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 including site design, management system customization, system management on behalf of our clients and we also do consulting to attract customers, etc. (CAGO-LAB Service)
We introduced Questetra in July 2010 with the purpose of improving the service delivery flow for Online Shops. We have set various work steps, from registration of orders received to delivery. For example, in the case of constructing a new site, we have set a checking processes spanning about 2 months, which includes hearing about designs, checking deliverables and options setting.
Q. What kind of advantages did you find?
We have found it very beneficial to be able to see the progress of issues in real time.
For example, the delivery date is the most important factor in the construction of an E-Commerce site. Needless to say, if by any chance there is a delay in the delivery it could cause a great deal of inconvenience to the business of the online shop. In Aratana, the progress of all projects is monitored frequently and used as material for regular meetings. I think it is very useful because even in the situations where multiple operations are in progress concurrently, we can easily keep track of them. I also found an advantage in terms of ease of changing configurations and definitions.
E-Commerce site management may require a flexible response to external changes, such as changes in specifications of linked systems, new design trends and technological evolution. In some cases, we need to change the business rules and work procedures of Aratana. I like Questetra for its business flow settings, which can be changed simply using only a browser. Because I can run tests as soon as I make changes I also felt as if I was playing a game.
Incidentally, especially when it was first introduced 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 problems and make improvements, like descriptive notes on the operating screen or email notifications when issues arrive.
Q. Have you applied Workflow to more operations since then?
Now it has been more than three years since its introduction, and we are using Questetra for everything.
It had been used only in business in the service providing department at first, but after a while it came to be used for application approval flows that all employees use.
Application based flows came to be maintained by the Administrative department. It was very helpful because the operation screen is very easy to understand, so members of the Administrative department could use it soon after a brief explanation of the operation.
Even recently it has been updated continuously, and also the number of operations that are processed in Questetra have increased. We think the new staff can integrate into the company smoothly if operations are defined in Questetra. Some mid-career employees have said they were impressed that it is managed more neatly 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 newly created business definition 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 in conjunction with the cloud-based project management system “Backlog” (Nulab Inc.). I think it became very efficient.
The management philosophy of Aratana is to create employment for 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 be able to provide services which comply with business rules and the Workflow. We would like to actively incorporate automation mechanisms such as API integration.