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Targeting KPIs for better business performance

In addition to its after-sales product, eBuilder's offers travel and expense, procurement and order fulfillment solutions. Those products also encompass the entire value network, providing a wealth of performance-related information from diverse sources.

BPM and KPIs

Like CRM and BI solutions, BPM systems can produce metrics in abundance. The systems include business rules that govern policies, procedures, roles, responsibilities and deadlines. "Some of the rules in BPM applications reflect KPIs, such as cycle time, rework, utilization or turnover," says Garth Knudson, director of international operations at HandySoft. "The challenge is not so much in capturing metrics as in connecting them to strategic goals; for example, reduced cycle time leads to greater customer satisfaction or lower operational costs."

NSWG4, a group within Naval Special Warfare, is responsible for developing and testing combatant craft and associated equipment. To contend with two conflicting realities-a high level of demand for craft and budget constraints-NSWG4 wanted to expedite its purchase process and increase productivity.

The group held a two-day meeting with stakeholders to improve and map out the process for automating purchases made with government credit cards. "We wanted to streamline and error-proof the process before we automated it," says Cmdr. Eric Miller, who was the logistics officer at NSWG4 at the time. "This process is high volume and relatively straightforward, with a maximum expenditure of $3,000 for parts and $2,500 for services."

Decisive improvement

NSWG4 implemented the BizFlow system from HandySoft to replace a manual system that was labor-intensive and did not provide visibility into the status of an order. The KPIs indicated drastic improvements. "The new system reduced ordering time to just 3.2 days, down from several weeks with the manual system," says Miller. "Also, instead of having to search for the status of an order, personnel receive e-mail alerts to let them know where the order is and whether they have an action to perform."

Workflow automated was part of a three-step approach to reduce ordering cycle time. By using BizFlow and other lean initiatives, NSWG4 was able to reduce the average boat repair contracting time  by 78 percent to five days and parts contracting time by 70 percent or 55 days Furthermore, contracting defects were reduced by 30 percent because missing documentation or steps were corrected further up stream in the process.

All of those improvements resulted in having more craft available in a shorter amount of time, and therefore greater combat readiness. "Now that NSWG4 has a proven method of mapping out a process, streamlining it and automating it," says Miller, "it has the opportunity to take on more challenging processes such as contracts that require RFPs and proposals, which will also benefit our mission."

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