Automate the workflow for CAR and other processes

We are grateful to have been joined by Patrick Griffiths, V.P. Finance Special Projects at SIRVA, Inc., last week for our monthly policyIQ CPE training session. Patrick provided his perspective and experience on the use of policyIQ for the automation of manual processes—specifically focusing on the Capital Appropriations Request (CAR) process.

While developing this session, it was clear that many of the practices leading to the automation of this particular process are broadly applicable. Patrick noted that he and his colleagues look for practices and tasks in their organization that are largely manual, involving hard-copies and manual hand-offs, for example. They look for processes or even portions of processes that rely on email to communicate or track down information. Then, they seek out opportunities to centralize access and they target the workflow processes for automation, first.

This relates to one of the best practices and change management recommendations that Patrick shared with our audience: he suggested that companies approach automation of processes in multiple phases.

    • Automate workflow
    • Track information critical for decision making
    • Map out process to progressively automate remaining portions of process

By taking process automation in smaller and more manageable chunks, employees can ramp up and realize benefits in a relatively short period of time. This helps to establish “buy-in” and support for later developments.

With regard to the CAR process, Patrick noted some of the challenges that prompted their team to seek a more automated solution:

    • Documentation was mostly paper and Excel-based
    • Monitoring project review and approval status was difficult
    • Project materials were not centrally accessible
    • Communication trail and audit trail were not readily available
    • Approved projects were accessible only by limited physical means

Here are some considerations that Patrick laid out for teams considering the use of policyIQ’s Forms Management for automation of the CAR process:

1109_f-u_blog_CARs_before_pIQ

These considerations will lead you to make appropriate Form Template configuration decisions. Patrick walked our audience through the Form Templates, Folders and Reports that his team at SIRVA is using for their CAR process. You can access the recording of our session to see Patrick’s review. If you prefer, you can refer to the policyIQ Help guide for samples and guidance on how you might configure Form Templates for your CAR process.

ROI
Patrick’s team has observed quick returns on their time and energy investment to automate processes in policyIQ. They now have real-time project status information, centralized access to project materials, the process and to approved projects and have streamlined the hand-offs between different reviewers. Not to mention (okay, I guess I am mentioning) the positive impact to SIRVA’s “green” initiative. They have significantly improved what was once a paper-heavy process.

If you have any questions about how to take similar strides toward improvement in your organization and would like some help, contact us. Patrick would be happy to address your questions of him and the process at SIRVA (and we’re happy to redirect your Patrick-questions to him). We can also help to align you with implementation specialists in your area or can provide step-by-step guidance on policyIQ functionality.

So, go ahead and reach for that low-hanging fruit!

policyIQ is an ideal tool for streamlining the workflow or hand-off portion of many of your business processes. We will always make time to brainstorm with you—give us a holler!

This entry was posted in Solutions, Training by Stephenie Buehrle. Bookmark the permalink.

About Stephenie Buehrle

Stephenie is the “solutions” expert on the policyIQ team. With RGP since 2004, she designs and develops solutions that capitalize on the best practices of the hundreds of companies that she has touched, while tailoring each configuration to meet the unique needs of each client. Before joining RGP and the policyIQ team, Stephenie enjoyed working as an independent consultant in the non-profit sector. Stephenie also previously performed analyst services for a major brewer ranging from roles in biological and chemical services to analytical roles in business process improvement and innovation. Stephenie quips that she still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, but hopes to spend her days helping others (companies, individuals, and communities) to realize their full potential.

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