Management Functions as a Service case examples

Case example:

Product and service concept piloting in a customer context

Problem
An established company had developed a new product and service concept, which it was looking to commercialize. However, the company saw it lacked real customer feedback about features and qualitative aspects, as well as a more comprehensive understanding of the operational processes as well as business opportunities involved, which were necessary to be tackled before an eventual product launch.

Objective
The company needed (a) actual customer feedback on the product, to validate good and bad features and possible quality issues; (b) to test and validate its own managerial and operative capabilities and processes in being able to deliver the offering successfully; and (c) to collect input for offering's business design. 

Solution
Firstly, two pilot customers were acquired. Then, in order to secure professional and valuable follow-up processes, documentation, stakeholder communication, as well as high-level customer relationship management, Magnolia Solutions was relied upon to take charge and manage the pilot as a project for a six-month period. Applied methods involved the development of a comprehensive project plan, the definition of and systematic execution of gathering customer feedback and carrying out follow-up processes, professional documentation and reporting for all involved stakeholders in more than one country, throughout the pilot.

Outcome
Based on the extensive and systematic customer feedback gathered, the company was able to identify the most evident flaws and quality issues. This, in turn, allowed its product development section to carry out the necessary changes, to have the product ready for market launch.

Key takeaways also included the accumulation of insight about the level of resources and operative requirements required for the company to be able to deliver the new service concept.

Furthermore, based on the input from the customer delivery, Magnolia Solutions enabled the gathering of business insights which crystallized the business delivery principles.

Case example:

Enterprise resource planning system training

Problem
An established company, whose main offering comprises an extensive, industry-specific ERP system, uses professional ERP system trainers responsible for delivering full-day training sessions to customer organizations' diverging internal target groups. At times, demand exceeds the capacity of the company's available resources. In addition, customers occasionally have special requirements, for example, a need to have training in a particular language.

Objective
Due to changing circumstances, it is in the company's interest to have professional and reliable resources available in its value-network, which can be activated on an on-demand principle, according to the current need. Of utmost importance is that the professionality and expertise of such capabilities are of high level and that these external resources independently and pro-actively maintain the professional edge and competence in changing circumstances.

Solution
The company and Magnolia Solutions have established a partnership which enables the company to use Magnolia Solutions as a professional training resource, upon request. Magnolia Solutions takes on the responsibility to keep itself updated and aware of offering and industry-specific changes, which might impact the content of the training program and/or the circumstances of the organization, target group, and individuals who receive the training. 

Outcome
Magnolia Solutions has successfully delivered many professional training sessions to a number of customer organization's clients. After each training session, Magnolia Solutions has surveyed feedback on the session from the participants, who represent business decision makers, middle-management, personnel in charge of invoicing and economy, as well as personnel working on the field. The absolute majority of the feedback has been very positive.

Case example:

Customer relationship management and after sales support

Problem
A company selling B2B services had managed to expand and grow steadily over the past two years. Now, with a wider customer base, it was able to identify customers of varying types, in terms of importance to its own sales. With the current situation in mind, the company believed it should pay extra attention to, serve, and listen more carefully to some of the customers, specifically those responsible for the majority of the company’s sales. However, the company felt that it did not have the necessary capabilities on its own to execute such activity in a highly professional and systematic manner. The company was also not prepared to hire more personnel, as the task would not require a full-time position.

Objective
The company needed an actor that would work in partnership with them, and who could serve them in the right proportions to fulfill the specified function: Meeting the company’s key customer representatives at regular intervals and listen to what they have to say about the ongoing co-operation with the company, the offering they were acquiring, and their mutual relationship with the company. Time should be systematically allocated to discuss and deal with all actual issues in a consultative manner, to nurture and maintain the customer relationships, and to pinpoint potential after-sales opportunities. Essential in this would be ensuring the customers experienced the time allocated for them as a priority treatment. The interactions also needed to be documented to a high standard, and also reported on to the stakeholders involved, so that the company itself would be able to respond and react based on the gathered information.

Solution
Co-operation was initiated between Magnolia Solutions and the company which saw Magnolia Solutions take responsibility of managing the customer relationships with key customers as well as producing leads for after-sales. A frame for interaction and to facilitate bi-weekly or monthly meetings was initially outlined by Magnolia Solutions, and then, agreed upon together with each customer organization separately. Meetings were carried out as online meeting or as live meetings at the premises at the customer. The outcome from the interactions were documented as extensive memorandums and reported on within the company.

Outcome
The co-operation arrangement was a success. The representatives of the company felt that they now had a dedicated and reliable function to manage key customer relationships with. This, in turn, released resources within the company to other activities, and the company's management no longer had to worry about managing time and resources of their own personnel for this function. Instead, the company could rely on the service Magnolia Solutions was providing it in partnership. The documented reports from the meetings provided valuable input for the company’s sales department regarding leads for after-sales.

The customer organizations themselves were also pleased with the new way of collaborating. The customers felt that they were now very well heard in general, and that they had a dedicated forum, a slot held for them, so that they could always rely on any matter being dealt with in the upcoming pre-agreed occasion. The customers also considered that the new way of working with the company had resulted in a more structured and organized way of working with the matters relating to the company, within their own organization internally.

Case example:

Business reporting and data analysis development

Problem
A company, providing extensive CRM systems and other ICT systems as its main B2B offering, experienced varying profitability amongst its customer delivery cases. This occurred even as the main characteristics of the customer delivery cases, such as offered product and service, customer type and size, were similar. This had raised the interest of the management and financial administration to examine why the profitability was fluctuating drastically amongst its customer deliveries and to subsequently understand whether potential measures could be taken to improve the profitability in upcoming customer cases.

Objective
The company needed to inspect and analyze its customer delivery cases. Key figures and key performance indicators needed to be looked into and mirrored against a detailed contextual analysis of a selection of customer delivery cases, representing extremities in cost-effectiveness despite resemblance of the main characteristics of the context. The objectives included (a) to create an understanding of the underlying reasons why some customer delivery cases are much more cost-effective than others, and (b) subsequently, based on the novel understanding, make potential business related or operative adjustments.

Solution
Magnolia Solutions was assigned responsibility for the analysis of a selection of customer cases pinpointed by the company. As a result of an extensive deep analysis conducted, patterns and factors impacting the cost-effectiveness were documented and communicated in a structured way to the management and financial administration of the company. The process was repeated on a monthly basis, each month covering a new set of customer cases.

Outcome
The analysis work revealed a number of factors, which played a role in customer delivery case profitability. On the basis of this information, the company was able to implement new kinds of measures to proactively monitor, control, and prevent the emergence of profitability risk entailing aspects. Moreover, the conducted analysis work also directly supported the development of the company’s own internal business reporting capabilities and readiness.