Providing compensation in a work environment can sometimes be challenging if you don’t have the right workers compensation lawyers.
· Overall customer service has improved significantly. Complaints are down by more than a third.
· The time taken to deal with a complaint has been cut from months or even years to two hours in many cases thanks to the removal of wasteful administration and multiple hand-offs. This has freed up thousands of hours every year for customer service staff to spend on more value-adding work.
Recession-strength Intranet research
IBF is pulling together examples like this in a research paper under the title ‘The Recession-strength Intranet’. Initially, we’ll release this to DWG members and, shortly after, we’ll make it available to non-members (with examples made anonymous and screen shots removed).
The idea is that the paper will give intranet managers inspiration and practical advice for their own intranet programmes, as well as anecdotal evidence they can use in discussion with senior managers who need convincing of the value and potential of intranets.
We’re looking for a couple of organisations outside IBF who might have examples we could include. The quid pro quo for your contributing is that we’d send you the non-anonymous version of the report, including screen shots. Plus of course you’d get the kudos of your example being put in front of DWG’s active and influential membership base.
We’re not necessarily looking for enterprise-wide, high-profile uses of the intranet – instead, we’re expecting examples will be much more nitty-gritty and small-scale, but will nevertheless demonstrate the power of the intranet to cut costs, boost employee productivity, improve customer service etc.
If you have an example you think we could include, please contact me, Paul Johnson, at email@example.com