Communication System Inc.

Communication Systems INC is a leader in providing physical connectivity infrastructure and services for global deployments of broadband networks. CSI launched an initiated an effort to transform the culture of the organization to become focused on continuous improvement and making decisions through essential analytics.

The Challenge

CSI as an organization was facing both uncertainty in their demand for products and their ability to deliver those products effectively to their customers. The organization’s market had shifted from a make to stock environment with low cost, high volume parts to a make to order environment with high cost and low volume parts. While the overall challenge in the business was very clear, pinpointing the critical issues facing the organization were challenging.

Olson Institute partnered with CSI, to get a clear sense of the critical issues limiting the success of the organization. The organization had recently updated its information systems, and our purpose was to identify obstacles to growth and work with CSI leadership to define the most effective path forward and navigate it successfully. That’s what we did.

“Too much data and not enough information” is an adage of the Big Data era that certainly applied to CSI.The Analytics Challenge

  • The company lacked good information control
  • Executives struggled to get information in a reasonable time frame
  • Improvement efforts were not selected based on priority but rather by convenience or ease

These issues led to siloed decision making that did not consider consequences of choices to other aspects of the business. For example, in an attempt to improve customer service, high levels of inventory were purchased to meet expected customer demand. However, there were miscalculations in demand, so CSI spent money on inventory it couldn’t move. The results were higher costs for CSI that reduced cash available to obtain the products its customers did want. This cash-strapped dilemma led to worse customer service.

Prioritizing opportunity for CSI was a struggle. Olson Institute helped to develop a dashboard that focuses the efforts of the organization on projects and opportunities that led to a more competitive organization. In previous efforts, CSI chose projects by focusing on low-hanging fruit because they were the easiest to accomplish. This led to a very fragmented continuous improvement program with extremely limited results. More importantly, those results were not connected to any strategic initiative for the organization.

Olson Institute assisted CSI in producing a Lean Six Sigma dashboard that focused on the essential analytics for organization projects and opportunities that led to faster and more targeted returns.

The analytics contained in the dashboard provide additional information that has helped the organization:

  • Determine how many people to train to achieve goals
  • Establish timing and team structure for opportunities
  • Evaluate cost justification for purchasing resources
  • Harvest critical data information for top management to make decisions

"The development of our analytics dashboard was a transformational moment for our organization. It has created a path for our company to become more profitable and has created a culture around making decisions with data."

- Roger Lacey, CEO

Conference Room

The Solution

By constructing dashboard that focused on the essential analytics for organization; projects and opportunities were highly targeted leading to faster and more targeted returns.

The analytics contained in the dashboard provide additional information that has helped the organization determine how many people to train to achieve goals, establishing timing and team structure for opportunities, cost justification for purchasing resources, and critical information for top management to make decisions.

The result of the creating this dashboard led to improvement of lead time, on-time delivery, removal of waste in the system resulting in a reduction of costs and cost avoidance of several million dollars. As important as the immediate results is the dashboard also provides a tool that allows management to continually prioritize opportunities.