+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
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Wire love to share our success in helping clients improve their business because it demonstrates how spending a little time on process improvement and automation can deliver massive results.

IQ Glass is a great example of this, a business that had put all the right systems in place but they weren’t talking to each other.  Duplication of data entry was time-consuming, caused inevitable human error, gaps in the process, and lack of visibility across departments.  Some simple Zapier automations had been configured but the business required more complex workflow automations to fully optimise the applications and integrate them.  With our help, they save on average 45 hours per week, the equivalent of a full-time member of staff, delivering a host of other benefits such as providing up to date information in various apps that is visible to everyone and calculating overtime accurately.

IQ Glass: background and project objectives

IQ Glass are the UK’s leading architectural and structural specialist glazing company who work with some of the world’s leading.  They supply pioneering glass technology and offer a complete range of bespoke services, including the latest trends.  They use employed and self-employed glass fitters who are overseen by a team of project managers and supported by warehouse staff.  A sales and management teams are based at head office alongside others who perform administration and finance support functions.

They use Salesforce to manage sales leads, opportunities and projects, ScheduleIt to manage the workforce and organise each installation, FastField Forms for fitters and other staff to capture site reports, event logs, and timesheets, and the Microsoft Office 365 suite for email communication and admin.  However, there was minimal integration in place between the systems so staff had to rekey information manually, which was time-consuming and prone to error. IQ Glass wanted to streamline their business processes by fully integrating the applications to save time, reduce costs, and eliminate human error.

Group Operations Manager Hugo Cox defined the project goals and overall business requirements and then worked alongside Kelly Goss of Solvaa to improve each individual process by strategising and building the workflows.  We used Zapier, a no-code automation tool, to optimise key business workflows using its pre-built integrations with the aforementioned apps and the functionality of Zapier built-in apps.  We have helped IQ Glass build several complex Zapier automations to streamline their business processes, and there are currently on average 40,000 tasks running every month.  

Infographic showing the systems which have been integrated to represent the work by Solvaa to improve business processes and automating manual tasks for a featured case study, One Year No Beer. At the centre is a Xero logo which is connected by coloured arrows to other software such as Quaderno, Silversiphon, Stripe, Paypal, Shopify, an OCR application and a Pleo prepaid expense card. Text explains how the data flows between the systems and the human interactions that are required to initiate them.

Automating Salesforce sales and operations workflows

When webforms were submitted, new sales lead information needed to be entered into Salesforce manually. In addition, when sales opportunities converted into new projects in Salesforce the workflows to create records in other systems weren’t automated and tasks were often forgotten.  There was no overall visibility of information. Data had to be manually updated in ScheduleIt, Microsoft Excel sheets, and FastField Forms, causing delays and risk of human error.

We replaced Microsoft Excel sheets with Google Sheets where possible to utilise the vast array of Zapier + Google sheets trigger and action events, allowing for better automation opportunities than with Microsoft Excel.

The following Zapier workflow automations were implemented:

  1. When new webforms were submitted we used Zapier to automate the creation of leads in Salesforce. We used look-up tables to map differences in field entries between webform dropdown options and Salesforce field API names.
  2. When a new project is created in Salesforce create a new resource in ScheduleIt, a new Google Sheets row, add a look-up to a list (using a .csv upload) in FastField Forms so that it can be used immediately, and update the project status in Salesforce.
  3. When a project status is changed in Salesforce update the resource in ScheduleIt.
  4. When a field is updated in Salesforce initiate the relevant updates in ScheduleIt, Google Sheets and Fastfield Forms to keep the data in line across all applications.

Keeping all data in-line across the applications was crucial and ensured better visibility of up to date information in all the systems.

 

Automating purchase order workflows

When projects required glass to be manufactured, a purchase order needed to be created in Salesforce and sent to the supplier.  The purchase order processes involved duplication of data entry in different systems, with human error occurring as a result.  This was time-consuming, not only the manual task of keying data but also for investigating discrepancies.

The following workflow automations were implemented:

  1. When a new order was received by email, it is now parsed automatically to extract the relevant data and create a purchase order in Salesforce.
  2. When a FastField Form is used to capture purchase information, it is automatically used to create a purchase order in Salesforce.
  3. When purchase order documentation is attached to an email, it is automatically added to the Salesforce purchase order record.

Automating ScheduleIt event workflows

One of the most frequent tasks happens when ScheduleIt is updated with events, for example, to fit a product, make a site visit or update a job.  Before the processes were automated the data needed to be manually rekeyed in Salesforce to ensure the project record was kept up to date but this was time-consuming.  Every time a record was deleted in one system then it needed to be updated manually in the other.  An additional issue was that there was a mismatch between the project identifiers in the different systems, and also the timestamps were in different formats which made automatic data transfer complex.

The following Zapier workflow automations were implemented:

  1. When a site visit event in ScheduleIt is created, create a record in Salesforce and then loop back and update the ScheduleIt event.
  2. When an event in ScheduleIt is deleted, the site visit is automatically updated in Salesforce.

Automating FastField Forms lookup list workflows

There is a range of dropdown lists in FastField Forms, for example containing clients and projects, which need to be selected when filling in a form.  If these aren’t up to date then it’s impossible for fitters and project managers to pick the right one and therefore time is wasted while they wait to get it updated manually.  It is also a duplication of effort and prone to human error as the data needs to be entered in two places.

The following workflow automations were implemented:

  1. When a new supplier is added in Salesforce, add the details to a Google Sheet and update the FastField Forms list (using a .csv upload).
  2. When a new project is added in Salesforce, add the details to a Google Sheet and update the FastField Forms list (using a .csv upload).

Automating site event reporting workflows

Glass fitters routinely need to advise the administration team about issues such as damaged materials, including submission of photos taken on-site.  When they entered this data into FastField Forms it was not automatically fed into Salesforce where the customer and project records are stored.  It needed to be keyed manually which carried the risk of user error and also a time lag.

The management team had no visibility of progress, and events were not actioned as swiftly as they could be.  If fitters needed to include an image of a relating to an issue then it was a laborious process to attach the photo file to the relevant project in Salesforce.

New entries in form dropdown lists, such as a project references, needed to be added manually.  If there was a delay in this process then the fitters would not be able to choose the right customer when they were working on a job.

The following workflow automations were implemented:

  1. When a FastField Form for an event is submitted then the Salesforce record is updated.
  2. When various events are triggered in Salesforce, such as a project being added or updated, an email is sent to the relevant project lead or member of staff.
  3. When new projects are created in Salesforce, or an existing one is amended, the FastField Form lookup lists are updated automatically.
  4. When an inbound email is received, the image attachment is automatically saved in Salesforce.

Automating timesheet workflows

There was a significant manual effort involved in capturing the hours worked, calculating overtime and expenses for fitters, and also inevitable human error from rekeying data into different systems.  Data was submitted by email in a non-standard format, so it desperately needed to be organised and input into the timesheet systems automatically. The approval process was disjointed and often delayed.  Payments were at risk of being inaccurate and time-consuming to correct.

The following Zapier workflow automations were implemented:

  1. A Fastfield Form captures hours, overtime, and expenses, and this data is automatically fed into a Google Sheet.
  2. Calculations run automatically using Formatter by Zapier number formatting functions to give the correct overtime figures.
  3. Automatic reminder emails are sent to approve timesheets before deadlines are reached.
  4. Spreadsheet data is automatically updated when timesheets are approved.

Using Zapier built-in apps

We implemented several complex Zapier automations to keep the data in-line between Fastfield Forms, Salesforce, ScheduleIt, and Google Sheets. We also used Google Drive from storing file records and Microsoft Outlook for sending emails, as well as the following Zapier built-in apps:

Delay by Zapier to delay workflows to account for other automations running independently in a series of co-dependent workflows.

Email Parser by Zapier to extract data from emails before creating or updating records.

Email by Zapier to collect email attachments before adding them to records.

Filter by Zapier for basic conditional logic to ensure certain workflows ran based on specific conditions.

Formatter by Zapier to manipulate number, text, date/ time, line-item formats, look-up tables and spreadsheet-type formulas.

Paths by Zapier for more complex conditional logic to allow workflow to run specific pathways with action-based set conditions, for example when calculating timesheet combinations ensuring the correct type of work was recorded.

 

Satisfied client

Our ongoing consultancy for IQ Glass has delivered measurable benefits in time and cost savings, as well as non-quantifiable gains that have delighted IQ Glass Group Operations Manager Hugo Cox and his team. Hugo reports time savings of 45 hours per week, “doing the work of a full-time employee who we don’t have to pay tax or NI for, doesn’t go sick, need holiday or occupy a desk!”

Hugo went on to list further business gains:

  • Significant systems and process improvements with increased visibility in all applications.
  • Better accuracy and timely approval of timesheet payments.
  • Data is accurate and there are no human entry errors.
  • Reduces likelihood of missed deadlines.
  • Scalable and repeatable.
  • Low maintenance.

He says “Kelly has been excellent at understanding the problems and quirks of the organisation, and identifying solutions or workarounds to achieve the aim. She also has a knack for understanding the key/actual requirements from a garbled verbal description from me of what I think I want! She gets the balance right between doing what is asked, and offering alternative routes to solving the problem. She is also open and honest about what is not achievable rather than saying ‘yes, no problem’ to everything. Similarly, she doesn’t try to sell you solutions to problems that don’t exist to gain extra revenue.  In summary, Kelly is very knowledgeable, helpful and a great asset to have contributing to your business.”

 

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

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