REVIEWER: John Zimmer, VP of marketing for Toshiba America Medical Systems.
BACKGROUND: With headquarters in Tustin, California, Toshiba America Medical Systems (TAMS) markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the U.S. Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation, is a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions.
PLATFORMS: AS/400 system running with an Oracle database.
PROBLEM SOLVED: TAMS has been growing our business at an average rate of 20 percent annually over the past three years, much to the credit of the company's ability to foster long-term, customer-focused relationships. To continue to maintain our high rate of customer satisfaction, we had to quantify qualitative data, or "experiential" information - in other words, a hospital employee's experience dealing with a particular machine and with Toshiba's various departments, from sales to service. If our machine's software is difficult to understand, if the user interface is overly complex, we want to know about it and the reason behind it, so we can feed that information back to our engineers. The technology enabling this initiative is Cognos ReportNet, a Web-based reporting tool that essentially enabled us to know the "why" behind both positive and negative customer experiences. We wanted to track the relative happiness of customers over the long term, with the ultimate goal of gaining repeat purchases and larger market share. After a sale is complete, we have an ongoing relationship with a customer for 5 to 7 years. If a hospital employee has a bad experience with a Toshiba machine, it could spell the end of a repeat customer order. With ReportNet, we were able to put into place metrics or goals to reach and/or maintain for customer satisfaction. We can then drill down within that report to discover the reason why the score was low, which allows us to go out and fix the problem as soon as possible, or to know why we won a sale over a rival, so we can repeat the success later on.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Cognos had the tool we needed for each stage in the developmental cycle of a BI project. With its initial beginning in January 2003, the project consisted of building a BI solution for TAMS' marketing department that would extend to the enterprise. We defined the scope of the project and created three environments for development, production and quality assurance. The next stage was the developmental cycle, which lasted approximately six months. Right now, all of these market studies are predefined in Cognos ReportNet. We just need to schedule them and run them overnight, which has been a huge gain in productivity - from five days to minutes. In addition, over the last four years, the company has had a 300% reduction in the number of customer alerts or complaints.
STRENGTHS: Because Cognos reports are Web-based with zero-footprint, employees will soon be able to get the information regardless of where they are and translate the reports into any language.
WEAKNESSES: Integrating Cognos' OLAP cubes into Toshiba's legacy systems was challenging.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The flexibility for customization that Cognos offered was the main reason Cognos was chosen. In addition, Cognos replaced an "archaic" system at Toshiba, which took weeks to complete reports.
DELIVERABLES: We implemented two data marts for the marketing department - win/loss and customer satisfaction analysis. We then added three more data marts - one for sales, one for order management, and one for industry data and market share. As a result, we have seen a huge increase in productivity from our marketing analysts. We are putting together marketing studies that may take five days for one person to build.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Cognos is a tremendously responsive organization. Since the pre-sales process, we have had a very open dialogue with the technical staff to ensure it would fit our environment and requirements. Since deploying the solution, we've had great communication with Cognos. A huge winning point for these Web-deployed products is that you don't need anything other than a browser.
DOCUMENTATION: It has been very easy to use. Our teams could run the solution without resorting to the documentation.
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