FlowForma helps a specialist vehicle rental business address the complex needs of construction sites while advancing its digital transformation strategy.
The Pain Points:
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, a FlowForma customer provides vacuum truck rentals and maintenance to companies and contractors across the United States. The specialist vehicles are used to remove soil, drilling mud, drilling cuttings, cement, and other debris from building sites. The business is focused on providing high-value service to every kind of customer, from small building projects to construction sites of 6,000 people.
The Chief Operating Officer was an early mover on digital transformation, recognizing that innovative technology solutions would enable the organization to gain a market lead and be successful at the top end of the rental market. Before he joined the company, there was very little transparency and a lack of quality data. Poor processes between its seven branches made it hard to keep track of trucks. Multiple IT systems had different data sets that were difficult to integrate.
FlowForma’s North American partner, Pontem Innovations, recommended the Digital Process Automation (DPA) tool as a way for this business to become more data-driven. The CEO got it straight away. “The big driver is shortening the communication timeframe from field to vendor. Between emails, text messages and voicemails, there is a lot for people to mine through to get to the things that really move the needle,” he said. With FlowForma Process Automation, this CEO had a tool that would definitely move the needle.
FlowForma Process Automation was a good fit for what this organization wanted from a DPA tool, a user-friendly approach that was more about people than technology. It provides an easy-to-use, scalable way of eliminating inefficient manual tasks through automation and integration.
One of the first workflows created was Truck Inspection, where pictures of every part of the vehicle are correlated in a process that reports on damage which is charged to the client. FlowForma Process Automation made the business-critical process accessible and transparent, with data flowing seamlessly between seven branch offices, providing an up-to-date and accurate record of each truck.
Health and Safety was another good fit. Vacuum trucks can be dangerous if used improperly, and when over 40 different construction companies could be working on the same site, it’s a challenge to give all of them access to the same process if there is an accident. Now, with FowForma Process Automation, any incident is immediately reported to every company involved in the project.
Like a lot of FlowForma customers, this truck rental company is discovering a way to advance digital transformation without having to ‘rip and replace’ large systems. It provides a digital overlay to what’s already there. “We have lots of large IT systems but there’s data that’s important to us that none of them are able to hold. FlowForma Process Automation fills that gap and is able pull information from multiple places,” said the CEO.
One example is the way FlowForma Process Automation combines location information from an IoT application with contracts from an ERP system to provide a single source of data for people in the field. Not only is it more efficient, by replacing a process that used to be paper-based, it creates a new workflow without having to invest in additional software licenses.
FlowForma Process Automation has contributed to what this CEO describes as a transition to a data-centric culture within his business, one that has led to greater transparency and seen revenue growth of 40% and a 30% increase in profits. Just one small process like Truck Inspection has made a direct contribution to the bottom line by saving time and money.
His advice to anyone using FlowForma Process Automation and wondering where to start is to spend time replacing the biggest, most inefficient processes first – processes used by lots of people multiple times a day – and then start working your way down. “Look at where you will get the most bang for your buck. If you get a process to 80% and it solves a problem, you have to decide if the last 20% is worth the extra work. We’ll often get to 80% and move on,” he said.
Planned new processes are not always implemented, but the FlowForma Process Automation creation process is still a benefit because it forces organizations to take a closer look at what they’re trying to do. “Process optimization happens just by exploring what you have with a better tool,” he said. “In two cases, we went through discovery and decided we didn’t even need the process. We just needed to issue a policy.”
Better customer service has been the biggest win, according to the CEO, because FlowForma Process Automation has helped replace seven siloed offices with a shared culture of collaboration. “Everyone is working towards the same goals and willing to help each other out. It’s very important for us because we are a 24/7, 365 days-a-year company that always has to be at its best to justify the higher prices,” he said.
This truck rental CEO has been particularly impressed by the straightforwardness of FlowForma Process Automation and its easy implementation. “I love the fact that it’s like programming without programming,” he said. “We create great stuff without having to get it developed and leverage the data to help drive a lot of our daily decisions. There are so many ways that it can be used that I don’t even think they’ve all been thought of yet.”
“The big driver is shortening the communication timeframe from field to vendor. Between emails, text messages and voicemails, there is a lot for people to mine through to get to the things that really move the needle.
We have lots of large IT systems but there’s data that’s important to us that none of them are able to hold. FlowForma Process Automation fills that gap and is able pull information from multiple places.
I love the fact that it’s like programming without programming.”