Europe’s number one retailer and the second largest in the world, with 15,661 stores, the Carrefour Group is constantly adapting its organization to ensure that it meets its strategic objectives. At the very heart of its business, IT support has become a key resource, guaranteeing the Group’s operational excellence. The smooth operation of checkouts and warehouses depends on the quality of this support, as well as on the effective management of the 400 or more applications that are currently in use.
Fundamentally transforming the support process
To achieve greater control over all IT support processes and deliver real added value to the business, the IT Department at Carrefour has set up a new unit, known as SI@M (Support Informatique aux Métiers or IT Support to Businesses). Its role is to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of the entire support process, ensuring integration and fluidity between the various levels of support in the overall system, and improving service quality obligations and costs, to deliver ‘seamless’ service; in other words, with no gaps between the different levels of support, from level 0 to level 3.
Bull: at the heart of a strategic initiative
As the cornerstone of the project, SI@M replaces a complex organization that relied on many different people and suppliers, which inevitably resulted in breaks between the different levels of support. Bull is intimately involved in the new, refocused set-up – which is based around a small number of key partners – with responsibility for all level 0 and level 1 support. In other words, Bull has become the single interface for users in their relationship with the various different operational support structures; taking and registering the initial support call, qualifying the problem, ensuring it is resolved and routing over 41,000 support ‘tickets’ (incidents or requests) a month…
A single, virtual support center
To guarantee the availability of the solution, Bull has put in place a strong organization structured around four interconnected facilities, three in France and one at its ‘nearshore’ center in Casablanca in Morocco, complemented by an automated call-routing system hosted at its main Data Center in France. The support centers are linked to each other and the Carrefour network by dedicated, secure connections. A major transition program has been carried out, which has involved: ensuring knowledge transfer; rolling out the telecoms links; installing, configuring and hosting the call management solution; and, finally, implementing the new ways of working. With its extensive Service Desk expertise, Bull has defined and implemented all the support and monitoring processes.
In total, this involves almost 130 customer service agents, supported by a governance structure that includes specialist retail industry skills, which are now being actively used to support Carrefour’s business activities.
Operational excellence and active support
The use of innovative tools and technologies is gradually transforming the scope of SI@M. A call management and routing tool has been put in place, which guarantees that users have direct access to the most appropriate technician to meet their needs. For all non-urgent queries, the widespread use of Web-based requests has generated significant cost reduction and efficiency benefit. The knowledge base capitalizes on the expertise that has been built up, and takes into account the fact that some incidents cover more than one field. While the automation of procedures and the use of ‘solution datasheets’ have enabled Bull to drive its performance up to the point where it now successfully resolves around 80% of incoming support tickets.
As well as these tools, service levels have been defined to align with quality improvement targets, whether they relate to the aborted call rate, incident resolution times, criteria for determining how vital an application is to the business, or escalation times.
Automation, resource sharing and a production strategy that combines local and nearshore facilities and people guarantee that the expected cost savings and quality improvements from the SI@M program are actually being delivered.