How we automated the operations of a display and retail fixture manufacturing company.
The company was into manufacturing and installing display fixtures in malls, showrooms, and retail outlets. The entire process, from the lead being entered into the system to the closure of payments for the deal, was supposed to be managed through a centralized approach to record and automate the entire process. Their strategy consisted of Sales Team, Accounts team, Designers, Project Managers, Job owners (manufacturing laborers), Job Supervisors, and Installation Engineers. These different teams were initially working on crude systems managed through excel or printouts of the project sheet, passed on from one group to another. Neither of the teams was in sync, nor was the process foolproof in entering accurate data for a particular project by a team member. The job supervisor had a tough time understanding which project was being managed by which job owner, along with the project’s stage. This added to his misery when the job owners were sprawled across 1000s of square feet of manufacturing plants. These job-owners were the labor force who were very high on absenteeism, affecting project delivery timelines. Thus it was essential for the project managers and job supervisors to know where the project stage was and with which job owner, so if there was a delay/ absenteeism at the end of job owners the project had to be reassigned. After the job’s manufacturing process is completed, it is assigned to the installation engineer, who travels to the installation address and completes the final phase of the work. The project manager/ sales coordinator used to talk to him and send them addresses which the engineer used to arrive late as much time was wasted in finding the correct location. Also, their attendance in the job location for an installation couldn’t be verified or track his work status and ensure the project delivery’s last stage is as per the client’s requirements.
Considering the above issues, Innovins offered them the following solutions:
- We created for them a web-based admin web portal and a customized mobile application for understanding the installation process stage by the installation engineers.
- The system was capable of creating users and assigning them the roles and rights in the system as required by the process.
- The sales lead closed by a sales staff was entered in the web portal with all the client data by the accounts team to procure advance payments. Once the charges were received, the sales lead got converted into a job and then assigned to a designer through the portal itself. Here the assignment process was by selecting a button rather than creating a job sheet to be printed out and circulated among departments. This saved much time for the accounts team and ensured the project data was authentic and reached the right staff only, reducing tampering of data in the process.
- During the design stage, the designers send the designs to the client multiple times with version control to maintain design logs of a given project. The approved plans are then assigned to the project managers, who trust them to the job owners and map them to a supervisor with project task deadlines, who executes the projects at the manufacturing ground level. This is done by the same web-based system, with just a click of a button.
- The job supervisor was given a tab/ laptop where he could see the job details while moving into the manufacturing unit. He could see which job is assigned to whom, the project task deadlines set by the project manager, and the job owner’s absenteeism status. If there is any delay in any job task by any job owner, the job supervisor was notified in the portal of the delay, and he could very well attend to the postponement and control it on time. Earlier the same process was done on a piece of printed paper, which the job supervisor used to carry from one job owner to another job owner where he could understand the delay in a job only when he attended to a job owner’s work in his work area. This got automated in the web portal, and ultimately the job supervisor could manage more projects at a given time, increasing his productivity and enabling him to control any delays by any job owner.
- After the job’s manufacturing process is completed, it is assigned to the installation engineer, who travels to the installation address and completes the final phase of the work. An app was specially designed for these installation engineers, who could get the required project address on the APPs location finder, reach the project, mark their presence, complete the job in the given time, and update the installation status of the job through his app itself. The project manager and the sales coordinator got the exact position of the project during its installation stage without even interacting with the installation engineer. After installation process closures, the accounts team is auto-notified through the web portal to release the final payment settlements for project closures.
Thus with this web portal and mobile application, the company must have a centralized system of managing projects, saving time and effort in understanding the correct status from the right team members and on time. This increased their team’s productivity and created a powerful and authentic automated process in their organization.