By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
A Four-Part Series: Part 4
How many of you, working remotely for the first time, are encountering a lot of challenges?
How many of you frequently have not had what you’ve needed at your fingertips?
How many of you are wishing for a day at the beach instead?
If you’ve been like a lot of people, you had to email multiple people for multiple reasons instead of running down the hall to talk to them. Or you needed something signed, had to scan the document, upload it and send it off. Or you may have experienced all of the above, multiple times!
Well, I’ve got a treat for you! I recently interviewed Michael Cantu’ of Accelerate about a cost-effective solution, his Accelerate platform that makes remote working a much easier, more productive process.
Using it may not compare to a day at the beach, but it could prove more enjoyable than your status quo!
And for those of you who don’t know, I’m a Principal Process Consultant with Accelerate. I offer Accelerate solutions as part of my service offerings for my own business. So I’m really looking forward to sharing with you the good things Accelerate can do for your business!
Now, onto the interview…
Kathy: thanks for joining me, Michael. First of all, what is Accelerate software?
Michael: It’s workflow management software that connects disparate systems, people, data, content, and workloads together to Accelerate your workforce. It streamlines your work, enabling you to have at your fingertips what you need to do your job so you can do it more effectively and efficiently.
Kathy: That sounds like it would be something really good to have right now during this pandemic, especially with so many employees having to work remotely! And I know there are great benefits to this software. What would you say are the top four?
Michael: the first I would say is...
1. Increased Productivity
A lot of people these days are working in siloed IT systems that don't communicate well with each other, and are expensive and costly to integrate together. So what we’ve focused on is creating a system and platform that easily connects to other systems.
Here’s a good example: Many new employees not only have the big challenge of learning how to do your job, they also must learn all the different systems and remember different login credentials. And then, most people are working out of their email. What we’ve done is connect these all together, bringing the work and the work items together so the employee can do all these things together with only one interface.
Kathy: It sounds like they have everything at their fingertips in one system to do their job, right? That would make learning so much easier, I would think. And even longer-tenured employees would have higher satisfaction levels as well, right?
Michael: Right, that’s been our experience with our clients. And that leads to the second benefit:
2. Better Customer Experiences
If the employees are happier, that ultimately results in better customer experiences. Here’s a good example. Sometimes you need to call a person who owes you something, because you need to know where they are at in the process in order to make a decision. We’ve all been there. And that's what's nice about Accelerate—the visibility into where things are going on in the process.
For instance, a customer can call in to find out the status on an order. With Accelerate, you can drill down to that order, find out who is handling it, and you can chat with the responsible person real-time—in one system. You can be fast, expedient and consistent with your customers, and at the same time, hold employees more accountable for their actions. Your customers see you as people that can be consistent, so when they need something they get it. I think that is the best and the most phenomenal part of Accelerate.
Kathy: Yes, that sounds great! I know that would make me real happy if I could find out something right away what's going on, especially if I was a disgruntled customer.
So what’s another benefit of Accelerate?
Michael: I would have to say...
3. More Effective & Efficient Remote Working
We are rolling out a solution this week that will empower an organization’s employees to master the art of working remotely. A lot of times we spend too much effort going back and forth with email, and work can be so disjointed. With this new solution, project managers can allocate work, employees can schedule what needs to be done that day and the system can auto-assign tasks to employees. The system will even text you notifications for items that are high priority. With this new system, you can just log in and see what you need to complete for the day. And it has all the information you need at your fingertips.
There is even the ability for companies who have daily stand-ups to do away with them (if so desired), because everything can be visible on what team members are working on. Once you take on any work in the system, you can then communicate with everyone involved with that item of work as it progresses. So, it makes working outside the office a whole lot easier.
Kathy: I think that would be just amazing for remote workers, because it's been new for a lot of people. How wonderful would it be to just boot up your computer in the morning and see what you need to accomplish that day just right there in Accelerate! That would be amazing. I can see how this would improve productivity and in turn, overall customer experience.
Could you give an example of some work you've done for a client that has done both—improved productivity and ultimately created happy customers?
Michael: Sure. We have clients in transportation, finance, and healthcare in the areas of compliance management and process automation. One healthcare company has a requirement to track between 50-60 audits a month that are done around their company with a need to report regularly to their State office. It involves a lot of collaboration.
Prior to their Accelerate implementation, there were a lot of manual steps involved in tracking audits—managing multiple texts and emails, manually filling out compliance forms and scanning them, creating digital files, etc. With the 50-60 audits happening a month, it resulted in hundreds of emails and texts.
Now with an automated audit tracking process, everybody logs into a system and they see only what they need to see. Electronic files are more quickly created so they can be submitted to the State more quickly. You can even see all of the compliant audits versus the non-compliant audits. They can also see how things are progressing for all 60 audits.
Post-implementation, it was the equivalent of a full-time job reduction in workload. That’s a testimony of what Accelerate can do with compliance management. This made their residents happier, as more time could be spent improving the cultural life of the residents instead of tracking down audits and paper trails that didn’t directly add value to the overall experience.
Another area is medical billing. We're getting ready to launch this, which will result in a reduction of a four-person workload to one person for this one company. In some areas the tasks have been completely removed, so they can shift others around and are able to take on other items at higher volume.
In both cases, this doesn’t mean they’ve laid or will lay off people. It means they are able to take on more sales and grow their companies.
Kathy: Wow, that sounds phenomenal! I’m sure customers are really reaping the benefit of the improved productivity.
What’s another benefit that Accelerate can provide?
Michael: there’s actually two that are closely related...
4. Quicker Implementations & Increased Ability to Innovate
With Accelerate, we can more quickly roll out automated processes to our clients to fix their problems. We do this through prototyping a potential solution so our clients can really see what they will get before they invest their dollars. That way their investment results in getting exactly what they want.
Another thing we’re seeing is an increased ability for companies to innovate, based on the lower costs and quicker time frames they’re experiencing with Accelerate implementations. We’re seeing that companies who want to innovate through software solutions don’t need to put off potential projects any more. Some of the line items that may have been on their list of projects they wanted to tackle, but were at the bottom of the list, we’re able to help them with. They’re getting bigger bang for their buck. I think that's a theme we're going to be seeing more in the future.
Kathy: That makes sense. So, here’s our last question: Do you have any more examples of how you’ve saved your clients money?
Michael: Yes. One thing we’ve seen with non-software development firms is this: when considering investing in a software solution, they have to ask themselves this question: “Do I want to build and own my own software, or should I license an existing platform?” Of course, it depends on what their needs are. If it falls within our wheelhouse, we’ve seen the value in licensing our software for what it brings to a customer.
For instance, one company we worked with was given a bid for over $1M for a custom process development project. After they selected us, what would have cost them a $1M to build, we were able to build for only a $15-25K dollars, plus license fees.
Kathy: That’s incredible, just incredible! That's a ridiculous amount of savings! So not only can you improve productivity, but you can give better customer experiences and enable more effective remote working. You do it all at a good value.
Michael: that’s right!
Kathy: well, even I learned some things today! Thanks for joining us, Michael. I think my readers will appreciate some of the things they've learned about Accelerate.
Michael: My pleasure.
Thanks for joining me for this four-part series. Stay tuned for future blogs I’ll be posting!