How to Develop an Automated Business Process – Case Study
In this video, I will give you an example of a real-life small business process that I was able to automate, thereby making the company’s workflow more efficient.
But first of all, let’s talk about business process management…
Business process management (BPM) is a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.
A business process is an activity or set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal.
Designing business processes involves developing a strategy to carry out the mission of a business.
Today’s example involves a safety training company that delivers its courses online to the employees of agricultural companies. With their particular business model, there are several steps required to setup a new company and its employees on their training platform.
Before automating this process, this company’s team had 6.5 pages of instructions for setting up new clients. The list of tasks included:
-Setting up a shared Dropbox folder for the new client
-Creating a Client Contract (Saved from Old Contract)
-Creating a Client Setup Checklist – (Saved from Old Checklist)
-Adding Contacts to MailChimp
-Adding Contacts to a CRM
-Adding the Company to a CRM
-Adding a Project to a CRM
-Notifying Team Members via Email
These steps were very redundant, and created a situation where errors could easily be made.
I was able to work with this company to automate the steps above…
First, I setup a Web Form that had all of the information required for every step listed above
Then I created a password protected website form on their website. This form had a field for every single data point required to complete each of the above steps.
Then I used a variety of cloud-based web services that integrated with this web form. Once that was done, all of the steps above could be automatically completed…here’s how…
Once the web form was submitted with all of the required information…
A Dropbox shared folder was automatically created using the company name as the label.
A Contract was generated in MS Word format, and each field was completed in the contract, so it was ready to sign by both parties. The contract was placed in the dropbox folder, and the file name was generated automatically with the company’s name included.
A client setup checklist was generated in MS Word format, with the company’s information and pricing structure included. This document was also placed in the client’s dropbox folder and named appropriately.
All contacts specified in the web form were added to the appropriate MailChimp email distribution list, and to the company’s Customer Relationship Management software (or CRM).
Because the my client’s CRM didn’t allow for automatically creating a company or project record we had to work around this a bit. We created an excel file for both the company and the project that could be imported into the CRM. Once the excel files were created, an email was sent to the team member responsible for this task with the files attached, and links to the upload pages for the CRM. It was a matter of a couple of clicks and uploading the files.
Once the entire process was complete, emails were sent to team members letting them know a new client had been setup, and instructions to remind them what to do next.
This entire process took less than 45 seconds to complete. A huge time savings over the previous manual system.
There are many system that make up small businesses that can be automated in this way. Doing so saves time, eliminates redundant tasks, reduces the chance of human error, and frees team members to tackle other important tasks.