AgileThought Shifts Sourcing Model to Eliminate SOWs & Overtime; Offers Resource Flexibility
Brierley+Partners, creates, manages, and supports customer loyalty programs for more than 250 of the world’s largest travel and retail brands including Hertz, 7-Eleven, Hilton, Kellogg’s, and Hard Rock. Forrester has recently named Brierley as a global leader in customer loyalty.
Prior to the Persistent Team™, AgileThought supplied Brierley with resources via a projectbased staff augmentation service. Each SOW required two weeks to hire a new resource. The reactive nature of constantly hiring new people made it difficult to offer insight into how resources were leveraged, and limited the options to be flexible as new work came in.
AgileThought introduced a Persistent Team™ model so that Brierley’s IT team could react faster to their customers, shifting the focus from individual projects to work completed.
Brierley’s Persistent Team™ involves a blended team covered under a single monthly rate, regardless of resource specialization and experience level. Unlike staff augmentation, the team gains experience with customer systems and business processes as they remain with that account over time. The blended team, in this case, used mostly for virtual services, work out of a single office, offering seamless collaboration between subject areas.
Managing Billions of Points for Loyal Customers
Loyalty programs aren’t as simple as pay, redeem, pay again. Every brand has its own customer base with unique demands. The incentives must strike the right balance between attracting new customers and wowing the most avid fans.
Global brands have adapted to meet the consumer where they are to maximize screen time and deliver enough doses of happiness in exchange for their loyalty. Flight miles, free appetizers, and ten cents off a gallon of gas only scratch the surface of how intricate rewards programs have become.
Brierley has established strong processes and systems to meet the needs of their big-brand customers, but keeping up with the pace of global consumers required more IT operational support in development, data management, and QA.
The transactional data of customers (of which there is a vast amount) has created opportunities for rewards campaigns to respond to individual buyer tendencies in real time. Capturing and managing that data, and then adjusting programs to keep up with consumers requires an equally responsive IT model.
AgileThought, under a staff augmentation contract, had been supporting Brierley’s programs via manage services contracts for 3 years. Under staff augmentation, a AgileThought team would be selected for individual projects to manage databases, QA, and develop as Brierley continued to modernize its technology portfolio.
Reinventing the IT Partnership Model
Brierley needed an IT department to be as responsive as their programs. The nature of the staff augmentation model is rigid. Individuals were entrenched in their roles, and SOWs increased lead times.
A developer who worked on the Kellogg’s account could not simply shift to Hertz, even though both contracts were managed under one IT umbrella. IT service demand also increased as loyalty programs became more fluid.
AgileThought suggested a more flexible approach with the Persistent Team™ model. This new sourcing model would offer swivel chair resources; Brierley could have one dedicated team to work across accounts as needed with the ability to scale up or down monthly.
Comparing Sourcing Models
Responsive IT, Faster IT
Without the need to interview new people, and go through the SOW process with each project, Brierley was free to use AgileThought IT services as they needed – as an extension of their team.
Hard Rock QA folks were sent over to work on the 7-Eleven program while developers shifted between Hertz and Victoria’s Secret accounts. Brierley’s IT team became more responsive and were able to deliver faster than before. Persistent Team™ elevated collaboration, and increased the team’s knowledge of multiple loyalty programs.
Persistent Team™ work is managed through a gyroscopic ticketing system, eliminating SOWs entirely. AgileThought development, QA, and data teams pick up tickets as work rolls in. The tickets, themselves, are also flexible. Any team member can pick up a ticket. As an enterprise partner, Brierley also receives the benefit of monthly and quarterly strategic meetings with AgileThought leadership. This ensures that the Persistent Team™ meets their monthly IT goals while regular communications act as a bridge between IT services and business objectives.
Most recently, the teams have established baselines to measure KPIs and improve SLAs, becoming more efficient month over month. AgileThought has eliminated the need for yearly audits, having recently earned SOC 2 compliance. Brierley, after adopting the Persistent Team™ model, has increased their IT resources by 33% in only three months.
Your Persistent Team™ Grows as You Grow (with Additional Resources on Us)
AgileThought has developed internal methods to remain flexible for customers who have adopted the Persistent Team™ approach. AgileThought also guarantees a bench investment – in the case of Brierley it is 7%. This means that, if you decide to have a team of 50, AgileThought will provide 3.5 (rounded up to 4) additional people at no additional cost, and will never charge for over time.
A bonus of bench resources is that they are there for you to use however you need. If they aren’t needed for a particular project, they can be trained on your unique systems or processes one month, and be ready to step in at a moment’s notice. Either way, you do not pay for those resources.
As your team grows, adapts, and takes on future challenges, your Persistent Team™ will also grow alongside you, limiting the risks of recruiting and shortening the learning curve.
The Path to Digital Strong Requires a Flexible Model
Not every IT department is the same. Brierley needs a continuous, responsive team with swivel chair resources to respond to the needs of multiple customers. A retail organization may have a more singular dynamic, relying on many smaller projects in one system. A hospital might require gap resources to fulfill requests as they focus on digital transformation. The Persistent Team™ adapts fit your IT environment and culture.
If a resource, who has learned your systems and processes, is not needed for a few weeks, they can be added to your bench and rolled back into service whenever you need them.
These people often become invaluable, having gained knowledge of your systems, but you can’t always keep them busy, and you do not want to lose them – as is often the case with staff augmentation.
AgileThought, as a partner, will maintain your resources for your accounts – and offer discounts as resources increase. That is our commitment. And that is why we partner with our customers in their broader mission – not simply as another vendor.
Today, Brierley+Partners benefits from a more reactive IT division, one that can keep up with the pace and customization of consumer loyalty programs, delivering a stronger customer experience in an ever-evolving technology climate.