How Turkstra Lumber Supercharged Its Employees’ Efficiency by Creating Seamless Business Processes
Business Intelligence & Lean Six Sigma Champion at Turkstra Lumber, Jamie Ramsden, prioritizes keeping the organization’s operations running smoothly.
As far as job expertise was concerned, Jamie and his team were up to the task. But working in an industry that isn’t “leading edge” in processes, they relied solely on their individual efforts to get things done. Although business was moving well, they realized that they could do better with streamlined business processes and procedures.
The quest to be more strategic and sophisticated in their operations led to the discovery of SweetProcess. And according to Jamie, it has been a game-changer in the organization. He tells us how the system has helped in streamlining their operations and boosting employee efficiency.
About Turkstra Lumber
Established in 1953, Turkstra Lumber has a long-standing history of offering building-related services.
Committed to helping builders get through the most tedious aspects of building, the company offers a complete service from selecting building materials to picking the right size or structure and transporting the materials to the building site at the right time.
Turkstra Lumber adds a modernized touch to its services with the use of modern technology to simplify and enhance the building process.
With over 70 years of experience, the organization is keen on creating a conducive working environment for its employees and shares the same sentiments for its customers, offering them high-quality services.
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The Biggest Pain Point
The team at Turkstra Lumber was effective at doing their job without documented processes, but they weren’t as coordinated as they should be. They performed tasks in different ways, creating inconsistency across the organization.
Having everyone on the same page, working with the same processes and procedures, was imperative to achieve the great results they desired.
“One of the things that prevent you from being correct and doing things better than you do now is when you don’t know what your processes are or if everybody isn’t on the same page.”
Determined to set their processes right, the team started to learn about the Lean concept. They went further to document their processes in Excel sheets, but the results were far from what they needed.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with Excel or homemade-looking things, but part of it is that there’s no coordination there. You’re trying to pass things around. The people who you need to participate often don’t have good access to the materials you’re trying to trade back and forth with them, and they certainly aren’t that interested in participating that way, so you’ll end up with a top-down approach that is ineffective at best.”
Tired of the back and forth with using the Excel Sheets, they decided to get something better to help them rein in all those processes that they thought they knew but realized they weren’t coordinated about.
The Smart Move of Discovering SweetProcess
The consensus to adopt a workflow system in the organization was a step in the right direction but they were saddled with the task of finding the right fit.
Jamie had an MBA intern working with him at the time, so he asked him to use his “smart brain” to find something good.
After surfing the internet, the intern came across several options. But thanks to his smart brain, he knew that SweetProcess was the one.
Interestingly, Jamie wasn’t convinced about using SweetProcess at first because he thought the system was difficult to use. But he soon realized that SweetProcess was as easy as it gets.
“Because I didn’t understand what the project was, I thought I needed something like a better version of Excel that would just be easier to use to record things. But recording processes with SweetProcess is the easy part.”
How SweetProcess Enhanced the Operations at Turkstra Lumber
Having previously used a not-so-effective system for documentation, the organization’s expectations of SweetProcess were high.
Did SweetProcess deliver? By the looks of it, it did.
Let’s find out how Jamie and his team are benefitting from implementing SweetProcess in their organization.
1. Effective Documentation
Turkstra Lumber’s initial experience with documenting business processes explains that documentation in itself isn’t a guarantee for efficiency. While the team did the right thing by documenting their processes, choosing to do so on Excel Sheets limited their results.
The first thing that caught Jamie’s attention about SweetProcess was the ease of documentation. Rather than creating tons of texts, SweetProcess offers a more visual approach that gives users a clear picture of what they are doing.
“The thing that caught my attention first was just something simple and visual, which is that SweetProcess automatically makes you a little flow chart as you enter your steps for any process. People understand things in different ways and a lot of our staff really like that if they can get a visual representation immediately.”
2. Centralized Knowledge Base
When there are several moving pieces in the workplace, employees may struggle with memorizing all the information that they need for their tasks. As a result of this, they may drop the ball, causing problems that are sometimes unfixable.
SweetProcess allows organizations to create a centralized knowledge where team members can find all work-related information easily to avoid making avoidable mistakes. Jamie and his team are leveraging this feature on SweetProcess. According to him, this is the biggest win in using SweetProcess.
“Suppose something goes wrong in some part—a customer interaction or you manufacture the wrong thing, or you charged the wrong price. In the past, our first thought would be to remedy that situation and we’d move on and probably never learn anything from it. Now, our first thought is: How should we have done that? Or wait a minute, there’s nothing in SweetProcess for that.”
3. Employee Efficiency
Having intelligent and competent employees is undoubtedly a plus to an organization. Nonetheless, employees are at their best when they are empowered with the right resources to do their jobs.
Although the organization boasts of great employees, it recognizes the need to equip them with the business processes and procedures that they need to perform tasks efficiently instead of wasting time and resources. By doing so, its employees are more productive.
“We make our people jump through hoops day after day, problem-solving and being extra nice to customers because something went wrong when we could have not just remedied a particular situation but solved the problem by recognizing that there’s a procedure to have in place and let them use their excellent brains for other things.”
4. Team Collaboration
Due to the top-down communication in many organizations, the management team creates business processes, procedures, and policies and imposes them on the employees without seeking their inputs. Such processes often fall below the mark as they lack a practical approach.
With SweetProcess, the organization fosters collaborations among employees as it allows everyone to contribute to creating business processes, procedures, and policies.
“SweetProcess has to be something more than just a fancy way of writing down all the things you do, and that’s what it has managed to be. It’s a way that employees of all stripes can make corrections and participate.”
The Benefits of Streamlining Together as a Team
Are you looking to streamline your business operations? Speaking from his own experience, Jamie advises that you shouldn’t do it all by yourself. Get your team members involved in the process. When you do so, you’ll get engagement and improvement.
“Try SweetProcess and very simply just start by documenting some processes that you think you know very well. Don’t do it yourself. Ask your people to do it and you’ll immediately find out that you don’t know what you think you did.”
Your Chance to Streamline Your Business
It’s almost impossible to get new results when you continue to use the same old methods.
Adopting SweetProcess was a watershed moment for the organization. Not only was it able to streamline its processes for smooth operations, but it also groomed more competent employees. You too can do the same by signing up for a 14-day free trial of SweetProcess. No credit card is required. You can simply walk away if you aren’t impressed at the end of your trial.