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Improving organizational efficiency through information and communication technology

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Presented by Elizabeth Lyons (University of California) at the IBLI policy workshop, Nairobi, 9 June 2015

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Improving organizational efficiency through information and communication technology

  1. 1. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology Elizabeth Lyons UC San Diego IBLI/ADRAS Policy Workshop June 9, 2015
  2. 2. Network Coverage in Regions with Access to IBLI Green: Good Yellow: OK Red: Poor
  3. 3. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology ICT in Northern Kenya Cell Phone Use Among IBLI Clients, Partners Cell phone access is widespread among IBLI clients and local partners Around 90% of FGD participants had their own mobile phones, minority had smart phones Those who do not have their own phones use other community members Those in villages without network coverage will walk to areas of coverage to make calls Illiteracy does not prevent use of mobile phones 3 / 1
  4. 4. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology ICT in Northern Kenya Given the widespread adoption of mobile phones in regions IBLI is sold, many opportunities to improve efficiency of IBLI and IBLI partner operations through their use. Some Examples: Information collection and transmission to improve interactions with clients Promotion campaigns; Index maps; Customer complaints and feedback; Customer help Information collection and transmission to improve sales agent performance Data collection for monitoring, sales tracking; Reminders and updates; Improved incentives 4 / 1
  5. 5. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology ICT in Northern Kenya Given the widespread adoption of mobile phones in regions IBLI is sold, many opportunities to improve efficiency of IBLI and IBLI partner operations through their use. Some Examples: Information collection and transmission to improve interactions with clients Promotion campaigns; Index maps; Customer complaints and feedback; Customer help Information collection and transmission to improve sales agent performance Data collection for monitoring, sales tracking; Reminders and updates; Improved incentives 4 / 1
  6. 6. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology Sales Agent Model Background IBLI Sales Agent Model IBLI is provided & underwritten by two insurance companies, TIA and APA; both use sales agent model to distribute the product Agents perform outside sales Each agent is assigned to sell within a given division, usually one which they are familiar with Expected to both introduce and promote the product, and complete sales transactions Previously all worked on short term contracts, TIA has introduced annual contracts 5 / 1
  7. 7. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology Sales Agent Model Background Sales Agent Model Effectiveness Advantages Facilitates distribution to hard to reach customers Agents are community members Disadvantages Difficult to attract high ability labor Little face time between agents and managers Can Mobile Phones help to Overcome Disadvantages with the Distribution Model? 6 / 1
  8. 8. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology Mobile Phones and the Sales Agent Model Research Agenda 1. Improve data collection through Android sales transaction application 2. Test effectiveness of employer sponsored, mobile-based training 3. Improve monitoring and incentives for performance through better tracking and faster feedback 7 / 1
  9. 9. Improving Organizational Efficiency through Information & Communication Technology Mobile Phones and the Sales Agent Model Research Agenda 1. Improve data collection through Android sales transaction application 2. Test effectiveness of employer sponsored, mobile-based training 3. Improve monitoring and incentives for performance through better tracking and faster feedback 7 / 1
  10. 10. Android Sales Transaction Application
  11. 11. Android Sales Transaction Application Data Collected: Sales information Number of sales Value of sales Animals insured Customer information App usage Transaction errors Time to completion Location
  12. 12. The Impact of Mobile Training on Sales Agent Performance Due to cost and infrastructural constraints, face-to-face agent training is short and intensive Many agents do not have a complete understanding of IBLI or of the sales process at the conclusion of the training period Mobile phones offer a means for continuing training even after agents return to their sales divisions Can employer sponsored mobile-based learning improve sales, firm revenue, and customer satisfaction?
  13. 13. mLearning Application
  14. 14. mLearning Application
  15. 15. Research Design: Natural Field Experiment Four treatments: 1. No access to mLearning application 2. Access to mLearning application 3. Access to mLearning application with performance-based financial rewards 4. Access to gamified version of mLearning application Time line: Field Testing: June, 2015 Field Coordinator Training: July, 2015 Experiment: August 1 - September 30, 2015 Data: Independent Variables: Treatment group, prior sales record, location, surveys and tests Dependent Variables: Intensity of app usage, knowledge of product, sales performance, customer satisfaction
  16. 16. Looking Ahead How can we best harness ICT to achieve low-cost solutions to high-cost challenges in pastoralist communities? Lessons from these studies with further research may be applicable to broader audiences, for instance: Improving information transfer among pastoralists Improving distribution of consumer goods and services to rural regions Improving provision of aid and public goods to under-served populations
  17. 17. Thank you!

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