Business Operating System w/ Customer State Machine

Having a strong, integrated Business Organisation System (BOS) can determine the success of a company as it begins to grow. A robust BOS – a standardized set of processes followed across all business functions – helps a company successfully scale its operations. The best example of this is the success of the franchise model that has worked wonders for businesses like McDonalds, KFC, etc. Building a sound BOS into the fabric of the company itself will help build a strong brand and enable it to transcend the capabilities of individual managers.

Business Organisation Systems used to be determined by factors like industry best practices, regulatory requirements, and legislations. Now, with technology radically altering workplaces and the way businesses function, BOS is determined by advancements in technology and communication systems. In today’s technology-driven workplace, software platforms are central to developing a standardized BOS to streamline work processes and build a solid operating workflow.

Software-driven BOS

Software solutions like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software help automate several repetitive processes as well as streamline the overall workflow. There are also software solutions focused on operations which help optimize processes. Within CRM systems, there are several point solutions to help with various needs including personalizing services, focusing more sharply on customer satisfaction, and increasing the effectiveness of sales & support teams.

Though highly useful in certain areas, these systems are point solutions that work in silos and are independent of the main goals and vision of the company. With a BOS that is not closely aligned with the company’s overall strategy, reporting can pose a significant challenge.


Challenges in Reporting

Generating progress reports with BOS can become difficult if the metrics are poorly defined – the key performance indicators that the BOS allows you to measure easily are very different from the ones you want to focus on based on your targets. Do the metrics and analysis really make a difference in ‘business operations’ and decision-making, or is it just behavioral information that doesn’t lead to anything? While all these systems have data analysis tools, a dashboard, and a set of graphs to visualize data, it’s really important to ascertain whether you’re getting meaningful and actionable data.

Collating information relevant to your targets – as well as key performance indicators – can become a cumbersome process. A lot of relevant data could go unrecorded if the system does not allow for collecting and interpreting discrete data. In such a scenario, the team would need exceptional analytical skills to put together relevant data and generate reports to understand the progress made, vis-a-vis the targets to be achieved.


Efficient Customer Management tools

To develop a customer management tool, it is imperative to understand the customer’s journey through the entire purchase lifecycle. Speaking in terms of finite state machine models, customers pass through multiple ‘states’ during their journey. Finite state machine models have been used by computer scientists to model and manage complex processes in areas such as logistics and manufacturing for decades. Applying the same principles to customer acquisition and retention, Decisive Analytical Systems has developed Plumb 5, a Customer State Machine. This machine gives a complete, personalized picture of the customer and their journey – in real-time.

Demystifying the Customer State Machine

To create the Customer State Machine, each stage a potential customer goes through is modeled as a state. For each state, transition rules are added to move the customers from one state to another.

With the help of Graph Databases & Graph Visualization Tools, one gets to see compelling images of their data: for example, one can view social graphs with shortest path queries, segment behavior in a certain stage. This would not be possible with the “entity-relationship” framework of an RDBMS. Once the Customer Lifecycle Stages are modeled into a graph database, then each node not only represents data but also represents a block of code.

Each node stores synthesized data and rules and on data update it checks the rule and moves its state, mimicking the automation in a finite state machine. The ability to create a dynamic schema helps create dynamic nodes which could be categorized as sub-states. This also allows for efficient restructuring of data as well as multi-perspective querying. Languages like Cypher provide a simple semantic for detecting rings in the graph, navigating connections in memory and in real time.

Plumb5 has the capability to sort customers into stages and implement different communication strategies based on their responses. These rules to segregate the customers will be implemented in Platform so that subsequent marketing actions will be highly automated. Due to its stage-based approach, this system can build a hierarchical relationship with a single customer, and can manage much more complicated processes & interactions. It also allows for a Single Customer View, where all interactions and information about the customer can be easily tracked and accessed in one location.

With a Plumb5’s Customer State Machine, the core focus is on customer lifecycle management, where each campaign is a transition state over the course of the entire journey.

Plumb5’s adaptability to a cloud-based environment

The system is forward-looking as it enables an easy transition into a cloud-based setup. With Gartner predicting that by 2020 “Cloud Shift” will affect more than $1 Trillion in IT spending, large enterprises will move to a cloud-based environment to stay relevant. Data Consolidation with tagging on a Single Customer View platform, enabled on Plumb5, would simplify cloud migration and keep the business going.

Future-proof your BOS with Plumb5’s Customer State Machine!