Microsoft Azure-based business process management platform has brought multiple benefits
Now that the engineering and construction industries are changing at a rapid pace, companies are having to digitise their business processes to boost operational efficiency and employee productivity.
Mercury Engineering, one of the largest multi-disciplinary engineering companies in Europe, is no different. In the past, the company had a complicated and lengthy process for ensuring it had completed specific actions before approving commercial decisions and projects. The process, which was conducted via Microsoft Excel, required employees to manually print, sign, scan and e-mail approvals to the next person in the chain. The process was hampered by slow load times, poor reporting capabilities, workflows breaking mid-process, the need to outsource any IT issues and approvals taking too long if people were working in remote locations.
Mercury decided to replace Excel with an easy-to-use business process management solution that would simplify and streamline its internal business process, and also integrate with its Microsoft SharePoint Online platform. In addition, the platform had to be accessible from any location via a range of different devices and internet browsers.
The company opted to implement Kianda, a Microsoft Azure-based business process management platform, from Kinada Technologies. As a business process management solution that does not require coding, Kianda not only addressed Mercury’s challenges, but also offered additional functionalities and capabilities.
“We introduced Kianda into Mercury to simplify and improve our Authority Matrix process – an online approval process which is used internally to ensure certain steps have been taken and considered when it comes to approving key commercial decisions,” said Fiona McCabe, lead IT business analyst. “Kianda was an obvious solution. It was low-code and meant I could take on a huge amount of the work myself. I couldn’t believe my luck to discover I could deliver this to the business myself.”
Kianda Forms and Workflows was synced with Mercury’s existing Microsoft SharePoint and Active Directory systems and allows employees to complete the approval process 80% faster than the previous solution. This is because users can start the approval process from within Mercury SharePoint Online Dashboard, or via a link from an automated e-mail notification, and be automatically redirected to Kianda Form. The ‘Query’ function within each workflow also eliminates the need for requestors and approvers to exchange multiple e-mails and phone calls, saving time and money. Overall, this saves Mercury up to 70 hours per year.
Meanwhile, Kianda’s customisable dashboards make it easy for employees to access the detailed analytics and reports they need to improve productivity.
“Kianda Dashboards are so simple to create and use,” says McCabe. “I’ve been able to create individual dashboards for each manager, personalising the charts and widgets based on their needs. Admittedly, the first one I created did take me a bit of time, but then I was flying and was creating custom dashboards in under 10 minutes.”
Support queries have also decreased by 94%. “I experienced a positive improvement as the volume of issues went from approximately 12 per week to three per month,” said McCabe. “Most of the ‘issues’ we experience are generally the user doing something wrong, or not sure how to use the functionality.”
Most importantly, McCabe can now implement a new workflow by herself – and do it 10 times faster than in the past.
“I can’t begin to explain how valuable this has been to have the knowledge and skills myself,” remarks McCabe. “Someone nabs me in the corridor and mentions an issue they are having and rather than saying “drop me an e-mail, and I’ll log it with the provider”, I’m now able to ask them real questions. I truly didn’t realise how empowering this really would be.”