BI project pays off for MTN

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Optimal device ranging, process efficiencies and more focused performance reporting are among the top three outcomes realised through a successful supply chain business intelligence (BI) project at MTN.

So says Teresa Budler, senior manager: sales planning and intelligence at the mobile network operator.

"The project delivered some unexpected value as well," says Budler. "We had major master data challenges that were always known in the business but were never addressed due to the complexity of fixing them. This project gave us no option but to fix it, and today we have cleaner master data than ever before."

Brightstar partnered with MTN on the multimillion-rand roll-out. "It was regarded as a joint venture from the beginning. Brightstar brought international skilled resources into the project and MTN had a core team of seven people who met regularly and were highly focused and committed to the process," says Budler.

The two-year initiative encompassed the operator's full portfolio of handsets, data devices and tablets, and focused on improving efficiencies in the supply chain, and enhancing device ranging, forecast processes, device supply and, ultimately, delivering a superior customer experience.

"We decided to go ahead with the project as we realised that the procurement of devices had become a significant investment in MTN, and it was important for us to manage the return on investment here. We needed analytics to inform the business cases around the devices we choose to range."

The project - codenamed 'Project Bright Ideas' - definitely lived up to its name, says Budler, and delivered a measurable return on investment.

"We defined specific value creation indicators upfront and tracked them throughout the implementation of this project, which meant we ended up with a quantifiable ROI," Budler adds.

"We are now working on the next phase of optimisation. We continue to track value creation and we are setting new targets for the next phase to ensure the team remains focused on deriving incremental value."

Budler will present a case study on the implementation at the ITWeb Business Intelligence 2014 Summit, in Johannesburg, in March.

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