Hello, this is Hayashi from the Marketing Department.

In the previous article we discussed how spreadsheet-based operations can be improved from a business process management (BPM) perspective. That article was mainly about how to improve business processes within a team.

However, there are cases where business processes are not limited to those within the team, but also include those outside the team (clients and business partners, etc.). In addition, these processes may involve exchanging files and data with external companies.

Cloud storage such as Google Drive and Box are useful tools not only for sharing within a team, but also for such external interactions.

In this issue, we will discuss BPM methods and business process improvement using BPM tools with specific examples on the theme of external interactions utilizing cloud storage.

The Importance of Sharing in BPM

The details of Business Process Management (BPM) have been explained in the previous article, so I won’t go into them here, but in general, BPM is:

  • A business management approach that continuously improves business processes through the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle

and the 4 components are,

  1. Business modelling (definition and visualization of business processes)
  2. Execution of operations
  3. Monitoring of process status (grasping the situation)
  4. Analysis, problem detection, and process improvement

Now, two types Sharing will be the major points in improving business processes through BPM.

The first is the sharing of business processes within the team, which is essential to the execution of operations described above. The other is the process of sharing documents and data in the business process.

In many cases, sharing such documents and data has become a business challenge. In the next section, we will introduce an example of business process improvement by reconsidering sharing from the perspective of BPM.

Sharing via Cloud Storage

In the case of Ichijo Sendai Corporation, it was reported that by reviewing the exchange/sharing of documents with external parties, operations were greatly improved.

The company is a custom-built housing manufacturer specializing in wooden houses, but in the past, communication with subcontractors involved in the construction of houses was handled by fax. This was in order to handle the wide variety of procedures involved in the construction of houses, including requests, inspections, and payments. However, each time a report, communication, or confirmation is made, a large number of documents are naturally created and sent. This was a huge burden for both companies, leading to excessive overtime work for site supervisors and delays in construction. This is a problem stemming from the sharing of documents.

The company therefore embarked on a fundamental review of its construction management operations and began to improve processes using Questetra BPM Suite.

Questetra BPM Suite is a software (BPM tool) that supports the progression and improvement of business operations based on the BPM concept. In this improvement activity, the linkage between Questetra and Google Drive was an important point.

In the new construction management process using Questetra, documents such as construction request forms and inspection acceptance notification forms, which were previously prepared by the person in charge and sent by fax, are now automatically generated as PDF files by Questetra and automatically sent to subcontractors via email.

Upon receiving the file via email, the subcontractor simply replies to the email with a brief comment ( which was previously done by fax), and the completion report and invoicing notice can be sent. At the same time, Questetra automatically generates the related documents (completion reports and invoicing notifications). The generated files are also automatically saved to Google Drive, so that the person in charge can check the documents with a smartphone or other device even when they are not in the office.

Results of Reviewing Sharing Procedures in BPM

Ichijo Sendai Corporation, which introduced Questetra BPM Suite and improved its business processes using BPM methods, achieved the following results.

  • Reduced the burden of paperwork
  • Eliminated the need to return to the office to confirm receipt of faxes (significantly reducing overtime work)
  • Reduced the time and effort required to exchange documents with subcontractors
  • Significantly reduced construction delays due to fax omissions, etc.

The key point of this business improvement is that the sharing of documents for construction management, which used to be done by fax, was made more efficient by linking Questetra BPM Suite, a BPM tool, with Google Drive, a cloud storage system. The effect was not only to reduce the time and effort required for document preparation, transmission, and confirmation, but also to drastically reduce overtime work for site supervisors and construction delays.

Further Improvement by Integrating Questetra BPM Suite and Cloud Storage

Incidentally, the Kyoto University iPS Cell Research Foundation, which also utilized Questetra BPM Suite to streamline its purchasing process, cited the following reason for choosing Questetra BPM Suite over other workflow products:

  • Questetra comes standard with functions that can be integrated with Box

As more and more companies and organizations are utilizing Box for their business operations in recent years, Questetra is also strengthening its Box integration functions.

Cloud storage, which allows access to files and data from anywhere with an Internet environment, is a tool that can be used on its own to improve business efficiency. However, as shown in the above case study, when considering further streamlining and improving business processes, including file sharing via cloud storage, integration with BPM tools is an effective option.

Why don’t you start with Questetra BPM Suite, a free trial of which is also available, to connect with BPM tools that will take your business on the next step towards improving efficiency by implementing cloud storage?

▼ You can also apply for a free trial here ▼

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