About the client

Our client is a leading global provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services to the auto industry. Their expert support helps leading manufacturers and their dealerships increase efficiency in areas that include parts fulfilment, customer engagement, technical helpdesk and warranty claims processing.

The challenge

The business was acquired by Bain Capital private equity investors in 2016. Having achieved strong results and healthy growth, the leadership team identified opportunities to improve productivity and the service provided to clients in a number of business areas.

Time Consulting Group was initially engaged to provide diagnostic analysis of the warranty claims management offices in Turin and Budapest – and to recommend operational improvements that could help deliver:

  • Reduced cost of processing claims
  • Improved performance of technical helpdesk
  • Better service quality with fewer errors
  • On-time completion in line with contract KPIs

Our approach

Identifying and releasing latent capacity

We were first invited to identify productivity improvements at the European office in Turin, Italy. Following the success of this initial project, we were asked to bring the same ‘rapid diagnostic’ rigour to their central European office in Budapest, Hungary.

At both sites, we undertook detailed analysis at the keystroke level to understand the fine detail of how work was performed, to uncover the scale of the productivity opportunity – and to develop an implementation plan for a new, more efficient next-generation operating model.

We discovered a number of areas that were significantly impacting productivity, particularly backlog management, capacity control, work allocation, quality control, use of existing technology and adoption of best-practice ways of working.

Our focus was on implementing improvement projects that would drive efficiency and effectiveness within these people-intensive back office teams, while establishing world-class ways of managing people, processes and technology.

The transformation included:

  • Implementing daily stand-ups, visual management and short interval control to optimise output per worker
  • Creating a more efficient approach to work allocation and claims handling
  • Improving the accuracy and timeliness of technical helpdesk advice to dealership service managers
  • Ensuring existing system and software functionality was fully utilised across multinational teams
  • Identifying and eliminating non-standard ways of working across siloed teams
  • Improving team leader coaching and performance management skills
  • Utilising best practices and language skills across teams
  • Developing an enterprise-wide structured approach for root-cause problem solving
  • Introducing proactive backlog management to avoid peaks and troughs of demand

Embedding new skills across the enterprise

Having helped transform the Budapest and Turin operations, we next focused on a training and coaching project for the company's pan-European BPO support team. The goal was to equip a team of key individuals with the insights, skills and methodologies to drive productivity transformation and champion lean management across the enterprise.

Our work included:

  • Advisory support for strategy and future improvement pathway
  • Teaching lean skills to find waste, reduce complexity and make work flow
  • Transferring our ‘rapid diagnostic’ approach
  • Helping design new processes with built-in error proofing using lean design principles
  • Coaching throughout the implementation of ops management best practice
  • Conducting an end-to-end review of all HR shared services processes across Europe
  • Supporting finance transformation projects across Europe and the Americas

The results

Capacity gains
of up to 30%

Reduced cost of processing claims

Improved service quality and contract KPIs

Increased organisational capability

New European team of lean champions

“Apart from substantial productivity gains, we have seen other important side benefits, such as improvements in quality and an improvement in team morale. Our people feel part of the decision process for improving the day-to-day processes within the business.”
Regional VP Europe