November 2001

Situation ...

A distributor of hardware products experienced phenomenal growth in the demand for its products, necessitating major staff increases company-wide. This growth led to an increased number of Human Resource and Capital Expenditure requests.

Problem ...

Manual processing of requests – requiring multi-level approvals in the various business processes – became impractical, time consuming, costly, and difficult to track.

Solution ...

We designed and developed the on-line forms and automated workflow processes for common Human Resource and Capital Expenditure requests, allowing company employees and managers to electronically complete, route, and approve requests:

  • Each type of request has its own end-user-maintainable automated workflow definition, consisting of multiple steps, routings allowed among the steps, the position and person assigned to each step, and the time allowed to complete each step.
  • Users enter requests into a customized form. A "Done" button associated with each step in the process validates information and triggers the request to move to the next step in the process and notify the next person via e-mail. Designated individuals can cancel or approve requests, or send requests back to users for rework.
  • Users can view requests by date, stage of completion, department, or type of request.
  • Security is controlled by the application, allowing only the user designated for a particular step to update the information.

Screen shot of Lotus Notes vacation and personal day request form.

Screen shot of capital expenditure request in Lotus Notes.

Examples of on-line Vacation and Personal Day and Capital Expenditure request forms. These forms can be tailored for any business.

Web browser view of Lotus Notes capital expenditures request.

This on-line view of Capital Expenditure requests gives high-level visibility and status of all requests. Managers no longer need to spend time locating critical requests and walking them through the process.

Results & Benefits ...

  • Company employees and managers complete, route, and approve forms on-line via e-mail. This automated process reduces data entry time, enforces completion of required information, eliminates manual paperflow, and ensures consistency of processing.
  • Cycle time reduction of 30% for Capital Expenditure requests allows purchases to be made sooner.
  • Up-to-date status on each request eliminates questions such as "Whose desk is it on?" or "Has my request been approved?"
  • Paperless environment speeds work and enhances security.
  • Data validation rules ensure that busy managers and executives have all the information required to make a decision.

Conclusion ...

The client used these on-line request forms to improve and standardize its processes and to reduce cycle time. In addition, information which was not available before is now easily accessible on-line. The success of these applications has given the client confidence to setup additional, more complex processes on-line.

For More Information ...

To discuss how technology usage and business process improvements could be applied to the issues facing your business, call us at 336.297.4200 to schedule a no-obligation consultation, or click here to contact us online.