Improve sales billings and reduce expenditure for an online information provider

The Challenge:

The project began after a thorough analysis of Global Sales, Content Operations, Information Technology, and Finance. In addition, Customer Service was identified as a key business unit that the project team would later work with. Project Power encompassed the facets of billings improvement, cost reduction and cash acceleration. Along with the financial requirements, ProQuest was looking to improve their operations by:

  • Implementing process changes in each area of scope.
  • Implement tools and metrics for effective planning, execution and follow-up.
  • Develop management capabilities of the respective leaders in each area.

Project Power had to work around the major concentration of the company in developing the new platform, which put a strain on the resources that were available to participate.

The Results:

The project team was able to produce the following results:

  • Improved Sales Billings by 2%.
  • Improved labor cost in Content Operations by 18%.
  • Improved labor cost in Customer Service by 15%.
  • Improved labor cost in Finance by 22%.
  • Accelerated cash collections in 2010 by 50%.
  • Reduced the overall backlog in IT areas by 24%.

The changes were made possible by:

  • Reducing the amount of non-selling time to increase the volume of sales activities (e.g. calls and meetings).
  • Consolidating activities and creating “Power Reports” and performance plans to adequately resource Content Operations, Customer Service and Finance.
  • Absorbing new activities from acquisitions in Finance.
  • Structuring contact and follow-up in the collections department to improve contacts with customers.
  • Developing an IT management operating system to plan and execute the reduction of backlog in each area.
  • Providing one-on-one coaching with the leaders throughout the organization and the internal Lean 6 Sigma team.

The tools left behind will be used by both the area management and Lean-6-Sigma team to identify new opportunities and continuously improve.

The Client Experience:

“The project was truly a team effort involving both our organizations. Your team was diligent and professional throughout. They stayed on us to remain on plan, and have continued to support us to ensure the project was seen through to its completion. Additionally whenever there were bumps in the road, you listened and reacted quickly.”

Chief Operating Officer, ProQuest

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