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Workflow Reviews and Process Servers...

We have been providing workflow reviews since 1990, and after having identified a need, process servers since 1992. Our experience includes reviews of divisions within Fortune 500 firms down to small companies. In most firms, an initial workflow is created in a logical, well designed manner by the firm's management. Over the ensuing months and years, additional requirements get set upon this department or that one, bogging down the original workflow design. Additionally, in most scenarios, workers tasks are rarely automated in any great part, such automation having been made available after the inception of the original workflow. In all the years of providing these services, we have only once found an operation so well designed that even years after it started, we couldn't provide any significant savings. Thus, our guarantee on workflow reviews -- we guarantee to save you more if our recommendations are implemented than the fees you will be charged.
Now, for some real world examples:

CUSTOMER: Tampa Office of a national Fortune 500 advertising firm.
SCENARIO: We were initially called in to provide maintenance and upgrades to various computers, and we fulfilled that request. While doing so, we noticed that the workflow for the reporting of market saturation of their advertising was being handled very inefficiently and recommended a workflow review for that particular person's functions within the company.
REVIEW: The staff member's job duties in the morning involved logging into a national database, extracting particular information for various viewer markets, cleaning up the formatting, distilling that information in a spreadsheet into numbers that were useful to the firm, generating graphs and other eye-candy from the data, and finally printing, mailing and emailing the results to various customers and executives in the firm. It was taking her between 3.5 and 4 hours to perform these tasks each day.
RESULT: setting up a fully automated solution removed her interaction with this task other than stuffing the envelopes and sealing them for delivery to the US Mail. The process server acquires the information from the national database, passes it through a series of actions to clean the data into the right format, moves the data through a spreadsheet, generating the results, and then prints the reports, graphs and matching envelopes for mailing, plus emails out the reports electronically. It provides these services daily in less than 15 minutes, outputting the results around 6:30am, so when the staff enters the office, everything is already done.

  • Labor cost savings - 3.5 hours/day at $12/hr:
       $10,920 per year, for 6 years.
  • Cost to review and implement: $3,800
    Cost for ongoing maintenance over 6 years: $3,000
  • Total savings: $58,720.00

OTHER VALUE: process occurs without staff intervention, eliminating lack of fulfillment because of sick-days, medical emergencies, vacations. No new hardware required; retasked existing employee's unit to act as process server prior to user's arrival in the morning.

CUSTOMER: Largo customized products manufacturing and sales firm.
SCENARIO: We were initially called in to provide an upgrade to one of the computers in the firm. After discussing the firm's activities with their IT Manager, we offered to do a workflow review of one department (other department heads were thought to be disagreeable).
REVIEW: The advertising department generates printed sales slicks, promotional advertising and web-based content of the firm's products. The process starts with a super-high resolution photo of each item, which was then sent to any one of their graphic artists (depending on artist's workload) to be manipulated into various resolutions for the different purposes, as well as being further manipulated for the web master. The department handled an average of 15 of these shots each day, with each original consuming 20 minutes of time being manipulated this way.
RESULT: setting up a series of target folders on the company's main server which were watched by the process server. Each folder would induce the process server to perform a different automated process, placing the resulting file back into the originating user's hard drive in an output folder, or into a specific person's that it was to go to.
The processes included color-correction, saving the file into a variety of different sizes for the different uses, generating PDF proofs, emailing proofs to major clients and resellers, faxing proofs, as well as distributing the files to the appropriate person (the webmaster gets the low-res version, this layout specialist gets that color-corrected high-res version, the sales team gets a mid-resolution version to brief them on up-coming products). The server also creates the web page template code for the webmaster, reducing his overhead per page. While our consultant was at it, he also created a fax-back/fax-on-demand system using the same process server, to take the firm's existing product slicks and serve them up to resellers/distributors/clients.

  • Labor cost savings - 20 minutes x 15 shots =
        5 hours/day at $16.50/hr:
        $20,625 per year, for 2 years to date.
  • Cost to review and implement: $4,320
    Cost for ongoing maintenance over 2 years: $1,350
  • Total savings: $35,580.00

OTHER VALUE: freed graphic artists to produce instead of manipulate; creation of a fax-back/fax-on-demand system; reduced time requirements for the webmaster.



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Copyright 2001, all rights reserved. Material on this page may not be used or reused without express written permission from the copyright holder. For information on licensing, contact the webmaster. Marc Glasgow is a Macintosh "Mac" Consultant serving the Tampa Bay area since 1990.