I was planning on writing this business process automation post last year but my wife got really-really sick, really-really quick and I have been out of the office for the past eight months taking care of my family.  The plan was to detail all of the corporate automation projects we have implemented in the past 18 months and how they were working out for us.

Happily, my wife is feeling much better these days.  My family got through this crisis OK and I am back at the office full time.  I would like to take this time to publicly thank the D-Tools Executive Team, consisting of Steve Collard, Corey Krehel and Tim Bigoness as well as the rest of the global D-Tools family for allowing me the freedom to spend the time needed with my family during this difficult period.

THANK YOU!

So what does all that have to do with business process automation?  As it turns out, a lot.  I am pretty hands on boss, I like to be in the loop and I was out for the better part of a year.  And when I say out, I mean I was actively NOT working on ANY D-Tools business during that time.  Honestly I was worried what I was going to find when I got back.  I have seen what can happen when I was gone for a couple of weeks in the past.  As it turned out I was worried about nothing because that is what happened when I was gone, nothing.

Well, something happened.  We met our numbers, hired and trained new people, released a big service pack, started work on SI-X (SIX), paid bills, answered phones, bought equipment, etc.  Somewhat ego crushing but apparently D-Tools runs just fine without me, which is also the best reason I can give for business process automation.

Before my wife got sick I implemented sweeping changes on our documentation process.  I dramatically changed how we manage and document technical support cases.  I integrated live chat with all of our offerings and automated the product data acquisition process.  All of these changes had a positive effect on our bottom line as well as allowing our customers much more access to information and better service.  Also it had the net effect of making a lot of jobs a bit easier around here.  Easier jobs = happier people = less turnover.  I will detail each of these solutions in future posts.

I was so impressed with these results that when I got back to work I scheduled face to face meetings with all of our employees in the US with the topic “what can I do to make your job easier”.  I have only had a couple of meetings and still early in the process but so far this has netted a HUGE automation improvement in how we communicate with our customers and prospects as well as new customer support portal.  I will detail these in future posts as well.

Business process automation is not always easy but IMHO one of the best things a business owner can do for their customers, their employees and themselves.  Stay tuned…