This article was originally published in the Autumn 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.
To understand how FireStart can improve the order management process through its business process management (BPM) platform, let’s look at an example of a fictional coffee bean roasting and distribution company, Kaba Coffee, which has been used to illustrate examples of how the platform can solve real problems.
Kaba supplies customers with roasted coffee beans sourced from plantations around the world. It recognised an issue in the lead time for current orders and the IT process director was responsible for finding a solution to this problem.
Kaba’s largest customer, a large chain of cafés, threatened to cancel its contract due to the slow delivery time. The total lead time to ship should be three to four days, however, it was taking it up to a month.
The IT process director investigated the order process, including interviewing every person involved. The conclusion was that a collection of mismanaged tasks, bottlenecks and process variations was responsible for the delays. One of the problems included the delayed start of process due to website requests sitting in customer account managers’ email inboxes before any call to action.
According to the IT process director, if they could get the process under control, automate manual tasks, and monitor the executions, they would be able to vastly reduce the process lead time on all future executions.
It was decided that Kaba would implement FireStart’s BPM solution.
With the power of automation, the customer account manager can now fill out a form, and FireStart automatically logs the order in the enterprise resource planning system. A task then automatically takes the customer’s request, appends it with the customer’s information from the customer relationship management system, and sends the account managers an approval task. They add any missing information and then approve the order. If the account manager doesn’t submit their approval within a day, their manager is notified to ensure there is no stall during the process.
Many manual tasks were also improved with forms and simple automation including notifying customers of a successful order submission, emailing suppliers, informing the roasting plant of expected deliveries, and preparing all required shipment paperwork.
The result of implementing FireStart to manage and automate Kaba’s order management process was an end-to-end process optimised with both automation and efficient human task management. Kaba’s lead times shrunk to less than one week, ultimately reinforcing positive customer relationships and allowing for more company growth in the future.
Shyamal Addanki is vice president North America, and MinhThao Dang is business process management architect at FireStart
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