*The name of “G Suite” was changed into “Google Workspace” in October 2020
Q. What kind of operations do you use Questetra for?
KAWANO CONSUL is a consulting firm specializing in business succession. We offer advisory services for stock transfer procedures and the introduction of class shares as countermeasures for owner companies’ own shares.
Two years and a half have passed since we started using Questetra BPM Suite (as of October, 2013). We now use it for many internal operations such as expense reporting and various other application approval operations, as well as for progress management for the consulting business which is our main operation. Moreover, we use it for the submission of contracts/invoices, which includes automatic document generation.
Among these processes, I noticed that the expense reporting and settlement processing have become smoother. It is not uncommon for the consultants to use Questetra’s Process ID in their daily conversations at the office.
Q. What problems did you have before?
In recent years, there has been a gradual increase in the number of daily tasks that require the use of computers, and many veteran employees have felt confused. I think there were so many occasions when they were required to alter settings and operations on their PCs.
At KAWANO CONSUL we believe it is important to build an environment where daily operations can be handled by smartphones and tablets. In other words, we are promoting the migration of in-house systems into the Cloud. More specifically, we are trying to build a business system that can be operated from a smartphone or tablet, and an environment that is user-friendly for people who are uncomfortable operating a PC, by using cloud-based groupware like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and a cloud-based workflow like Questetra BPM Suite.
Today, applications are routinely submitted using iPhones and approved using iPads, and I feel that the quality and speed of information sharing has been greatly improved. Assistant operations are quickly processed mostly on the iPad, and I think that the times when support from the system administrator is required has been reduced by half.
Q. How big is the advantage of migrating to cloud-based systems?
We are promoting another great goal of the cloud system, which is to enhance the telecommuting environment.
There are many highly skilled people who have difficulties commuting. Also, in time, I suppose some workers might want to shift to telecommuting. So we have reduced the number of tasks which must be done in the office successfully by using Google Workspace for emails and calendars and using Questetra for conveying business data.
Now, there are some operations that are done only by telecommuters, and the percentage of telecommuters has become about 25%. We are in the process of increasing the number of telecommuting employees gradually.
Q. Please tell us about the outlook for the future.
We are currently commissioning a system to start business processing via a phone call.
We think smartphones are still complicated or bothersome to handle, so we are trying to build a system that starts a Workflow with a phone call.
Specifically, when a project expense is incurred the project number is registered on the automated answering machine, and the expense reporting process is automatically started. All the consultant has to do is to write down the project ID on the receipt or invoice that he hears on the automated answering machine and hand it over when he gets back to the office, and the rest of the process is all assistant work. We still have a lot of ideas, which means there is still room for improvement, but we are planning to reduce the number of errors in the expense reporting process and improve the work efficiency of downstream processes.
Incidentally, we do not pay any special costs for the system itself. It was done with a very simple extension by just adding the starting point in the existing business process definition and connecting the API of the cloud telephone service Twilio and the connection API of Questetra. We are now actually experiencing the so-called business improvement cycle.