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We’ve already spoken at length about ROI, including how to calculate it and make a compelling case to your leadership team for investing in a quality management software solution like Qualtrax.

If you missed that three-part blog series, you can read the first installment here, the second here, and the third here.

But how can you really be sure that we’re on the up-and-up? I mean, here we are telling you how great our software is and how much time, money, hassle and heartache it’s going to save you … but wouldn’t any company say that about its product?

In this post, I’m pulling back the curtain and giving you a real look at how one of our customers is calculating ROI using the method outlined in the blogs above and saving more than $60,000 annually.

Before we dig into the details, I think it’s worth noting that 85% of this organization’s total savings – $52,000 – is attributed to process automation, or workflows. Our workflow tool allows you to automate just about any paper-based task you are currently handling manually. It is one of the most unique elements of our platform. Not only can you choose to use our Best-in-Class workflows right out of the box, but our workflow builder gives you the flexibility to fully customize and create a workflow for just about any process you can imagine.

This post will also give you a great look at how an organization can use the Qualtrax workflow builder to automate processes that fall outside the spectrum of quality and compliance – driving efficiency throughout the organization and making the decision to purchase Qualtrax much easier because company-wide adoption makes everyone’s lives better!

“Ah,” you may be thinking, “the upsell!”

Nope – the last thing I’ll leave you with before exploring how one of our customers saves a boatload of time and money using workflows is that the workflow builder is included with your purchase. Qualtrax is unique in that we don’t sell our platform in modules. You get everything we offer with your purchase, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ve got full capability without having to beg for extra cash down the road to pay for a module you didn’t know you needed. We’re looking out for you!

Now, without further ado, let’s talk about saving money! The customer who shared this information to us provides rotational lining, rotational molding and 3D printing for the aerospace, biopharma, semiconductor and chemical industries. They are accredited to ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100 Rev D.

The key to their success is using workflows to automate several processes in their organization. The cost savings add up to a significant chunk of change at the end of the day! Below, you’ll find a breakdown of their workflows, including how each one is utilized, the time saved and the associated cost savings. If you’re interested in another success story, we also have a customer who saves, on average, $60,000 per year with one workflow alone!

Workflow: Document Change Control

This workflow eliminates the hassle of chasing signatures and scanning in paper approvals. It also simplifies the role of the Document Control Coordinator. Previously, the DCC made all edits and manually published each document to the controlled document log on the company intranet. Using this workflow, edits are made by the requestor and submitted for approval electronically. Once the approvals are in place, Qualtrax automatically updates the document revision number, emails the revision notes to all impacted users, and publishes the new document. A process that used to average longer than five days is now completed in one. The ability to customize the approval chain for each document eliminates the risk of missed regulatory approvals from the FAA or customers.

ROI: 8hrs/month x $30/hour = $2,880/year.

Workflow: Corrective Action (Qualtrax Best-in-Class)

This workflow also eliminates the paper chase. In this case, it’s a direct-assist to the boss, who previously had to meet with the owners of corrective actions and complete a paper form himself. By automating this process, owners are now empowered to walk through the corrective action process on their own. The Quality Engineer now oversees and consults on the corrective actions instead of working each step themself, saving the boss an enormous amount of time.  

The guardrails that have been added by incorporating the process into a workflow has created an overall reduction in the time it takes to implement a corrective action. The workflow also implicitly requires the corrective action owners to take an active role in the process. They complete the “5 Whys” and root cause analysis steps themselves, under the direction of the Quality Engineer. By completing these steps in the workflow, mid-level managers develop an aptitude of risk-based thinking and higher levels of innovation that come from true process ownership.  

ROI: 10 hours/month x $70/hour = $8,400/year.

Workflow: Customer Document Review

There are several actions that need to happen when a customer revises a drawing. This workflow ensures that everyone is made aware of the changes and all of the necessary documents are updated to the new dimensions or applications before the next scheduled production run. The ability to simultaneously launch multiple actions at once speeds up the review and information delivery process. Running reports on open workflows allows the team to identify incomplete tasks, keeping them from falling through the cracks when work gets busy.  

The quality team is alerted when a document is revised and begins preparing Delta First Article Inspection documents immediately, instead of when the parts are scheduled to ship. This keeps orders moving out the door on time and without unnecessary rushing.  

ROI: 2hrs/month x $30/hour = $720/year.

Workflow: Engineering Phase Gate / Pre-work

This workflow provides increased visibility during the quotation process and simplifies the identification of risk. It also ensures that customer requirements are clarified on the front end of the quoting process, which allows the team to expedite the product through the development stages of the engineering process by reducing the time spent on intra-office phone calls and waiting on email correspondence to find out where a product is in the pipeline and when it will be coming into the next phase of development. A workflow essentially puts guardrails around any process, ensuring that all required steps are taken and documented appropriately to conform to ISO/AS requirements. Ultimately, this workflow allows the organization to provide more accurate lead times to customers.  

This workflow also utilizes multiple workflow launchers to eliminate redundant data entry.  Information is entered into the workflow as it moves through the process and new workflows are launched sending needed data out to various departments and automatically filling in dynamic forms that were previously created manually. The workflow has become one stop shopping for all departments to get up to date information in real time.  

Forms eliminated: 10

ROI, standard employees: 10hrs/month x $30/hour = $3,600/year.

ROI, engineering: 10hrs/month x $70/hour = $8,400/year.

ROI, sales: 10hrs/month x $50/hour = $6,000/yr

Workflow: Onboarding

This is a great example of a workflow that reaches outside the scope of quality and compliance. The onboarding workflow reduces the time HR needs to spend tracking and scanning paperwork for new hires. Automating this process helps maintain the organization’s government contract requirements by automatically requesting recurring forms from employees on a set schedule. It also automatically assigns the required documents and safety training to each new hire, freeing HR from tracking this manually.

ROI: 3 new hires/month x 1.5 hours/hire @ $30/hour = $1,620/year.

Workflow: Specification Revision Review

This is the most valuable workflow currently being used by this organization. It is designed to improve efficiency and expedite the delivery of product specs, streamlining a process that was previously handled manually. The workflow impacts production, QC, and engineering and ensures that every spec review goes through the exact same process every time, as dictated by the standards the organization is accredited to. The workflow captures key information at various steps in the process and routes requirements through various processes to ensure that all customer requirements are satisfied.

When the review is finished, the completed workflow continues to create value for the organization as a summary of the specification, referenced by all three departments. The workflow stores applicable diagrams, application, quality and training requirements in a template that makes everything easy to find. Qualtrax’s workflow attachments help save time on in-process and final inspections. It allows the digital inspection documents to be programmed with buttons linking directly to the workflow or specific applicable diagrams inside the workflow that have been pulled from the specification.  

Finally, thanks to the Qualtrax workflow expirations, the effort put into a specification review is not lost when the next revision of a specification is released because the original workflow reverts back to the engineering review step, with all the original information still intact, ready for updates to be entered if applicable.  

ROI, engineering/research time (minimum): 15hrs/month x $70/hour = $12,600/year.

ROI, production time (minimum): 6hrs/month x $30/hour = $2,160/year.

ROI, quality time (minimum): 6hrs/month x $30/hour = $2,160/year.

Workflow: Where Used Database

This is a great example of the flexibility of Qualtrax’s workflow builder. This customized workflow allows the organization’s engineering team to quickly identify impacted products if a change in a customer document occurs. It also focuses the QSA team on the engineering documents that are relevant to the organization’s current process, eliminating time that was previously wasted on documents for obsolete parts.

ROI, engineering: 6hrs/month x $70/hour = $5,040/year.

ROI, QSA: 4hrs/month x $30/hour = $1,440/year.

For those of you not keeping score at home, I’ll do the math for you. This organization saves approximately $52,140 per year through workflows alone. They represent this as a creation of $52,140 in innovation time. Without firing anyone or cutting salaries, they successfully eliminated hours that were previously spent looking for information, scanning documents and doing other mundane tasks. This has freed up their leadership team to spend more time innovating and working on continuous improvement of processes, which is where their time should be spent.

Besides the tangible ROI that can be measured in dollars, it’s important to consider the intangible elements that make Qualtrax a worthwhile investment. This organization has identified several areas that qualify as ROI but cannot be quantified with a dollar figure:

  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Reduced employee stress and burnout
  • Increased employee productivity and retention

Imagine how much less stressful work has become for every employee whose job has been impacted by the addition of workflows. Reduced stress and a reduction in perceived “busy work,” like chasing paper, can be great assets when it comes to employee health, wellbeing and retention. These are factors that cannot be calculated in a traditional ROI evaluation.

I’ve focused the direction of this blog on the value of workflows because they are a unique feature of the Qualtrax platform that our competitors simply do not offer. It is worth mentioning, however, that this same organization also estimates a savings of $2,880 per year using the Document Management segment of our product and another $6,210 through the Testing and Training segment.

The value of Qualtrax far outpaces the cost. Not only do you get the full software suite, but you also get an industry-leading training/implementation experience to get you up and running quickly and the best customer service in the industry.

Ready to see what Qualtrax can do for your organization? Drop us a line!

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Categories: Process Management, ROI

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