RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Citrix Improves Customer Satisfaction and Profitability with Dynamic Supply Chain Insight

Commentary by Fred Tiso, Group Director of Hardware Operations, Citrix Systems

Citrix Systems is a leading provider of virtualization, networking, and cloud computing solutions for more than 230,000 organizations worldwide. Citrix solutions radically simplify computing for millions of users, delivering desktops and applications as an on-demand service to any user, in any location, on any device. Citrix customers include the world’s largest Internet companies, 99 percent of Fortune Global 500 enterprises, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers worldwide.

No Single Version of the Truth

With worldwide responsibility for Citrix hardware operations, Fred Tiso’s team manages manufacturing, materials, and new product introduction. Tiso, group director of hardware operations, recognized that with real-time, proactive visibility across its supply chain, Citrix could improve customer satisfaction, product reliability, and gross margins. To cover the entire supply chain, this new insight needed to extend from sales opportunities to material planning, manufacturing, fulfillment, and post-sales support—and analyze data from a variety of applications, including Siebel, Salesforce.com, and multiple ERP systems.

“We were trying to solve the problem with eight million spreadsheets that were from multiple organizations and outdated by the time they came together,” said Tiso. “There was no single version of the truth. We couldn’t trust the data, and it just took forever.”

To gain greater supply-chain insight, Tiso initially considered building a custom application. However, in light of recent advances in business intelligence (BI) technology and lower overall costs, he ultimately decided to seek an off-the-shelf solution.

“We tried every BI tool under the sun but they didn’t work out for a variety of reasons,” said Tiso. “All of the technologies we looked at seemed to be a mash-up of acquired BI technologies and we eventually realized we needed a solution that hadn’t been cobbled together from components the vendor didn’t build in the first place.

“Then we found Birst and knew it was the real deal. Before Birst, we were able to get to same level of insight…well…maybe never. We were technology agnostic, but it was Birst’s on-demand solution that finally gave us what we needed.”

Key Selection Criteria:

  • Advanced features
  • Fast time to market
  • Low implementation and support costs

Using Birst, Tiso’s team quickly digitized the entire Citrix supply chain, gaining real-time visibility into sales forecasts, bookings, shipments, tracking numbers, backlog, product reliability, inventory, material forecast, and more. Additionally, Citrix provided external suppliers with access to Birst so that they could easily view Citrix forecasts and plan accordingly. “Birst was a game-changer for us,” continued Tiso. “We went live in less than 90 days with very limited involvement from IT and plan to have 2,000 users up and running shortly.”

“With Birst, everything you can imagine is at our fingertips. I can run this business from anywhere. I just have to hit the refresh button.” —Fred Tiso, Group Director of Hardware Operations, Citrix Systems

Birst also allowed Tiso’s team to create a self-serve model for all order fulfillment information, greatly reducing incoming, order-related calls. Event-driven e-mail alerts provide proactive notification of potential customer satisfaction issues, including low inventory and an on-time delivery rate of less than 100 percent.

“With Birst, we can see a problem before or as it happens, instead of a customer calling to tell us about it,” Tiso added. “We’ve achieved a more than 99 percent on-time delivery rate and a five-fold increase in inventory turns that has lowered costs, increased profitability, and improved our gross margins.”

Tiso and his team plan to eventually add customers to the new, self-serve system to further lower the company’s costs and enhance customer satisfaction. “We believe we can cut customer service calls by about 50 percent by giving customers online access to their data,” explained Tiso. “Also, if our customers have greater visibility into the system, we can more easily collaborate with them to resolve any issues. Now that we’ve seen what Birst can do, I’m sure we’ll continue to find new ways to better serve our customers and improve our business results.”


This article originally appeared in the issue of .

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