By Caitlin Hines on July 10, 2018
Have you met Deanna? She is one of our Customer Relationship Managers and such an incredible champion of our customers. She wants to know them in a deep way so she can help them better use the functionality of our product. The reality is, our product is so powerful that the possibilities for use are nearly endless. Deanna has a great eye and ear for catching ways customers could be further alleviating their compliance burdens and eliminating administrative minutia with Qualtrax.
Michael May, a Quality Engineer with Cornet Technologies, recalls that it was a training with Deanna, that “blew it open” for him and his colleagues. She went on-site at their Maryland-based facility to provide a personalized training for the team. A portion of that training covered the power of workflows. “That’s when my light bulb went off,” Michael said. “I remember leaving that meeting and I said to my boss, ‘everything in this place will become a workflow.’” He was ambitious and eager to get process management implemented within our software, knowing it had the potential to positively impact Cornet Technologies in a big way.
We have to admit, Michael called it. Through the dedication of Michael and his colleagues, workflows have been implemented throughout all of Cornet Technology, with great success. “We have clean data now that comes right from the source, which is the workflow,” he shared, reflecting on how workflows have made a difference.
Beyond that, they have also reduced the time it takes to complete processes. In one example, Michael shared how a paper-process used to request engineering changes used to take an average of 20 days. After implementing process management within Qualtrax, this time was reduced to less than two days. That savings is huge! “After building 1 or 2 workflows and seeing the benefit, everyone wants a workflow for everything,” Michael laughed.
With everyone excited for workflows, the requests pour in regularly. Michael explained that they determine the order of workflow implementation based on customers’ needs. “If a customer demands it and a workflow satisfies it, it is happening.”
A unique use of workflows at Cornet Technologies involves a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process, Qualtrax, and a kanban system. Brace yourself–this example is really cool!
First off, you should know that each workflow that gets initiated within Qualtrax has a unique identification number, as it is a unique record. This means you can run reports on workflows–which is very important for visibility, traceability, and ease of access to data. Michael and his team have a color-coded kanban system for returned products that ensures visibility, as the product moves through the process. The color coded label includes the unique Qualtrax workflow identification number so that at each step in the process Qualtrax is accessed, the workflow is updated, and traceability is maintained. Michael shared:
At any point in time you can pick up a product on the manufacturing floor and type the Qualtrax ID into Qualtrax and up pops up everything you need to know. What is going on? Where is it headed? Who dealt with it?
Not all workflows relate to a tangible/touchable item, but for those that are, Michael has come up with the clever way to merge our software with a hardware system for success. We love this creative use of our product and the evolution of powerful process management.
For those interested in creating a workflow culture like Cornet Technologies, Michael has advice to share. “It is important that management buys-in. Our management team and our quality manager have completely bought into the culture change that came from workflow implementation,” said Michael. Having company support and enthusiasm made Cornet’s transition from analog systems to digital easy, exciting, and a worthwhile investment.
Beyond buy-in from management and colleagues, you must be sure you are partnering with a software solution provider that has a team backing the product–you need someone like Deanna to partner with you in the continuous improvement of your company’s software use, and the overall continuous improvement of your organization. Together, we make a success story like Michael’s and Cornet’s possible!
Categories: Manufacturing, Process Management