Q. What kind of business do you use Questetra for?
Aratana inc. is a business venture that supports ‘E-Commerce sites’ (Online Shops),which started in MIYAZAKI prefecture.
We offer a variety of consistent services not only the design of the site and customization of the management system, but also the system management under contract and we also do consulting for attracting customers, etc.. (CAGO-LAB Service)
We introduced Questetra in July 2010 with the purpose of “developing a service delivery flow for Online Shops”. We have set various Work Steps, between registration of orders received and delivery. For example, in the case of a “Construction of the New Site”, checking processes spanning about 2 months has been set, such as “hearing about the Design”, “Check of deliverables” and ” Options Setting”.
Q. What kind of advantages did you find?
We have found great advantage of the fact that we can see the ‘progress of the Issue’ in real time.
For example, “the appointed date of delivery” is the most important in the construction projects of the E-Commerce site. Needless to say, but if by any chance a “delay in delivery” occur; it could cause a great deal of inconvenience to the business of the online shop. In Aratana, all of the progress of issues is monitored frequently, and it is also used as a material of the regular meeting. I think it is very useful because even in the situations where more than one operation is in progress concurrently, it can be identified easily. I also found advantage in the perspective of “the ease of change of configuration and the definition.”
In the E-Commerce site management, sometimes flexible responding to external change is required, regarding issues such as “Specifications change of linkage system”, “new design trend”, “evolution of technology”. In some cases, we need to change the business rules and work procedures of Aratana. I like Questetra for its business flow setting, which can be changed simply through only a browser. Because I can run tests as soon as I make changes , I also had the feeling as if I was “playing a game.”
Incidentally, especially at the beginning of its introduction, there were complaints such as ‘I don’t know what to input.’ or ‘I can’t find my incoming work.’ It is very good that we can make small changes to solve and improve them, like ‘Descriptive notes on the operating screen’ or ’email notification on issue arrival’.
Q. Have you expand the businesses to apply Workflow (BPM) since then?
Now it has been more than three years since its introduction, and we are using Questetra for everything.
It had been used in only business in service providing department at first, but it has come to be used in such as “application approval flow that all the employees use” after a while.
Application based flows became to be maintained by the Administrative department. It was very helpful because the operation screen is very easy to understand so that members of the Administrative department could use it soon after a brief description of the “Overview of Operations”.
Even recently, it has been updated continuously, and also businesses that are defined in the Questetra have increased. We think the new staff can blend into the company smoothly if the operations are defined in Questetra, for an employee who joined in the middle said “I was impressed that it is managed more tightly than expected”. We found that a business definition (Process Model) which has been running since the introduction of Questetra has been updated 128 times.
Incidentally, in some cases there’s a large difference between “the business definition and the newly created” and “the business in reality”. In such cases, the members involved analyze it and make changes little by little.
Q. Please tell us if you came up with any creative ways to use Questetra.
In the development team, they can now transfer business data seamlessly by API conjunction with cloud-based project management system “Backlog” (Nulab Inc.). I think it became very efficiently.
Management philosophy of Aratana is “Creating the employment of 1,000 people in Miyazaki”.
Group companies are increasing. The number of people involved in the business is also increasing. Yet I believe that we must achieve service providing which complies with business rules and Workflow. We would like to actively incorporate mechanisms of “automation” such as the API conjunction.