In the construction and installation world, Walraven Group is a household name. For tens of thousands of fitters the world over, Walraven is the go-to brand for innovative solutions and products. It saves them assembly time, while still being able to offer their clients the highest level of quality. Walraven has production sites and sales offices all over the world. Nearly 80 years of expertise and a vast product range mean they have an innovative solution for every project, no matter how large-scale or complex it is.
Walraven’s customers are generally large organisations that increasingly demand internationally consistent treatment at lower costs, with faster delivery and more knowledge. This means that Walraven needs airtight alignment of its work processes, information and applications, which prompted them to set up a Business Process Management (BPM) project. BPM is also intended to ensure that the company’s employees in countries such as Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom or the United States learn from each other and contribute to a continuous improvement cycle.
To achieve consistency, enterprise architect Marco Deterink and his team chose Sensus BPM Online, alongside other projects such as an ERP system upgrade. “We need the same consistent data everywhere: product information, how we handle scheduling, how we approach a customer, or how we deliver an order,” says Marco. “We want to document all these processes in Sensus BPM Online, linked to an ERP system that refers to work instructions and later possibly also to the screen in the ERP system where the activity is performed.”
Thanks to Sensus BPM Online’s highly user-friendly set-up, people can map and document their own work processes, meaning that sales, production, and logistics employees are all empowered to manage and continuously improve the processes themselves. “Before, there were cases where an external consultant would design a process together with Walraven and deliver it as a PDF or a paper handbook,” explains Marco. “No matter how good the design is, if it is not instantly incorporated into a continuous improvement cycle, such a handbook will soon lose its value. With Sensus’ solution, we want all processes to be documented in the application and be part of a continuous improvement cycle that is run by an international group of process owners. From now on, process management needs to already be integrated during the project, and that is precisely what we intend to do with the upcoming ERP implementation.”
Walraven basically wanted process descriptions that are engaging, that resonate with the people who use and update them. Straightforward charts and easy access are crucial. Quality, too, is an important aspect of BPM.
“We are regularly audited on ISO or other quality standards at different locations worldwide,” Marco continues. “We want to better facilitate these audits. Sensus BPM Online also happens to be a suitable system in ensuring compliance with quality standards and ISO standards. Properly managing and verifiably documenting who does what and when makes the whole certification process a lot easier, especially when it’s part of a continuous improvement process.”
Sensus BPM Online is a cloud-based application. This comes with several benefits. Process information is linked to document management (in Office 365, SharePoint Online), accessible any time and anywhere, and secure. Sensus supports Single Sign-On, so that employees will not have to log in a second time, which is convenient and a lot more secure.
The Sensus BPM Online cloud application had just been released when Walraven started using it. Its predecessor was a client-server application. “Being one of the first customers for a new product, you run the risk of coming up against teething problems and bugs, and indeed we did,” says Marco. “In fact, there were more issues than anticipated. Luckily, we were subsequently able to arrive at solid arrangements with respect to these issues. The issues we reported were picked up fast and generally resolved within a few days. This ensured that we maintained our confidence in Sensus, despite the setbacks.” Walraven regularly joins Sensus’ thought process on the future development of BPM Online. One particular new feature that Walraven needs is the ‘Library feature’, which enables consistent management of the process framework on a higher level and an international scale, while still allowing design leeway on a lower level for each site individually.
Sensus BPM Online has meanwhile been delivered and the system is working as planned, interfacing with the Walraven SharePoint Online environment. So far, processes that have been mapped relate mainly to IT, PMO and HR. In September 2019, Walraven will implement an ERP upgrade on an international scale. During this implementation process, the company’s own employees will map their processes in Sensus BPM Online to specify how they are supposed to work in conjunction with the new ERP solution. “As soon as the processes have been mapped, they are controllable,” explains Marco. “This allows us to harmonise our work processes internationally and treat all our customers across the globe in the same way, which inspires confidence.”