FlowForma® Process Automation helps TOUCH Community Services optimize their processes to support its work in the community without the burden of high costs or complexity
The Pain Points:
The Next Steps:
Having made a quick start with six processes that have already justified their investment in FlowForma Process Automation, the plan is to continue to replace paper-based forms across the organization and deliver even more efficiencies to the charity.
Set up in Singapore in 1986, TOUCH Community Services are a not-for-profit organization, running various support groups and clubs for people across all age groups. The charity has transformed the lives of low-income families that struggle to make ends meet, but like a lot of non-profit organizations it has the constant challenge of trying to improve services without incurring excessive costs.
Puay Meng Lim, IT Manager, wanted to strike the right balance when he went looking for ways to improve key business processes within the organization. Specifically, he wanted an automated electronic process to replace HR and finance forms that were an unwieldly combination of word documents, spreadsheets and old-fashioned paperwork. Manual processes were compounded by an approval process that depended on local and centrally-based managers.
“Getting a form filled in often involved local supervisors who then had to pass it through to headquarters,” said Puay Meng. “It took a long time, so I was searching for BPM (Business Process Management) software to automate and centralize the process.” A form in the charity could be used by as many as 300 employees across the different offices, so getting anything done quickly was always a logistical challenge.
A training request process, for example, was used to log the number of hours staff spent on training courses. All done manually in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, it was difficult to track and not always up to date. Puay Meng Lim knew there must be a more efficient solution.
A custom-built solution was briefly considered before Puay Meng Lim came across FlowForma® Process Automation on Microsoft AppSource. Having already invested in Microsoft Office 365® with SharePoint, it made sense for TOUCH to go with a product that was fully integrated with the Microsoft suite and more competitively priced.
He took the free 30-day trial and knew he had found his solution when he devised a process for three users.“During the trial I had a lot of questions and got help from the FlowForma team. I soon managed to develop two test forms and was able to show these to my management. They gave me the green light to take out a subscription,” he said.
Puay Meng Lim has an IT background but always thought it was important that the business process solution he chose would be code-free and intuitive to use. To get up and running quicker, he took advantage of FlowForma SureStart, an onboarding program run over five days across two months. An Implementation Specialist and Client Manager were always available as he went on the journey from setting it up to ‘going live’.
It worked. Puay Meng Lim would complete his first full production of ‘flows’ in under three days. He has gone on to devise a total of six processes – four around HR and two in finance – that range from training requests to staff and purchase requisitions. As well as mandatory set-up steps, there are configurable options that let you tailor forms to specific business needs. The ability to build-in different approval levels was a particularly good fit for TOUCH’s requirements.
Puay Meng Lim’s expectations have been more than met. He was pleasantly surprised at how much more productive FlowForma Process Automation has made the charity, estimating a 70% efficiency improvement in the time it takes to circulate a form. Management has fully embraced the FlowForma Process Automation tool because it ticks all the boxes for the charity – it solves business problems cost-effectively and without complexity.
The staff were quick to embrace it too, although it took some of the more elderly workers, many of whom are over sixty, a little longer. “Once they got to know the advantages, there were no issues. Now you give them the forms and they just get on with it,” said Puay Meng Lim. For now, he is the only person developing ‘flows’ in FlowForma Process Automation but as he pursues a plan to automate more processes he expects others to get involved. He knows from his own experience that training them up on the software will be quick and easy.
“I would definitely recommend the product to other companies,” he said. “FlowForma is a really good firm to deal with.”
"During the trial I had a lot of questions and got help from the FlowForma team. I soon managed to develop two test forms and was able to show these to my management. They gave me the green light to take out a subscription.”
"I would definitely recommend the product to other companies, FlowForma is a really good firm to deal with.”