How Forensic Analytical Consulting Services Built a More Efficient Workforce by Documenting Its Business Processes Effectively
As director of operations at Forensic Analytical Consulting Services Inc., Kevin Trapp is responsible for ensuring efficiency and consistency in the organization. Maintaining consistency across the organization became a challenge as they began to expand to multiple locations.
Although they had existing standard operating procedures (SOP), the SOPs fell short of streamlining their workflow. Employees would rather not use them due to their complexity. It became apparent to Kevin that they needed a better system.
He commenced on a search for the right system and discovered SweetProcess. The operations at the organization have not been the same ever since.
According to Kevin, SweetProcess has been a gamechanger in the company. He tells us how the system has enhanced growth and employee efficiency in the company.
About Forensic Analytical Consulting Services
Forensic Analytical Consulting Services (FACS) is an environmental health consulting firm that offers environmental health consulting services and industrial services in the United States. Prioritizing the general public’s safety, the organization leverages a variety of integrated solutions to tackle environmental health problems for a safer and cleaner environment.
FACS boasts expert indoor environmental health consultants specializing in indoor environmental testing, mold, moisture, hazardous building materials (lead, asbestos, PCBs), healthcare environmental services, wildfire/structure fire smoke assessments water management programs, healthy building programs, expert testimony, etc.
Driven by a strong client relationship, commitment to employees, and industry expertise, the organization offers in-depth environmental health services to safeguard public health.
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The Biggest Pain Point of Dependency
The concept of systematization was not alien to the team at FACS. As stated earlier, they had SOPs in PDF files, but nobody was looking at them. The SOPs were buried in folders in their servers. Employees who needed help with their tasks would rather ask Kevin about it than check the documented processes because they were not helpful.
“In a previous world, we were using PDF files for documenting SOPs. I guess the fact that we were doing it was a good thing, but the challenge was it would just sit on our server, buried in a folder somewhere. We would refer to it in emails, but frankly, I was confident that nobody was actually looking at it.”
As the one in charge of operations, Kevin was constantly bombarded with questions. He would spend his time answering those questions instead of engaging in productive tasks. The employees’ dependency on him to perform their tasks was ostensibly a setback in productivity. The management needed to provide a system that would enable team members to work independently with little or no supervision, otherwise, the circle would continue.
Discovering SweetProcess out of Necessity
The unending questions about how to do one task or another became overwhelming for Kevin. Having his team members empowered enough to do things on their own was in the best interest of everyone.
“I was burning up a ton of my time and other people’s time just trying to chase this stuff down and reiterate the same thing over and over.”
He decided it was time to go a different route. Part of his goal was to be able to link to specific SOPs instead of having team members read an entire document to find specific tasks.
Kevin admits that he was initially skeptical as he was not sure of the outcome, but he soon realized that the system was very easy to use.
“I was excited when I found SweetProcess. It was robust enough to complete what I was trying to accomplish, but it was also simple enough that it didn’t overwhelm any of the users or any of the management team in trying to help them understand what the vision was. And the rest is history.”
How SweetProcess Changed the Game at FACS
Adopting SweetProcess in the organization was a collective effort. All hands were on deck to make it work, and they hoped to get the most out of it. Was it all worth it in the end? From what Kevin says, it was. He tells us the specific areas where the entire organization has benefited from using SweetProcess.
1. Effective Business Process Documentation
The team at FACS recognized the need for documenting SOPs long before discovering SweetProcess and started to do it with PDF files, but the SOPs were not living up to expectations. They did their best with creating the documentation, but their options were limited due to the tool they were using.
“We would have a PDF booklet. It was several dozen pages long so to find an individual SOP, even a paragraph from an SOP, you have to scroll through, do a search within the document. It was really difficult to find, especially difficult to communicate, to tell 200 people to go to this one PDF on the server and try to find this one paragraph.”
It is a different story with SweetProcess. They are now able to document SOPs that are comprehensive. Team members can find the specific information they need without looking through the entire document.
2. Seamless Employee Onboarding and Training
The organization has grown in recent years, leading to the hiring of new employees. Onboarding a high number of new employees manually was demanding, requiring so much time and resources.
The training process was unending as the employees continued to ask questions on how to get things done. Established employees who were unclear about certain tasks would also ask questions, and Kevin was on the receiving end of all the questions. He was relieved when they adopted SweetProcess because it lifted the employee onboarding and training weight off his shoulders.
“I’ve got a sort of passive filtration of that, where they can go there, they can look around, and then if they don’t find it there then they come to me. It’s made my life a lot easier.”
New and established employees are now more confident in executing their duties because they can get the help they need on their own without constantly asking someone else.
“It’s a component of my outbound communication saying here’s what we’re asking you to do and here’s the SOP outlining all that entire process.”
3. Accessible Central Knowledge Base
Employees are able to give their best when equipped with the tools that they need—this includes making work-related information available and accessible.
Knowledge imbalance takes center stage when work-related information is not evenly distributed among employees. The employees who are privy to tribal knowledge will be more efficient than their counterparts, and when such employees are indisposed, their absence causes setbacks as others may not be able to stand in for them.
Having a central knowledge base where everyone can access all information is the biggest testament of using SweetProcess for Kevin.
“The best testament I can give is that, similar to how people call facial tissue Kleenex, our company now says ‘Is there a SweetProcess for that?’ They don’t say SOPs or anything—literally that’s what I get requests for. People are going there without me prompting them to do so. That has made my life easier because I was the first line of attack. If they said, ‘I don’t know how to do this, ask Kevin.'”
A Word of Advice for Streamlining Your Business Operations
Streamlining business operations can be daunting for many organizations, but choosing the right system makes it a lot easier. Despite dealing with a high volume of work that needed to be documented in SweetProcess, the simplicity of the software made the work easier for Kevin and his team.
“The basic functionality is really intuitive, so I didn’t have to spend a whole lot of time like training people on how to create them and how to transfer things over. For the most part, there was a lot of cut and paste involved which was great especially since the policies came over pretty much cut and paste.”
Choosing an easy-to-use workflow tool is on the top of Kevin’s list of advice to anyone who wants to streamline their business processes. He also advises that you take it one step at a time so that you do not get overwhelmed.
“It’s far less daunting when you’re just doing it one by one as opposed to putting together an entire booklet of SOPs. SweetProcess allows for just putting things in one by one and begin to accumulate those volumes and manage them. It’s such a nice tool to have for me and invaluable for our operation.”
An Opportunity to Streamline Your Business Operations
Kevin’s experience shows that streamlining your business operations with the right tool facilitates success. His organization was able to scale up and empower its employees with all the information that they needed to be more efficient. You can replicate their success in your business by signing up for a 14-day free trial of SweetProcess. No credit card is required.