L&T Infotech was roped in by Colgate USA as IT consultants to deploy an order management system for their B2B arm. Business goal was to improve customer experience and build loyalty in an increasingly commoditized market. L&T Infotech wished to understand the desired end goal from various stakeholders’ perspectives, before proposing technology solutions. Design Thinking was identified as a powerful methodology for this, and TinkerLabs was roped in as the DT consultant.
TinkerLabs approach- experience is generated behind the scenes
We strongly believe that what the customer experiences at the front end, is driven by the various nuts and bolts at the backend- the processes, protocols, technology. Hence, we wanted to start by understanding in detail, the current experience and perspectives of the various players involved in the system- from senior leadership to the junior most folks across functions like supply chain, marketing, IT, call centre, and finance.
EVP & Head of Global Business Operations - IMS BU, L&T Infotech
When L&T Infotech decided to adopt Design Thinking, we were considering several vendors from top professors to Design Studios. Almost all players were talking about Design as a generic problem-solving tool; only TinkerLabs was able to contextualize Design Thinking for IT Services. We started our Design Thinking Journey with TinkerLabs in Dec 2015 and we continue to work very closely with them.
What happened on ground:
We were in a situation faced by a lot of IT companies working for international clients- imagining new solutions using Design Thinking needs deep user empathy, but geographical separation poses a challenge. So we started lean- telephonic interviews and video chats. We had a round of these initial conversations with the heads of various functions like supply chain, marketing, IT, call center, and finance, with an intent to understand their aspirations from the renewed order management systems. Findings from this round would later guide us in our on-ground research (contextual inquiry) in the USA with executives manning the call center desks, sales representatives knocking at clients’ doors, supply chain managers handling orders with their distribution partner Schein.
After 2 weeks of research, we synthesized our learnings in the form of design artifacts like personas, user journey maps, and multi-user interaction models. Using these, we organized a gamified workshop for the Colgate senior management team and technology consultants from L&T Infotech. Participants engaged in role plays, exploring the various stakeholder journeys, and identifying opportunities for changes in process, protocols, and technology. The seasoned professionals who entered the workshop with apprehension looking at colorful sticky notes, character cut-outs, and Lego blocks, soon defined a shared vision for the future system. More ambitious yet practical design directions were identified.
What did we achieve:
With a rigorous review of their systems, Colgate was able to identify opportunities for consolidation and efficiency in addition to improving the customer experience. For L&T Infotech, the user-centered design approach helped avoid confusions and iterations in system development and helped them reposition themselves from IT service provider to business design partners.
Highlight of the project:
Well, this was the first international project for TinkerLabs, first Design Thinking led client engagement for L&T Infotech. And now that we look back, it laid the foundation for TinkerLabs’ approach to Design Thinking on IT projects. A similar approach was later used for our engagements with clients like Mindtree and Vodafone Technology Shared Services.