Carnival’s Voyage to a Better Sales Performance Management Program

The Challenge

Carnival Cruise Line, known as “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®”, sets high standards in every area of operations. With an industry-leading technology supporting its Sales Performance Management (SPM) program, Carnival wanted support beyond the typical technology vendor post-deployment model where a “bucket of hours” is allocated to address problems and help maintain the platform.

In addition to needing enhanced support, Carnival wanted a strategic partner to help maximize the investment in its SPM program – not just the technology, but also the people and processes behind it. With over 840 payees using the SPM system and over 3 million transactions logged each month, Carnival was seeking a dedicated team of experts to help ensure that the SPM technology was leveraged to its full potential and that the overall program was as operationally efficient as it could be.

The Solution

OS EDGE, OpenSymmetry’s managed services offering, provides the level of support and expertise that Carnival needs by deploying a team of certified SPM consultants to support and optimize Carnival’s SPM program. With the assignment of this team, OpenSymmetry was able to develop a deep understanding of the nuances of Carnival’s sales compensation design history, team culture, payout calendar, data structure, operating procedures, vision, and strategy. In addition, having a consistent, designated team eliminated the ramp-up time previously needed for onboarding new consultants provided by the technology vendor.

To kick things off, OpenSymmetry conducted an SPM program assessment to understand the current state and effectiveness of Carnival’s SPM tools and processes. Then, leveraging the findings from the program assessment, a future state vision and roadmap were developed. Together, Carnival and OpenSymmetry leveraged the roadmap to execute on a variety of high priority initiatives including data purging, remediating issues with calculation times, plan changes and report development. Weekly meetings were established to review the status of initiatives, re-prioritize based on new needs, and provide an avenue for general discussion.

“The OpenSymmetry team has been an excellent extension of our team and partners with us throughout the entire life cycle of our projects and day-to-day support of the system. Each of the team members provides a significant value and partnership with our team and is doing a phenomenal job.”

– Dale Cross Senior Manager of Delivery and Support, IT & Travel Operations, Carnival Cruise Line

The Result

From the partnership with the OS EDGE team, results began to emerge. The SPM program was running more smoothly and efficiently with periodic environment refreshes and strategic improvements. Initial results included:

  • Reduced calculation time: Carnival was experiencing calculation time issues that included long running calculations getting stopped and full calculation times exceeding internal Carnival SLAs. The original calculation time of four or more hours was decreased to meet SLAs after the OpenSymmetry team created nightly maintenance schedules, modified long running calculations and purged approximately four years of outdated data.
  • Environment maintenance: Lower environments were put on a refresh cadence to enhance development timelines, unit testing, and UAT.
  • Creation of new reports: OpenSymmetry provided Carnival with reports not previously available for a new incentive plan, revised scorecards, and enhancements of current reports. OpenSymmetry also worked with Carnival to provide automated tools to eliminate manual workarounds for report creation.
  • Enhanced proficiency and repeatability: OpenSymmetry created documentation of SPM system improvements, including root causes of issues and corresponding fixes and solutions. This provided a repeatable process for solving similar future issues efficiently.

Unforeseen changes in market conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic required quick incentive compensation plan changes within the SPM system to fairly compensate sellers during unprecedented times. OpenSymmetry’s designated managed services team swiftly responded to the new incentive plan priorities and executed the initial changes within three days. This was further validation for Carnival that their managed services partnership with OpenSymmetry delivered not only the expertise and deep operational knowledge that kept the SPM program fully optimized, but also brought strategic value even in the most unexpected situations.

“I appreciate the clear and open lines of communication with OpenSymmetry that keep us on track and moving toward our common goal. The team is fully engaged, and by partnering with them, we are leaps and bounds from where we once were.”

– Lillian Muller Senior Manager of Commercial Reporting and Analysis, Carnival Cruise Line

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