How Neon Buddha Built a Successful Fashion Brand by Documenting Their Business Processes Effectively

Last Updated on May 12, 2020 by Owen McGab Enaohwo

How Neon Buddha Built a Successful Fashion Brand by Documenting Their Business Processes Effectively


On a mission to build a household clothing brand, Jonathan Harvey, chief operating officer at Neon Buddha, realized that their success was threatened by the inadequacy of their archaic business process documentation. Rather than focusing on channeling the high-level creativity needed to excel in such a competitive industry, employees were struggling with the complex processes in the organization.

Determined to set things right, he embarked on a search for a better business process documentation system, and then he found SweetProcess. Jonathan takes us through their journey to efficiency. Before we proceed, let us have an overview of the company for context.

Jonathan Harvey, chief operating officer at Neon Buddha

About Neon Buddha

Neon Buddha is an original work-to-weekend female clothing brand. Established about twenty years ago by Sébastien Sirois, the proudly Canadian company creates a synergy between travel, adventure, and fashion. Travelers can be stylish aboard long flights or train rides en route their destinations. When they are not in transit, they can go about their daily engagements in an array of designs suitable for different occasions.

Offering an inclusive fashion experience to women, Neon Buddha caters to all sizes and shapes. It further empowers women by having an all-female design team in Montreal, Canada. Mirroring its tagline “Express Your Zen,” it is a juxtaposition of expressiveness and calmness. At the moment, it has an employee capacity of 15.

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Missing the Mark

As a fashion brand, Neon Buddha’s workflow involves several processes from idea conception to production and marketing. To service these different aspects, they created a myriad of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We are always looking to have as many SOPs as possible. If you want your business to be efficient, having many SOPs for every part is important,”

Jonathan explains.

While the company had a need for many SOPs, it lacked the capacity to manage them effectively. Created in Word documents and Excel sheets, the SOPs were all over the place, making employees scamper around to get the information needed for work.

“Everything was on Excel sheets and Word documents—that’s how we started…We have always been trying to look for a way to put all our SOPs in one place. One day, I started Googling to find a program that is easy to use to put all our SOPs in one place.”

When documented business processes are ineffective, they become liabilities, elongating the workflow, wasting time, and resources. Ultimately, Neon Buddha turned to SweetProcess to solve this problem.

How Neon Buddha Attained Its Turning Point with SweetProcess

Having been in business for about twenty years, Neon Buddha obviously understands the ropes of the fashion business. However, its lack of the right system clogged its operations. After discovering SweetProcess, the organization was able to accelerate its performance.

SweetProcess was helpful in the following ways:

1. Easy process documentation

Dealing with tons of SOPs is a handful. There is a tendency for things to slip through the cracks. It gets even worse when you have to manage them manually as in the case of Neon Buddha, who documented their business processes in Word documents and Excel sheets. One of their challenges in using these tools was the painstaking task of creating a new layout from scratch for every new process added to the list. Lamenting over this, Jonathan states that:

“The layout was always an issue. When you want to add SOPs, you basically have to start everything from scratch over and over. The layout was never perfect.”

With SweetProcess, however, the company is now able to document their processes easily. Thanks to its easy-to-use features, they can create new processes without breaking a sweat.

2. Remote access and user-rights controls

Accessibility comes after documentation in the business process. Are the documents readily available? In a fast-paced industry like fashion, there is no room for delay. When workers are not able to access information about tasks on the go, the production chain is halted. The longer the waiting game lingers, the more resources are wasted.

“Where do you save them?”

Jonathan asks in regard to using Word documents and Excel sheets.

“If someone saves them in the folder, which one is the latest version? You get confused all across your SOPs,”

he further explains.

With Word documents and Excel sheets, accessibility was a big challenge the company was facing. Files saved in a particular computer folder could not be accessed away from the computer.

“To give some user rights is something we couldn’t do with Excel documents,”

Jonathan says.

With the SweetProcess cloud-based system, SOPs can be accessed remotely. You also have user-rights controls, giving access to employees of your choice in various locations.

3. Facilitate collaboration among teams

Business processes mostly function in a chain. Individual processes make up the workflow, combining inputs from multiple employees. Everyone has to be efficient in order to tick off items on an organization’s to-do list. This is impossible when employees do not have equal working opportunities for projects. With the SweetProcess collaborative tools, Jonathan and his team are now able to work together on projects, making useful inputs toward achieving set goals.

“Everybody can edit, or you can make it read-only…. The staff can say, ‘It will be easier to do it this way,’ then I get the notification, and we can approve it. We can also have a discussion about it. All of these are things you can’t do on a Word document.”

4. Integration with other productivity tools

Productivity tools are meant to simplify the work you do and increase your production output. However, using too many tools can be a problem in itself. Juggling several systems creates confusion, making you lose grasp of the entire workflow. It helps to have most of your tools, if not all of them, in one place. Jonathan is ecstatic about being able to integrate recurring tasks performed on other software with SweetProcess. Through the SweetProcess API or Zapier, you can integrate over 1,000 apps including Gmail, Microsoft Teams, PreciseFP, Salesforce, Google Analytics, etc.

“I love that you can schedule recurring tasks from SweetProcess itself. You don’t have to use other software. You can actually link tasks based on your SOPs. This is amazing. Every day I’m getting notifications that this is done, this is not done.”

Understandably, this saves him a lot of time and energy; there is no need to go from pillar to post.

A Misconception About Using SweetProcess Corrected

Prior to signing up on SweetProcess, Jonathan was worried about losing all his SOPs created on the system if he chose to cancel his subscription at any point. This was a valid concern. Losing everything after putting in the work would be devastating. But he soon discovered that SweetProcess does not function that way. It offers users the opportunity to download all their files if they choose to opt-out.

“We quickly realized that it’s not the point. You can simply download your files in PDF or Word document. At the end of the day, if you are thinking of moving away from SweetProcess, which I don’t see why you should, there’s a way out without losing all the work.”

Taking on the Next Big Goals

Purpose-driven businesses are always aiming for their next goals. But until current challenges are resolved, they cannot forge ahead. Jonathan and his team were unable to pursue the goals that were important to them—growing and diversifying—due to the bottlenecks in their business processes. But with the SweetProcess effect, all that is in the past. They are now empowered to aim for the stars.

“We are always focusing on growing and diversifying. So obviously we are spending a lot of time in the wholesale world. Our team is diversifying, we are working remotely.”

Replicating Their Success Story

In addition to the aforementioned benefits of using SweetProcess, Neon Buddha is now better positioned to scale up quickly and efficiently, establishing its presence around the world. According to Jonathan,

“It’s easier for us to scale quickly so we can have people all across the globe. We have employees in the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, and Canada. For us, it’s easier to scale quickly and efficiently with SweetProcess.”

Would you like to scale up quickly and efficiently like Neon Buddha? The SweetProcess 14-day free trial is just a click away. Sign up now!

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