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SharePoint Enterprise Sales Workflow

Quad Plus Tasks

Summary

Quad Plus, Inc. provides turnkey industrial control systems, solutions, and services. They are recognized in the field as a leader in AC & DC control systems by being an authorized service center for major manufacturers locally, nationally and internationally. As a follow on to the implementation of the Quad Plus SharePoint Time Entry Application for Dynamics AX, DMC implemented Microsoft SharePoint to take advantage of communication and collaboration features, along with Key Performance Indicator Dashboards and Workflow. The workflows and dashboards proved to be wildly successful.

Customer Benefits

  • Highly-structured project quoting process with automated task assignment
  • Real-time visibility of sales pipeline enabling higher accuracy forecasts
  • Ability to find quotes that met specified criteria for follow up actions
  • Ability to find documents and content throughout the organization very quickly with enterprise search and tailored SharePoint views of information
  • Keep employees connected with company events and holidays via a centralized company calendar that integrates with Outlook
  • Easier communication and collaboration through company announcements and a digital suggestion box to assist with promoting the submission of company improvement ideas
  • Preserving knowledge and saving time with wikis that document  standard operating procedures

Technologies

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • SharePoint Workflow
  • SharePoint Designer 2007
  • SharePoint 2007 Enterprise Edition
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • .NET Framework 3.5

Solution

Quad Plus originally set out with the goal to implement a Time Entry Application to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics AX.  The solution provided by DMC using SharePoint not only accomplished their original goal but also revealed other areas where SharePoint could help them enhance their business as well.  The areas where they felt they had to greatest room for improvement was their quote process, document management, and internal communication. 

Quad Plus needed a tool to allow their Sales Department to enhance organization of quotes, give Management the ability to view the current status of quotes that were in the pipeline, and forecast engineering hours for upcoming projects. A solution was created utilizing SharePoint Workflows and a custom list with attributes that pertained to the project sales quotes.   

With all quotes being stored in a centralized location, real time data was available with details about each quote being easily accessible. Workflows created a highly structured quoting process by assigning tasks to specific individuals, decreasing the chance of missing a deadline and enforcing sales quote approval processes. Users were also able to synchronize their tasks with Outlook to centralize all tasks regardless of purpose. By adding engineering hour estimates and confidence levels to the SharePoint Quote Database, the engineering team was provided with insight into upcoming resource needs for future anticipated projects enabling detailed forecasts to be created.

"The new SharePoint sales workflow process gives us a real-time view of our sales pipeline," says Quad Plus President, Chris Tooley. "The sales workflow data also provides valuable insight into engineering resource loads that will be needed to deliver on future projects."

Document Management was another area where Quad Plus recognized a need for improvement. Most of their employees were utilizing their hard drive to store company documents which resulted in only the author having access to it and emailing attachments. With SharePoint document management, management and sales people could collaborate on quotes and proposals. This also reduced the risk of data loss due to mismanagement, hard drive corruption, and changes in sales personnel. 

Microsoft SharePoint allowed Quad Plus to take advantage of its communication and collaboration features, as well as the Key Performance Indicator Dashboards. During this implementation phase, SharePoint groups and access levels were established throughout the company, along with a homepage for the SharePoint portal. The definition and creation of forecasting dashboards now allows Quad Plus to automatically tap into multiple systems at once to determine if they are on track for fulfilling anticipated resource demands.

The Quad Plus sales workflow was such an enormous success that is also led to the immediate implementation of an expense report approval workflow, as well as a time-off approval workflow. This saved a great deal of time by streamlining the process and cutting out manual paper based steps. This has eliminated the preparation time to assemble data in advance of sales status meetings.In addition, several other departments are exploring the implementation of SharePoint to address their top key issues. Check back for additional case studies in the future as other features and business solutions are rolled out with in the company.

Learn more about DMC's SharePoint workflow services.

Posted in Business Intelligence, Company Policy and Standard Operating Procedure Repository, Custom Applications, Dashboards, Microsoft Consulting Services, Product Development, SharePoint, Workflow

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