How Altvia Cut off Clutter and Enhanced Employee Performance with SweetProcess
Ben Hendershot is the Chief Operating Officer at Altvia. Working in an organization that helps private equity firms and other private market participants operationalize their software, he was no stranger to streamlining business processes. He was keen on improving his company’s business operations, but finding the right system was a bottleneck. Ben understood that his team would be more efficient if they had all the tools that they needed in one place, instead of toggling between different systems. He found the missing plug after trying out SweetProcess. He tells us about how SweetProcess fine-tuned their operations. First, let us know more about the company for a better understanding.
Altvia is a software-driven company that assists private equity firms to strengthen their relationships with clients using data intelligence. The company leverages the best technology and processes to create a free flow of communication between limited partners (LPs), general partners (GPs), and portfolio organizations.
A premier entity for private equity created on salesforce, the Broomfield-based organization offers various expert services including investor relations, business intelligence, capital raise and deployment, and compliance.
Established in 2006, Altvia has a clientele of top firms across the world.
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Their Biggest Pain Point: Too Many Processes
Many organizations suffer from the lack of documented business processes in their workflow. However, this was not the case with Altvia. They created too many processes that impeded their workflow.
“We had lots of different processes and procedures and documentation spread across various systems. We had an internal wiki of sorts that had a whole bunch of instructions in it,” Ben says.
Creating tons of processes was meant to enhance their efficiency, but it turned out to be counterproductive. With as many as ten different processes for one task, team members were overwhelmed. They struggled to sieve the useful information from the fluff. Sometimes they mistakenly picked the wrong document from the pile. They also had many questions about what to do and how to do it. It became apparent to Ben that something was off, and all fingers pointed at the gaps in their processes.
Finding a Great Product at an Irresistible Price
Ben’s decision to adopt SweetProcess was born out of a need to resolve an operational problem. He wanted to be able to create a single version of every procedure to avoid things getting mixed up.
“When I heard of SweetProcess and when we implemented it, it was great because you can only have one version that’s active of a particular procedure or process. Therefore, you minimize the likelihood that somebody is going to look out for the wrong version of something or use the one that they downloaded to their desktop,” he explains.
The COO was also impressed that SweetProcess was cloud-based. He and his team could track activities and update files instantly on the system, unlike the Google Docs that they were using.
“You can see who is using and viewing each procedure. You have approval processes to make sure that someone can check any updates that have happened to a process or procedure.”
The cost was also a determinant in Ben’s decision to buy-in.
“It’s so affordable that it wasn’t an issue,” he says.
How SweetProcess Made Huge Impacts on the Organization
An effective workflow management system enhances an organization’s performance and increases its clients’ satisfaction. Altvia raised the bar in its service delivery by using SweetProcess in the following ways:
1. Simple and effective documentation
Documenting processes manually has its setbacks. Ben and his team used Google Docs for their documentation, but the processes quickly became redundant and obsolete.
“We were big users of Google apps, so we had all sorts of Google Docs, maybe ten different Google Docs for the same process,” he tells us.
Reading ten different documents to perform a single task can be exhausting for anyone. Employees will have glazed eyes by the time they are done reading every document, and their productivity will be reduced.
“As we adopted new technology and systems, they kind of became the repository of things, and after you’ve adopted several new systems, you end up with lots of stuff in the old systems, lots of stuff in the new systems. SweetProcess became the one central collection point for repetitive things that are done the same way every time.”
The days of scrambling over documents are over for Ben and his team. Now, they create a single document containing all the information needed to execute each task with the various tools on SweetProcess. They can use texts, images, videos, and charts where necessary for easy understanding.
2. Seamless employee onboarding and training
New employees need some training to get a hang of their duties in an organization. They need all the help they can get, including the smallest details. The organization provides this help to new hires with SweetProcess.
“What we do if we have a new employee literally just creates their user and send it to them and say, hey, download it, people are going to assign you tasks in this system, you are going to follow the instructions in there. Or if you need to learn how to do something, go look in there,” Ben says.
It is commonplace for new hires to ask several questions to be efficient in the workplace. Naturally, the head of the team is their go-to person for all the answers they need. Ben attests to dealing with endless questions initially. The story changed after adopting SweetProcess.
“Definitely, the question of ‘Where do I go to do X?’ is minimized, it’s less common. There’s not that inefficiency, there’s also less asking around. If you are a new employee, you don’t have to ask where to go to find something, you just go into SweetProcess.”
Existing employees are not left out. They also can access information about the company’s day-to-day operations on SweetProcess.
3. Reference for knowledge distribution
A knowledge gap among employees creates discrepancies in performance. Employees that are privy to tribal knowledge perform better than their counterparts. The knowledge gap brings about a dependency on a select few. The impact is mostly felt when work is on hold because certain employees are indisposed. Ben reveals that creating a go-to system that is accessible by everyone on his team was the biggest advantage with SweetProcess.
“The big advantage to us was creating one place to go to for repetitive processes and procedures and everybody knows, log in to SweetProcess, go find that thing, and do it.”
There is no cause for alarm when employees are not available for whatever reason—business goes on. Anyone on the team can roll up their sleeve and get the job done because they have all the information that they need on SweetProcess.
Tips to Streamline Your Business Operations
Are you looking to streamline your business operations?
“SweetProcess will definitely help you with that,” Ben affirms.
“But before you start that implementation process, figure out what it is that you do that’s repetitive and catalog where all those procedures are stored or even if they exist,” he adds.
Evaluating your current business operations gives you a clear picture of your improvement needs. This is key because every business is unique and requires a custom approach.
Adopting a blanket approach may not give you the best results. Ben reveals that this was a mistake they made in their implementation.
“One thing that I think we may have missed was adopting an ADHOC implementation of SweetProcess without thinking a ton about it beforehand.”
He advises that you take your time to set up your team.
“You definitely want to have the team set up correctly, have all your users set up correctly, and have the cataloging nomenclature down before you start creating procedures.”
Adapting to a New World
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business terrain. Ben and his team are finding ways to adapt to the changes and cater to their clients’ current needs—this is their next big goal:
“Our software, traditionally, is focused on their internal operations, and we see lots of opportunities in them interacting with external stakeholders as opposed to just internal stakeholders. So our goal is creating new software and functionality that allows them to interact in this new world where you might not behaving as many face-to-face meetings.”
Your Chance to Streamline Your Business Processes
Streamlining your business processes does not have to be a herculean task. Creating a pile of documents does not cut it. Ben and his team took that route initially, but their expectations fell short. SweetProcess helped them to use their time more effectively.
“Certainly, it saves time for all of our staff. There’s a lot of inefficiencies if you have the same process with multiple versions laying around and you accidentally go to the wrong one. So, in the SweetProcess world, you go to the most current thing whenever you go in there.”
Begin the journey to streamline your business processes by signing up for a SweetProcess 14-day free trial.