Unusual in business and especially among call centers, Telisimo International Corporation practices Open-Book Management (OBM) to improve business communication, productivity and performance. It is an important practice that distinguishes us from a traditional call center or contact center and truly elevates us to a dynamic Customer Communication Center .
Our success has lead others to ask us about our practice. We’re asked to explain what it is, why we use it and, in particular, what value Telisimo’s practice of OBM has for our customers.
Open Book Management
Open Book Management was a phrase originally used by John Case of “Inc. Magazine” in 1993. The basis of the concept is that information received by employees should help them do their jobs effectively and also help them understand how the company is doing as a whole.
Case believed that a company performs best when its people see themselves as partners in the business rather than merely hired hands. The process provides employees all relevant business and financial information about the company so that they can make better business decisions about the actions they take.
The focus of information shared includes revenue, profit, cost of goods, gross margin, cash flow and expenses. But the power of the process comes from understanding the business messages from the numbers and what each person can do to positively impact that message.
It also involves a philosophy of mutual trust and support. As information about the company’s performance is shared, everyone becomes part of a working team with mutual goals for improvement and ultimate business success. We say it creates a business of business people.
Powerful Unifying Force
One core value Telisimo holds dear is continuous process improvement. We are constantly evaluating our methods of doing business and looking for ways to do things better. As a part of this continuous improvement process, we conducted a number of management and employee surveys. A common theme that emerged was challenges with internal communication.
After evaluating underlying issues that generated this concern, we recognized that it was based in a lack of clear and consistent direction of the business goals within the company. We reviewed ways we shared information throughout the company. And, we experimented with a number of management theories like those from the One Minute Manager to Quality Circles to Six Sigma. We saw some improvement but it was fleeting. And the new management approaches too often felt like artificial processes imposed on the organization.
Our discovery of OBM was a completely different matter. We knew it was the “right thing” from the start. Making financial literacy the focus of our business communications rallied everyone around the same goals. And, when everyone understood how a basic income statement worked, they began to see which components each of them could impact for positive change. People felt individually empowered and we saw major signs of positive change throughout the company. It was a breath of fresh air!
The Value of OBM for Our Customers
The value to Telisimo as a business was quickly apparent. Revenue growth was tackled more aggressively by Sales and Marketing. The Technology Department recognized that “response time” was critical to keep services working at optimum so revenue flow would not be disrupted. The Accounting Department identified and implemented a number of Cost Savings initiatives.
But, where is the benefit to our customers?
Using open-book management, Telisimo has seen dramatic improvements in service delivery and our ability to synchronize our efforts with our clients’ business objectives. OBM is the foundation for a whole host of performance management initiatives that are custom designed for our clients.
The identification of business critical numbers that drive our clients’ businesses allows Telisimo to design specific programs focused on improvement.
For example, some significant statistics that reflect the value of our practice on services for our clients are:
- First Call Resolution that increased by 40%
- Cost Per Customer Transaction that was reduced by 45%
- Customer Satisfaction Scores that increased by 200% and
- Revenue that was increased by over$30,000 per month with the introduction of a new program that focused on “going the extra mile”.
Complementary to Open-Book Management, is our practice of servant leadership and pledge to help make our customers as successful as they can be. Whether this is from increasing positive perceptions about customer care or technical support, increasing revenue from the sales of complementary products, or reducing costs to the customer by increasing Telisimo’s performance, Telisimo is dedicated to doing all that it takes to ensure success for our clients and customers.