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Operations and Customer Service: A Journey from Cost Center to Profit Center
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(May 17, 2020)

Traditionally, Operations and Customer Service departments have been looked at as back offices that are transaction oriented focusing on trying to get the job done as quickly and cheaply as possible. They are seen as Cost Centers, a liability, eating into the bottom-line. This conventional cost-centered model of Operations & Customer Service strives to achieve the minimum per unit transaction cost, with all the KPIs and targets of the teams set accordingly. The purpose of this project was to challenge this general notion. It started with challenge the status quo mindset – thinking beyond mere transaction processing.

We aimed at a new philosophy of seeing each transaction as an opportunity for generating income and in the process transform ourselves into a Profit center. Thus, the project was named as Journey from Cost center to Profit Center. The team stated looking at each transaction, as an opportunity to generate revenue and build a relationship. Quality tools like Lean Six Sigma, Brain Mapping, Process Reengineering were used to innovate and bring about the change. Various lean sigma projects and Idea express innovations were undertaken which would help us achieve our goals. During the course of the project we would, map the operation teams budgeted costs with the revenues generated through various initiatives with an objective of achieving a breakeven.

Over the period of the project, the initiatives taken gave sizeable results. Within the first eight months, the generated revenues (contribution to bottom-line) were touching 97% of the budgeted costs.

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