We don’t blame you if your eyes roll back at the phrase “workflow management.” We’re all tired of having to check boxes to demonstrate work we’ve already completed, or enter the same piece of information in three different places. And don’t get us started on notifications, chat channels and the dozens of other “email killers” which continually disrupt our flow state. With many billions of dollars poured into developing B2B software over the past two decades, what do we have to show for it? Declining national productivity rates and, well, a seeming lack of affection for some of the most “popular” workflow tools on the market. There had to be a better way.
Vsimple wasn’t built to serve as just another task list, messaging system or document storage solution. It needed to actually help companies and people get more done with less…less effort, less margin for error, less time and less complexity. It’s why, at the start of a new customer engagement, we don’t simply hand over the software with a library of “how to” YouTube videos and an unmanned support line.
Before we launch your Vsimple workplace, we analyze the way your business processes run today, then offer a preview of what those could look like optimized within Vsimple. That’s step one, and step two is actually building it into a useful system that adds value at all levels of the organization.
Vsimple is built with a few principles in mind: getting to the end state of a process as efficiently and accurately as possible, then giving an organization meaningful insights about when, where and how things could improve.
It starts with what’s referred to internally as a record, the gravitational pull for all the activity taking place in the system. A record can be a customer order, a service ticket, a new hire, an invoice, an RMA, etc. Whatever it is we’re trying to track and manage receives a name and a series of steps which must be completed. For example, a new hire may have stages with names like onboarding paperwork, benefits enrollment, drug screening, software licenses, workspace setup, manager meeting, etc. Each step will have associated documents, reviews/approvals, information input and even communication and clarification — all right there on the record. Because we centralize information, documentation and communication, the amount of time wasted looking for or waiting on information is reduced dramatically.
Now that the basic record/stages set-up is established, we turn our focus to what we’ve coined as the digital assembly line. To unpack the analogy, think about the way a lean manufacturing facility runs: material is received, stored, picked, assembled step by step, packaged and shipped as a finished good. There’s no ambiguity about who is doing what at any stage of the process, and productivity (parts produced per hour worked) is easy to measure. Now think about a machine shop, where every assembly is unique, roles are flexible and timelines are fungible. Which of these scenarios is more reminiscent of the way offices function?
With Vsimple, we start by establishing work queues — think of these as stations on the assembly line. We limit the view of records to the people who actually need to take action, so you’re not inundated with needless noise but instead focused on the things which need attention. (Contrast that with the endless amount of kick the can via email, where all parties are unclear about responsibilities and next steps.)
Then, we tap a few of our technologies. First, Vsimple Automations enable us to skip steps, add team members, or complete tasks based on any set of conditions we’ve prescribed. Every process has “if this, then” statements, and we build those into the system to eliminate repetitive human tasks. Next, we deploy our Stage Locker, which prevents a record from moving to the next stage of the process if certain conditions aren’t met (i.e. information or documents are missing or incomplete), or if the user attempting to change stages isn’t authorized to do so.
The combination of these features is what creates a system of work by which the right people work on the right things at the right time, just like an assembly line.
Even assembly lines are fallible. Bad parts come in, employees call in sick, machines go down. Creating a baseline for goals (or even minimum acceptable performance) is an important part of building the system. Because Vsimple’s records are tracked on a time basis, we know if something has been “waiting” for action beyond a reasonable amount of time. While we can employ automation to reroute the assignment, we can also take advantage of custom notifications and escalate the issue. For example, if management decides it wants a text message when a record is in a certain stage for more than X number or hours or days, Vsimple can deliver.
Additionally, because all of the action (and inaction) lives in a central place, we build custom reports and scorecards so you can look back at the aggregate data instead of the one-off issue. Where do bottlenecks persist? Is it based on a record type, a department, an individual? All of these questions are now knowable and addressable, so you can constantly set your baseline for excellence higher.
Things change. Companies grow and shrink, personnel rotate, processes evolve. By baking standard operating procedures (SOP) into a technology, Vsimple is a bedrock of business continuity, reducing the pain and cost associated with change or turnover. That said, when change is positive and companies need their tools and systems to adapt, Vsimple is infinitely adaptable. All of our customers benefit from unlimited configuration, new workflow buildouts, dashboard setups, automation and more. The goal is not a one-time boost to productivity, but the creation of a system which allows for continuous improvement in perpetuity,
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. When SOPs are defined, tracked and managed as part of a system, there’s no question whether or not the technology is value-add to the company. When things are hidden, confusing, backlogged, dropped, forgotten or any of the common phenomena in business processes, you’re leaking profits. If you’d like to see the ways in which Vsimple could improve your business performance, get in touch and we’ll gladly tailor a demonstration for the operations you wish to address.