– How does your business work?
– We produce polymer pipes and fittings, which are used in water supply and heating systems. The company’s products are distributed in 73 regions of Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan and Belorussia. Today, about 400 products are produced under the RVK trademark. We dedicate towards a high level of quality, use European equipment, and constantly conduct staff training. We successfully do business with wholesale and retail companies and with DIY retail chains. One of our principles is to supply products to our customers in full volume and right on time. For this, we have a chain of modern warehouse facilities in Moscow and Orenburg.
– Such a production scale must require a great organizational structure. Tell us about specifics of managing the company.
– The company is developing rapidly; the annual increase is about 30%. Originally, we applied the functional approach to company management. We established subdivisions, each of which carried out the work, according to their functions. As the company developed, we faced contradictions between such an approach and the business’s goals: tasks were assigned to each subdivision separately, which limited operative control over the company’s activity; increase in production volumes was accompanied by linearly proportional increase in personnel, which negatively affected the prime cost; lack of formal communication channels both within the company and between branches reduced quality and time of performing work, and lowered competitive ability. The existing incentives also had their peculiarities. Implementing key indicators for all the functional subdivisions turned out to be difficult. Besides, from time to time we had to involve many additional specialists to evaluate and calculate parameters. It also increased the company’s expenses and prevented an increase in production and competitive ability.
Economic globalization makes us compete not only with Russian brands but with international ones as well. Those, who most effectively manage their resources and offer the best price, get the advantage.
– How has the information landscape been developing?
– We have implemented several systems to formalize assigning and control of tasks but these solutions did not suit us. These systems can be effective for new projects, but not for routine tasks, which seemed hard to track. For some reason, everyone had a feeling that production worked all by itself, all the processes completed themselves and they did not need to be controlled. We considered the processes well developed and, therefore, did not think that monitoring was necessary. Everything was delegated to executors, who were much less motivated than the chief officers, and did their job differently.
– At what point did the company decide to switch to process management?
– Economic globalization makes us compete not only with Russian brands but with international ones as well. Those, who most effectively manage their resources and offer the best price, get the advantage. High competition pushed the company to quick development. We faced the necessity to go to the new level of business process management in 2013.
– What did you plan to achieve with a BPM system?
– Based on the existing problems, we set the main goals of the project: provide a firm foundation for scaling the business; monitor dependence on a particular employee (if a new employee is hired, if an employee takes a vacation or sick leave, gets transferred or fired), regulate and unify all the processes, relieve key managers from routine tasks in order to concentrate on new projects, improve schedule compliance of employees of all levels and create a unified information space for all the subdivisions and branches. We had to automate production, sales, and customer service so that the subdivisions transferred information unchanged and the employees carried out their duties both on new and current projects right on time. We also had to implement KPI and integrate the system with other company’s information systems.
– How do you use ELMA to complete your tasks?
– Having implemented ELMA, we managed to enhance processes of records management, employee incentives, quality control, KPI management and so on. Moreover, ELMA proved to be a flexible information system, capable of quickly adapting to the constant growth of our company.
How do you evaluate the effect of the implementation?
– Implementation of ELMA significantly unloaded the payroll budget: the company’s personnel reduced from 230 to 150 people. The system helped us establish communication between the sales department and the production, and provided the possibility to quickly exchange feedback necessary for completing tasks. Time resources were released. Processes became clearer, which broke new ground for the company management.
Having implemented ELMA, we managed to enhance the processes of records management, employee incentives, quality control, and KPI management.
– How do you evolve the system within the company?
– The development is overall. As far as CRM is concerned, we are planning to integrate ELMA with IP-telephony, and as for marketing, we are studying ways of using lead generation tools. The next stage for us is implementing the ELMA KPI module.
– How would you evaluate the impact of ELMA implementation?
– Processes are executed in time and with the required results – all of this is monitored using the system. This approach disciplines employees and improves their work performance. In general, implementing a business process management system changes the corporate culture, which contributes to the development of the company.
– What advice can you give to those who are thinking of implementing a process approach in management?
– The most important is your intent and realization of business goals. I recommend ELMA to those, who want to be independent of the human factor and to control all the business processes.