How Marc Nelson Oil Products Overcame the Fear of Losing Skilled Employees by Documenting its Business Processes
President of Marc Nelson Oil Products, Peter Nelson, had the advantage of experience in his industry after having run his business for decades. But the absence of documented business processes, procedures, and policies created a knowledge gap among his employees and affected their performance. Peter sought the help of Adi Klevit—a business process consultant – in finding the right system for documenting their business processes, procedures, and policies. Having tried several systems, Adi recommended SweetProcess due to its reliability. Both of them worked together to streamline the company’s business processes and create efficiency among employees. They share their experience with us in this case study. First, let us know more about the company to put things in perspective.
About Marc Nelson Oil Products
Marc Nelson Oil Products is a supplier of oil products such as diesel, lubricants, and gasoline to filling stations. It offers customers a complete experience from the purchase, delivery, and management of their products.
Established in 1936, the organization leverages its wealth of experience in delivering excellent services and satisfying the needs of its customers. With four bulk plants and eleven automated commercial fuel stations under its belt, it offers its host community Oregon 24/7 access to fuels.
In sync with the latest technology in fuel management, the organization offers customers the opportunity to track their products using an inventory management system and a card lock. It prioritizes the safety of customers and the general public with the use of reliable tanks and an analysis and sampling system to evaluate the condition of fluids in vehicles.
The company currently has fifty-five employees.
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The Biggest Pain Point
Skilled and experienced employees are an asset to any organization. Peter has employees who have worked at his company for over twenty years. Such employees have the skills to deliver great results. But what happens when they decide to leave the company? They leave with all the knowledge and skill they have acquired over the years, leaving a huge gap behind. Peter explains that this can be very painful:
“I have some people here that have been here longer than twenty years, so they really know the business, and not everything is written down. It isn’t written down in a precise, clearly defined manner and so when somebody leaves, it’s painful.”
New employees coming in to replace those who have left have a hard time settling in, as they do not have an existing document to consult for assistance. It all falls back on the organization as it suffers the consequences of their lapses, a situation that could have been avoided with an effective system.
Choosing SweetProcess over Other Workflow Systems on the Market
As an expert in business process improvement, Adi is constantly on the lookout for a system that will give her clients excellent results. Her quest for the best led to her discovery of SweetProcess.
“I was researching for a process documentation software and I was actually on Google researching, and then I found SweetProcess. I found others but then I tried them all and I really liked SweetProcess.”
Adi had her reservations at the initial stage. She wanted a system that was flexible and easy to update, and she was afraid that she could not do that with SweetProcess. But she soon realized that she had nothing to worry about because SweetProcess was up to the task.
“What I was skeptical about actually proved itself as a really good plus. You can enter information and not worry about formatting because it formats automatically. You can add pictures and videos and it really makes you think in a sequential way.”
So, when Peter asked her for a documentation system, recommending SweetProcess was a no-brainer. Peter reveals that he was skeptical about the pricing initially. He wanted a system that he could buy off at once and not pay for continuously. But when he found out that the SweetProcess monthly subscription was very affordable, he was in.
The Impact of SweetProcess in the Organization
Good systems enhance workflow and improve performance. A lot of emphasis is placed on hiring the best talents. Employees can only do so much on their own—they need all the assistance they can get to harness their potential in the workplace. The implementation of SweetProcess at Marc Nelson Oil Products turned things around for the better in the following ways:
1. Effective business process documentation
The workplace thrives on effective communication. Employees do not work in isolation but together. Everyone must be informed about what is required of them to make timely input.
The first thing Adi noticed when she came on board was the communication problem among the employees due to a lack of documentation.
“What I saw, in general, was exactly what Peter was talking about—the need to have documentation in place because there was a turnover. There was also a problem in terms of communication because somebody would not be able to communicate with another person in terms of what needed to be done, and cross-training was also a big problem.”
Employee performance was affected as they struggled to get a grasp of their duties. Adi laments that this could have been avoided from the get-go with effective documentation.
“All those were problems that could have been remedied very easily with having well-documented processes and procedures, so that’s the project we embarked on.”
Adi and Peter documented the processes in all the departments of the company, and the issue of communication became a thing of the past.
2. Seamless employee onboarding and training
As the business owner, Peter explains that the impact of SweetProcess on the employee onboarding process is on the things he finds most valuable about the system.
“I think being able to capture the knowledge of my employees and have that written down in an organized, easily readable fashion is valuable. The onboarding process of training a new employee is easier, and the other thing that I really like is accountability. We talk a lot around here about operating above the line and SweetProcess helps us to find the line.”
With all the processes documented on SweetProcess, Adi can easily refer employees to the system. The waste of time and resources associated with employee onboarding is no longer in the picture.
3. Consistency in delivery
Achieving organizational goals and targets is more attainable when there is a blueprint for work compared to when employees rely on their knowledge. A lack of uniformity in employee performance was a red flag Adi noticed during her evaluation of the company at first.
“I saw the aspect of efficiency—the fact that people are supposed to have organized and previously standardized procedures, but they don’t. Each one had their own way, so it wasn’t optimized.”
According to Peter, SweetProcess has helped them to resolve that problem.
“People new come in and they go and then whoever comes in behind that person doesn’t operate the same way. I can use this for that new person. I will say this is the way we operate and if they want to make a change then they have to go into the software and they have to type in their change to a policy or create a new policy or type in a change to a process.”
Changes made to the documents are not automatically implemented. Peter gets to examine the changes and decide whether to implement them or not in the best interest of the company.
4. Continuous improvement
Business processes are constantly evolving. The need for certain features in a system may arise to improve an organization’s workflow. The team at SweetProcess understands this logic. Hence, they listen to their customers and implement useful suggestions to make the system more effective to them. Adi acknowledges this from her encounter with the team.
“I recommend SweetProcess to many of my clients, and every time they see a feature that needs to be added or something that needs to be changed, I email or call Owen. He and his team are so receptive. They have made so many improvements and they have great features. One of them that we are using in Peter’s company is the ability to review the processes on a regular basis.”
How to Streamline Business Operations for Efficiency
Streamlining business operations is Adi’s area of expertise. So, we wanted her to share some tips with us on how to streamline your business operations for maximum results. She recommended the following:
- Do not do it all at once.
- Identify specific areas to start with.
- Map out the entire process.
- Identify the main procedures that you need to document.
- Start with the higher levels and then go down to the details.
- Do not spend too much time writing too many details on each process.
- Create a practical approach to implementation.
- Delegate tasks to team members.
- Hold a weekly meeting to evaluate the performance of the previous week.
An Opportunity to Explore
With his business processes, procedures, and policies sorted out, Peter is ready to diversify into other areas of business. That is what SweetProcess does: it puts you in control of your time and allows you to do whatever you want without worrying about your business underperforming.
Focus on the Big Picture
What are the benefits that you would enjoy if you had well-documented processes and procedures? This is a question that Adi asks any business owner or manager that is contemplating about streamlining their business operations. Peter no longer has to lose sleep about an employee leaving his organization, all thanks to SweetProcess. You too can have peace of mind in your business by signing up for a 14-day free trial on SweetProcess.