Workflow Automation Case Study:
Auto Care Retail Chain Automates Purchasing and 100+ More Business Processes
GOAL: Streamlining Purchasing Approvals
A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Michelin Group, Euromaster provides tire and vehicle maintenance solutions to business and retail customers throughout Europe. The company wanted to replace their slow and frustrating paper-based purchasing request process with an automated workflow process that would improve operations and speed approvals.
CHALLENGE: Human and 'Snail Mail' Bottlenecks
When an employee wanted to submit a capital spending request, they were required to fill out a paper form and send this by mail to the head office. A slow process. With paperwork constantly in transit, this also meant that those responsible for the process had no way of knowing which requests were open, which had already been approved but were not yet ordered, and which employees were holding up processing. The rules for approval were also not familiar to everyone involved, meaning that in some cases approval was an inconsistent and delayed procedure. The lack of transparency and control meant that people had to battle against long through-put times. They needed an automated workflow process that would correct all these issues.
GOAL: Real-time Financial Visibility and Oversight
In large businesses like Euromaster with many locations in different countries, it is vital to have real-time financial visibility and oversight. Capital spending requests need to be completed in full, forwarded reliably to the correct office for approval, and processed in a timely manner. It is only after automating this foundational process workflow that any further improvement initiatives can be launched. Euromaster chose to employ the JobRouter workflow management system to create a new automated workflow process that would be in compliance with regulations and would provide control and transparency within the company.
SOLUTION: Automating Capital Spending Requests with JobRouter
“With JobRouter there were no limits!“
- BPM Project Lead, Business Analyst
SOLUTION: Purchasing Approvals Streamlined
The process automation project was implemented as an in-house project by Euromaster and, thanks to its ease of use, was successfully introduced with very little training required. The new capital spending request form is now completed online in JobRouter. To make this as easy as possible for the user, they are now able to access existing data inventories during the process and can, for example, display the capital goods – including prices – in order to make a selection.
During the workflow, an inventory number is generated automatically. As soon as the form has been completed and fed back into the system, it is routed to the appropriate department – depending on the asset class selected – in Purchasing, in EDP, in Marketing or (in the case of construction measures) in the Real Estate department, for expert checking and approval. This approval and check step ensures that the capital good being requested also matches the company’s strategic specifications.
The number of levels that an approval passes through, or the number of hands through which any one request passes, depends on the amount involved. Authorization limits are specified for each individual user. Depending on the cost of the proposed capital asset, the request may go to the line manager, to the line manager‘s line manager, and so on – right up to the company executive management.
Following final approval, the appropriate department automatically receives the purchase instruction. All this information is stored in JobRouter and forwarded smoothly and automatically to the right people. Each user can only undertake the interaction or processing activities that are assigned to them using business rules and role-based authorizations set in JobRouter.
SOLUTION: 100+ Processes Automated in 6 Months
Over 100 different operations were automated over a period of 6 months using JobRouter with an approximately 2500 staff using the processes. Business processes included: Internal proposals, vacation requests, order process, incoming invoice check, accident reporting, customer approvals, applications for further training measures, ordering promotional materials/gifts, capital spending requests, credit limit applications, new customer entry, HR request, master agreements, fixed offers for servicing or tires, and more
SOLUTION: Performance Monitoring and Process Improvement
JobRouter makes it easy to track process performance and modify and improve processes. Over time, the company has taken the opportunity to regularly further develop and optimize the process for even greater business benefit. It is version seven of the workflow that is currently in use. In this version, the four-eyes principle was also introduced. Requests that are within an employee’s request limit and thus do not require an approval process via the various line managers are subject to this four-eyes principle. The requester chooses a person from a predefined list to approve their request. In this way, every capital spending request is checked by at least one tier of control.
SOLUTION: Easy-to-use, yet Powerful Automated Workflow Process
JobRouter is a system with unlimited possibilities, while at the same time remaining very simple to use. Euromaster is able to implement all process improvement initiatives internally without problems, and is able to react quickly and to make changes. Given this process assurance and process transparency, capital spending requests are being fed through the company via the shortest routes, and the correct procedure is guaranteed. The resulting process effectiveness and efficiency saves time and money, and keeps the organization lean.