2 page Case Study
Posted: 7/9/2008
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Canon AUS Canon Keeps the Customer in Focus with New Business Intelligence Solution

As Business Imaging Solutions (BIS) Service Strategy Manager for Canon Australia, Charles Stephens makes customers a priority. Yet he had difficulty accessing sales data from the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to optimize service policies. After Canon Australia deployed a Microsoft business intelligence solution from Microsoft Gold Certified Partner ComOps, Stephens is using accurate, timely information to align his policies with corporate goals that focus on customer care as a key differentiator. Canon Australia is sharing product usage reports and actual service calls records with customers to strengthen relationships and drive brand loyalty.


Accessing Data a Challenge

Charles Stephens is committed to Canon Australia’s mission to enrich peoples’ work lives through simple, yet advanced business solutions. As the Canon subsidiary’s BIS Service Strategy Manager, he is responsible for devising customer service strategies for its business products division. Stephens’ role is to ensure that Canon Australia customers all receive excellent care, from product delivery and installation through to ongoing service and support. “There’s no such thing as a typical Canon customer,” he says. “So, one of our biggest challenges is to anticipate each customer’s unique needs.”

In the two years since joining the company, Stephens has seen that the Canon name and product is well respected in the corporate sector. Still, he believes there’s room for improvement. “There is potential for us to increase sales and differentiate our brand, all through the strength and commitment of our service team.”

Keeping the customer in focus is a basic tenet of Canon’s business vision. Two key elements of this vision are maintaining Canon’s customer service level agreements (SLAs) and providing customers with service call statistics and performance and usage information on the fleet of multifunction devices, printers, faxes, scanners, and network video solutions that comprise a Canon business solution.

* Today, with our Microsoft-based reporting solution, I’m making better service strategy decisions based on accurate, timely business information. Now I’m improving customer service to drive sales and loyalty to the Canon brand. *
Charles Stephens

BIS Service Strategy Manager, Canon AUS
“Ensuring we meet our SLAs and provide device usage metrics to our customers requires access to information stored in our enterprise resource planning [ERP] system,” says Charles. “Unfortunately, for any non-technical staff, it was difficult to extract the sales, financial, service, inventory, and operational information that they needed. Our ERP solution’s reports didn’t meet our requirements and people wasted time wading through transactional reports to manually extract data into spreadsheets for further manipulation.”

Stephens wanted easy access to daily service call statistics and customer contract and sales information. This would help him to understand how the company performs against SLAs and to devise customer care solutions that reflect the company’s goal to grow the business through superior service.

Choosing a Flexible Solution

Stephens and his colleagues chose a solution from Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner ComOps to support the company’s customer care strategy. Called ComOps BI, the solution uses integrated Microsoft database, server, and desktop technologies.

“I wanted a flexible and scalable reporting solution that would be easy for Canon’s nontechnical information workers and our customers to use,” says Stephens. “A solution built with Microsoft technologies fulfills these criteria and integrates with our existing architecture.”

Canon Australia and ComOps built a data warehouse that extracts service call history, basic contract information, service level analysis, and other operational data. The ComOps BI solution—including operational reports, dashboards, and key performance indicators (KPIs)—integrates with the data warehouse and the company’s Microsoft collaboration infrastructure so that people can access and share information. Also, managers can import reports into Microsoft Office Excel® spreadsheet software.

Driving Sales, Brand Loyalty 

Now Canon can provide detailed, graphical usage and performance information to its business customers so they can better manage the maintenance costs of their products. “Automated customer reports save us time and money,” says Stephens.  “They show actual service calls against SLAs so we can partner with our customers to improve service overall. Satisfaction is way up and we have automated large portions of our contract compliance.”

Sales reps are presenting sales and service reports in monthly review meetings with customers. Also, Canon is beginning a process of continual improvement with its technical field staff using real-time reporting, which enables individuals to see their performance against targets and other team members. 

Today, Canon managers at all levels are using the Microsoft-based business intelligence solution. They are taking advantage of easy, browser-based access to sales, service, and operations reports and dashboards to develop KPIs that reflect corporate goals. “The demand is growing for information and the data warehouse now includes meter-reading data, purchase orders, invoices, and general ledger data,” concludes Stephens.  “Today, with our Microsoft-based reporting solution, I’m making better service strategy decisions based on accurate, timely business information. Now I’m improving customer service to drive sales and loyalty to the Canon brand.”

Lessons Learned

• Smaller vendors are capable of producing excellent results.
• Ensure that assumptions and business rules are clearly defined and documented.
• Planning is important when building the data warehouse to ensure that disk space is used efficiently.

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Charles Stephens has a Masters Degree in Business through Deakin University and has worked in call centers and service delivery, performing technical services and developing customer service strategies. Since joining Canon Australia in 2006, Charles has focused on the service operations in the business products division. He always travels with his two Canon cameras, and he’s particularly proud of his close-up tiger shots from Thailand.

Established in 1972, ComOps is a leading Australian business solution provider specializing in the development and implementation of commercial applications for Business Intelligence, Mobile Workforce Automation and Retail, Enterprise Resource Planning and e-Commerce. ComOps is a Microsoft Gold Partner as well as a Quality assured and Government endorsed company.
Please visit www.comops.com.au for more information.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 1083 employees

Organization Profile

Canon Australia was established in Australia in 1978 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S.$32 billion Canon Inc. group. Headquartered in North Ryde, Sydney, Canon Australia has offices in all mainland capital cities. An industry leader in professional and consumer-imaging solutions, Canon's product line includes digital video cameras, digital compact and SLR cameras, printers, scanners, fax machines, and networked multifunction devices.

Third Party Software

ComOps BI

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Vertical Industries
High Tech & Electronics


Business Need
Business Intelligence and Reporting