Management Information Systems The OTISLINE Case
Specific Aspects to be Discussed : a. What is the Strategic Relevance of OTISLINE for Otis Elevators? ANS : Strategic Relevance of OTISLINE can be better understood by analyzing the business background, Industry and the Critical Success Factors of OTIS. OTIS is in the business of Elevator Design, Manufacture, installation, Service and Maintenance. Critical Success Factors o Leadership in Technology o Reliability o Quality o Product Customization o Services( Responsiveness, quality & price ) and Maintenance One of the C.S.F. for Otis is customer-service and customer service is arguably Otis’ most important strategic theme because of the importance maintenance plays in the satisfaction of a customer. OTISLINE is an IT application developed to improve Otis Elevator’s responsiveness to its service customers. OTISLINE improved the visibility of service business and provided quality services to Otis customers more effectively, by responsiveness to customer callback requests. OTISLINE’s reporting system provided significant information on the quality of service rendered to OTIS customers, to NAO management, which was difficult otherwise without OTISLINE system in place. OTILINE provides a variety of services to support quick and effective support to customers OTISLINE(a twenty-four hour communications service that facilitates the sharing of information for maintaining a healthy and functional elevator;). This enabled offering guaranteed response time to customers because of OTISLINE’s capabilities.
OTISLINE also helped management to know about very critical problem, based on the number of calls received from the same company. OTISLINE not only improved the quality of NAO’s customer service; it also changed the way NAO does business. It has almost affected almost all of NAO’s business functions. In future, OTISLINE may interface directly with installed elevators by means of remote diagnostic technology. OTISLINE, not only changed Otis’ position in customer mind, but changed the whole decentralized system to become centralized one. OTISLINE impacted various business activities like Information Services, Customer Services, Dispatching & Control of Service Mechanism & Marketing. All these above mentioned factors contribute to the strategic relevance of OTISLINE for Otis Elevator, to have number one share of the service market( performance ). /* OTISLINE - Otis used information technology to significantly enhance its competitive position/advantage in the elevator industry, to collapse both distance and time, resulting in faster responses to customer problems, better maintenance procedures, and ultimately more reliable elevators */ b.
Which factors were responsible for the Implementation Success of OTISLINE? ANS : Following factors were responsible for the implementation success of OTISLINE A. Top Management support of the project, which fostered cooperation among functional areas and provided the resource and motivational required to “make it happened”. B. OTISLINE met firm’s strategic business need and was responsive to the competitive problems Otis faced in the elevator service industry. C. OTISLINE is centralized system, converted from Otis’s decentralized organization, resulted in huge customer satisfaction in terms of quality service, responsiveness, raising problem to high management in case of repitative call from same company. D. A critical customer database was already in place, hence necessary infrastructure in place, contributed to OTISLINE’s success. E. OTIS’s need “In response to callback, 24 hours a day” leads to OTILINE initiation & its success.
F. Understanding the ways customer interact with OTIS staff, resulted in appropriate design of OTISLINE system, resulted in its success and customer satisfaction. G. Reduced writing report work, hence increased the efficiency of the employee. H. The success from the technical change aspect was the centralization of information due to OTISLINE, which provided improved visibility of service business and provide quality service to customers effectively. I. The success from the cultural-change aspect allowed Otis to reinvent the culture with the implementation of the following six components: responsiveness, reliability, innovation, communication, teamwork, and customer satisfaction. J. Do you expect a smooth widespread implementation of OTISLINE and sustained strategic advantage out of it in the medium term? Please justify your answer. Yes, I do expect a smooth widespread implementation of OTISLINE and sustained strategic advantage, because of following reasons: A. Otis is a very decentralized organization, yet the information system it installed, OTISLINE, is centralized. According to the case study, the initial, service-quality reason for implementing a centralized system was responsiveness to callbacks. Customers have assessed the quality of company’s service (regardless of type of service) offering by responsiveness to callbacks (one of the main reason among others such as quality and price). Prior to OTISLINE, Otis relied on answering services for addressing callbacks, and the quality of answering services varied greatly because independent commercial service contractors did not have the same interest in customer satisfaction as the manufacturer. The fundamental underlying business reason for implementing the centralized system and addressing the quality of service offering was the service contract (especially with introduction of the microprocessor-based control system elevator technology unique to Otis). This technology not only helped Otis increase the sales of the elevators, but also helped to shape the future of the service business (not many commercial elevator service companies were eligible to service the microprocessor-based computer technology
because of proprietary reasons). The combination of sales and service allowed Otis to capitalize on the long term profitability in the market. It was important for Otis to address the responsiveness to callbacks because it is an integral function of retaining the service contract. B. Implementation of OTISLINE included both technical-change aspects and cultural change aspects. The difficulty in technicalchange aspect was the migration of one computer platform to other, change in programming requirements, change in functionality of jobs, and redundancy of certain professionals. The cultural-change aspect was shifting of resources to establish new helpful systems rather than application development resources to automate old manual procedures. In my opinion it is a cultural change because the organization was changing the way it was requiring its employees to do business. The success from the technical change aspect was the centralization of information due to OTISLINE, which provided improved visibility of service business and provide quality service to customers effectively. The success from the cultural-change aspect allowed Otis to re-invent the culture with the implementation of the following six components: responsiveness, reliability, innovation, communication, teamwork, and customer satisfaction. The culture at Otis became synonymous the with these terms, and employees appeared to be empowered. C. Customer Service: Prior to OTISLINE, each field office handled the calling and dispatching of a service mechanic. In addition, the preparation of reports was very time consuming because it was maintained manually, and callback reporting was routed upon request only. Customers are now directly linked to the OTISLINE. Customers call a central toll free number, and calls are distributed to the next available dispatcher. OTISLINE can present a wide variety of statistical results, and has helped management maintain a high level of responsiveness. OTISLINE could identify the location and equipment in multiple ways, and a service mechanic is dispatched appropriately to correct the problem. Marketing: New equipment sales and service marketing became more efficient with OTISLINE. Sales and Service Reps could call and access applications through OTISLINE, which consists of
integrated database management system designed to automate the production of status reports on elevator sales and service prospects.