As part of its cloud strategy, a leading global food producer chose FlowForma Process Automation for Office 365® as the ideal workflow solution to take their critical business processes to the cloud.
The Pain Points:
Why FlowForma Process Automation?
The Next Steps:
Our client is looking to utilize FlowForma Enterprise + to report on their processes.
Our client employs 650 people at a large food processing and packaging facility in Europe. The onsite IT infrastructure includes a number of systems and servers to support the manufacturing business, including Lotus Domino which was used for a variety of business processes that integrated with the company’s ERP system. The platform was no longer supported and was nearing end of life.
When its parent company took the decision to migrate to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365, a new solution was needed to support workflow around a number of critical business processes, including Supplier Returns, Sample Requests and Product Change Requests.
“We heavily relied on forms that were utilized right across the business, saving on paperwork and increasing efficiency,” explained our clients Business Systems Manager. “All of them were internal processes although some triggered emails that went out to suppliers.”
There were typically between 50 and 75 employees actively using one or other of the workflows on a regular basis across a wide range of departments, including finance, sales, production and purchasing. It was important that whatever replaced Lotus Domino was intuitive to use and capable of replicating tried-and-tested processes that were embedded in the business. A bonus would be a future-proof platform for further digital transformation.
The firm would get all three with FlowForma Process Automation, which was also a hosted solution, ticking an important box around the company’s decision to move office applications to the cloud.
Because Office 365 comes with a basic edition of SharePoint, the decision was taken to make the Microsoft document repository the new platform for business processes. This plan was later stalled when a vendor proposed a SharePoint solution that was exorbitantly expensive and clunky to use.
“Then one of our suppliers introduced us to FlowForma Process Automation, a product that would speed up the process of making a workflow from within SharePoint without costing us a fortune.”
The engagement with FlowForma began with demonstrations of typical workflows, but the business was keen to see how it handled real-world situations so an existing process was soon migrated over. It took just a few days to get the first process up and running and the migration proved straightforward. With the proof of concept done and dusted, work commenced on the next workflows.
To date, eleven workflows have been successfully migrated to FlowForma Process Automation and two more are underway, including a Supplier Item Approval Process. Each one is scoped and analyzed for opportunities to minimize steps and rules to make the workflow more efficient.
The endgame is always the same with FlowForma, to provide clients with a self-service process automation tool, something that they can tailor to their own unique business needs and develop as they go along. With this in mind, users are trained from the outset. In the case of our client, FlowForma held a two day training session with the business’ systems staff who would be building new processes in the future – an intuitive tool, user adoption of FlowForma Process Automation was quick.
Our clients IT team were impressed at how no coding was involved in creating FlowForma processes compared to Lotus, and the way they could choose features to enhance the functionality of a particular form. This suited a business that has a lot of mature processes that it wants to keep as simple as possible.
The Business Systems Manager was particularly impressed at the enablement aspect of the product, at the way business managers have been empowered with a self-service solution. “Once we got our heads around it, FlowForma Process Automation was a lot quicker to use than Lotus, which makes a big difference when you need to get new processes up and running quickly. It’s essentially easier to map out a workflow in as simple a format as possible.”
It’s not just the features and functionality of FlowForma Process Automation that impressed – it was also the cost. “FlowForma Process Automation was priced considerably less than the other solution we looked at. That one had us questioning whether we’d made the right decision to use SharePoint for business process forms – the cost was astronomical. FlowForma Process Automation is a lot more realistic and I like the way the knowledge around running it is transferred over to us,” our client said.
The Business Systems Manager also praised the FlowForma onboarding team: “They were very professional, very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about their product. We wanted to push the project through quite quickly and were pleased that we had picked the right business partner to enable us to do that.”
Recently, the business moved to the FlowForma Enterprise + package in order to take advantage of additional functionality, and to access data within their workflows to produce reports and graphs.
‘‘Once we got our heads around it, FlowForma Process Automation was a lot quicker to use than Lotus, which makes a big difference when you need to get new processes up and running quickly. It’s essentially easier to map out a workflow in as simple a format as possible.
FlowForma Process Automation is a lot more realistic and I like the way the knowledge around running it is transferred over to us.”