Automated Process Results in Improved Sales & Customer Service
From 1968 to 1995, King Menus (now KNG) designed and printed menus for restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Many of its customers were large chains, and the organization positioned itself as a customer service company with printing presses.
In 1996, it began manufacturing menu covers in Idaho. Because of its product quality, a 150 percent low-price guarantee, and a 90-day trial, King Menus grew rapidly. In 1998, it began manufacturing aprons and in 1999 it added chef coats to its product line. The company grew 36 percent annually during those years. In 2006, the company was re-named KNG.
KNG now serves more than 100,000 customers and continues to grow between 30 and 40 percent each year. With sales and services exploding, the company needed to better automate some of its systems, especially those directly related to customer service and sales.
KNG had a quote-request-through-sample generation process that was being completed via email. There was no collection point or workflow discipline behind that system, however, so often specifications weren’t communicated and documented effectively, or projects were not re-routed if changes were made, and worst of all, sales were sometimes dropped altogether. The IT department recognized that to fix the problem KNG needed to architect the workflow and force the discipline.
- KNG needed a cost-efficient request management system that would effectively handle sales quote requests.
- The IT team wanted a system that was easy-to-use and easy-to-manage, particularly if it wasn’t a system that would be used and/or updated on a daily basis.
- KNG activated Integrify OnDemand 4.0 in August 2006 with one process.
- Integrify provided KNG with secure hosting of Integrify OnDemand through its partnership with Rackspace.
After evaluating a number of available solutions, KNG was drawn to Integrify’s hosted solution, which management felt was an ideal economic fit.
“KNG is a small company, and we need to feel like the system is paying for itself,” said Mark McDonagh, Director of Operations, KNG.
Integrify is a flexible Enterprise Request Management (ERM) system that allows companies to automate requests and streamline processes. The solution provides form creation, routing definition and tracking tools to those responsible for processing requests, minimizing data entry and simplifying requests for approval and fulfillment. Integrify is web-based, allowing for easy user accessibility and management of business processes. The solution eliminates problems typically related to labor-intensive processes such as manual paper handling and email requests, and can reduce costs per transaction 60 to 90 percent as opposed to paper-based processes.
By allowing a company’s employees the most efficient means to access, submit and obtain fulfillment for requests, an organization can offer the best possible level of service to its customers. With Integrify, efficiency gains are immediate and most companies can expect a return on investment (ROI) in three months or less.
The Integrify OnDemand solution provides the full functionality of Integrify via the Internet without the need to install and maintain software. It reduces the risk, cost and time when implementing a solution for process management. Instead of installing the software on its own site, a company can directly access the software, updates, and infrastructure, which are all maintained by Integrify, freeing up time and resources to focus on business.
With a total of five shared seats, approximately 20 employees in sales and purchasing use the system out of KNG’s staff of 85 to process about 100 requests each month.
Originally implemented to automate the sales quote process, KNG is about to activate its second automated process for a capital equipment request, with a third process for staffing requisition approvals to follow quickly on its heels.
Because KNG planned to use Integrify in diverse areas within the company (sales, purchasing, human resources, and others) it was important that the system be flexible and adapt to the needs of the different departments and employees.
“The main attraction was embedding the process in the workflow,” said McDonagh. “You didn’t have to sit down and teach each person what their role and responsibility was; they didn’t have to run out and find a form because it’s all embedded in the workflow itself.”
Another plus has been the remote access capability. KNG’s business requires a lot of travel for its supply chain managers, and the ability to access the system overseas, even as far away as China, has simplified and sped up the quote process significantly.
“That’s actually been one of the really cool features of the system,” said McDonagh. “If I’m traveling and visiting a vendor in China and there’s a quote request that needs my support, I can get an email on the road and the workspace in the hosted version lets me do my work; then it flows back to the person here in Nampa.”
In addition, the ability to re-route requests and collect all documentation in one location was especially helpful to both employees and management.
“We do custom orders and many of these quotes are custom. It’s important to have revisions and all the documentation of the specs in one spot, so that there’s no debate over what was submitted and what the customer approved,” said McDonagh.
Most importantly, using Integrify has greatly improved customer service, not just in speeding up response time, but in ensuring that quote requests are not lost or unintentionally ignored.
“Integrify does a great thing for your customer in that the speed at which you can respond puts you at a definite competitive advantage with anyone else they may be talking to,” McDonagh said.
KNG is now able to process double the amount of requests than with its previous method. “The number of larger-order quote requests that went unanswered or which we lost visibility of has greatly reduced,” said McDonagh. “The amount of time it takes to process one has been cut twofold.”
The processing time for a quote request has gone from several days down to a matter of hours since Integrify was activated.
“The efficiency has improved and we’re not losing the sales that were lost via the old email method,” said McDonagh.
Having expanded the Integrify system from sales to purchasing, with positive results, processing requests for human resources (staffing requisitions) is the next step at KNG. In addition, the company will be deploying SAP and as it is implemented, the IT team will evaluate what workflow will occur within SAP and what workflow won’t. The elements that are not implemented in SAP will most likely be handled through the Integrify system.
“We’re looking at an on-going assessment of where’s the best place to use Integrify,” said McDonagh.