IMedia is a federal provider of indoor advertising. Its affiliated network covers eight of the biggest Russian cities. Ildar Davletov, director general, shares his secrets of managing a network and talks about the results of implementing a process-based approach.
– How did you come up with the idea of your business? Why did you choose this area?
– It was spontaneous. Initially, I was thinking about placing ads in entrance halls, make poster panels neater, and establish a culture of such advertising. But after analyzing the situation, we decided that creating advertising space in elevators would be more effective.
– What kind of customers do you have?
– We have a wide range of advertisers. Almost all the B2C spheres.
We started with the sales process, since it required transparent organization and control above all others.
– Your business units are quite far apart. Could you share your secret of successful network management?
– At first, everything worked randomly. Each branch office used to operate independently. Eventually, we realized that such an approach provides no control and we decided to establish a managing company and centralized accounting. It was a foundation for the company’s structure, which provided clear business activity and financial flows. The company became manageable. To make it happen, we replaced almost the entire staff.
– Why did you decide to switch to process management?
– The idea emerged long ago, because it was necessary to manage processes in the branch offices. Accounting was done locally. Ads from small contractors, who did not want to deal with documents, was placed without contracts.
– What processes did you automate first, and why?
– We started with the sales process, since it required transparent organization and control above all others.
– Was is it easy for your employees to get used to the system?
– It took about a year or a year and a half. Employees require training to work with the system we implemented, and we conduct the training ourselves. Each new employee has to pass an exam before they start working in the company.
– How do you use ELMA to solve day-to-day tasks?
– Almost all the tasks are completed in ELMA. Our end-to-end process includes six stages, from selling to making accounting records in 1C. The managing company controls all the processes. Branch offices are responsible for selling and executing. We have put a lot of effort into creating all the document types, in order to prevent the human factor. If something needs to be changed, a user starts a process, which includes approval by lawyers. Everything is transparent.
By the end of the year, we intend to stop using Microsoft office applications and work only with approved documents in ELMA.
Almost all the tasks are completed in ELMA.
– How do you evaluate the effect of the ELMA implementation?
– Operation of the entire network became much clearer. It used to be difficult to estimate shortcoming in revenue, but now it is all in plain view. Automation allowed us to optimize the salary budget. After integrating ELMA with 1C we cut two job positions: shipment accountant and suppliers accountant. The system also provided us with control over sales reps and customers database.
– What advice can you give to those who think of business processes implementation in their company?
– I would recommend not wasting time. After implementing the process-based approach in the company, we realized that we were a little late: should we had started sooner, many issues could have been solved easier. The system monitors all the processes and brings management to the next level.