Why Implement IT Process Automation for Remote Office

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Sergey Lobko-Lobanovsky
Chief Executive Officer, Geomotiv
Published: Dec 30, 2020

In our previous article, we shared the top picks of remote work management tools. Today’s topic is also very close to everyone engaged in transferring employees to online offices. We’ll talk about automating essential administrative tasks using business process management software like Fibery. This platform has become the answer to our particular needs.

Here’s what Sergey, CEO of Geomotiv, can share in this regard.

What Were the Reasons to Choose Automation Software for the Company?

The idea was to automate key business processes using a custom software solution. We started its implementation with time tracking due to the specifics of the company's business. Time tracking is a common attribute of work in IT, especially in outsourcing. It is one of the essential things that underlie our core business processes. After automating that aspect, we planned to add more elements to Fibery.

The other tasks were to manage and optimize the payroll, log and administer annual leaves, vacation days as well as any other type of absences from work. Moreover, it was necessary to automate a reporting and billing procedure for separate projects and individual clients. It was crucial to extract data from our workflows and generate invoices for clients at different stages of each project. The envisioned system would replace other tools inside the company and serve as a unified system to manage our business process workflow.

We started the search for custom solutions to address the above goals. And Fibery’s paradigm worked for us. It is a flexible tool that adjusts to our changing process, replaces other in-house tools, and access diverse data sets without switching contexts. It gives the freedom to create an out-of-the-box custom solution for a particular case without technicalities. 

Fibery offers custom apps that target a particular set of tasks within a company. Our processes are regulated by a group of custom rules that enable automation, calculation, validation, or any other type of commands. It is one of the no-code platforms that grows with the company and can become as complicated as necessary.

How Did Things Go With the Implementation of This Solution?

As a CEO, I am required to make business decisions and face possible objections from the team. For a true leader, it is necessary to show managerial will despite possible resistance. Some strategic goals require change that makes teams step out of their comfort zone. That’s what happened when we decided to launch Fibery. 

First, we breed a strong culture of trust and transparency in our team. During transferring the work to a remote office, we explained to all involved what is the proper way to track their time. I believe that no solution can meet the strategic company goals without explaining why it has to be done. We make sure every team member understands what time tracking is for. 

We try to make Fibery as easy-to-use as possible. That is where Fibery shines: it can be adjusted quickly and easily.

When employees have any problems, concerns, or suggestions on Fibery, we use that feedback to improve it. Step by step, we added other apps to the system and got everyone introduced to them.

How Do You Automate Workflow With the Solution?

We use a Time tracking app to automate data collection and display. The sum of hourly totals is calculated in real-time and becomes available for review. Fibery generates detailed time reports that can be exported or printed. We also leverage different filters to examine the data further and dig into insights. 

Reporting is another crucial part of the system. With Fibery, it has become much faster to generate LAR (Labor Accounting Report) for separate projects. At the same time, these reports have become more flexible and visually more attractive. Fibery lets us showcase the data we need to address the peculiarities of each project.

For example, it is very typical for outsourcing to manage accounting for teams that work for one client and serve different projects. In this case, we split LAR by project and visualize the data in separate reports. Another typical example is when a client wants to know the time spent on regular meetings. With Fibery, we can add and calculate any metric we need and share it easily outside the system.

A Sales app is used to manage sales, leads, activities, prospects, and measure outreach. We also manage internal marketing processes with an app for Marketing. We plan activities, track their progress, generate custom reports to monitor productivity, and keep up with the deadlines.

It is also useful for preparing paychecks for our contractors based on the data in custom reports. Apart from that, we created a knowledge base with instructions, guides, educational materials, and other vital resources. 

As for our upcoming plans, we want to implement ad campaign planning and set related tasks within the Marketing app.

https://fibery.io/

An HR app contains all important organizational information to facilitate onboarding, internal workplace organization, company culture, conferences, and many other things. We created a space within the app for employees to file their sick leave or vacation requests. They can be approved or denied by an administrator in a single view.

Fibery leverages no-code custom automation rules. They regulate each process within our company and determine the order of actions in a specific task. We can adjust the rules to suit our particular needs.

For instance, within Geomotiv, each team has its set of processes and rules, clients, and relationships with them. Some of our teams work on the outstaffing model, which requires a client’s approval on the vacation request. Whereas with the project-based teams, such a request is processed only internally.

We also configured the way our team tracks their work hours. Initially, we started with one app for time tracking. Then we began to contemplate the best way to expand its functionality. We assessed the issue from the point of view of organizing the process and differentiating access to project data.

Next, we figured it’d be best to create a separate app inside Fibery for each project. It eventually turned out to be the right decision. We implemented an accounting system and automated our processes with the individual peculiarities of each client in mind.

Thus, we can manage and change business processes for separate projects and see the whole picture simultaneously.

Have You Engaged in Any Integrations So Far?

Fibery integrates with external platforms in two ways. First, it allows for an out-of-the-box integration without any coding or configuration. At Geomotiv, we use data visualization platform Vizydrop in Fibery to build visual tables, dashboards, and reports. Another way is to connect it to external apps via Zapier. The service integrates Fibery with 2000+ third-party platforms, including Slack, Trello, Gmail, and Intercom. 

https://blog.fibery.io/fibery-approach-to-integration/

It is not a priority for us to integrate Fibery with a large number of applications. Perhaps, in the future, we will use more applications to automate our business tasks. For instance, we use Fibery integration with Google Calendar. This Zap sends automatic timesheet reminders at the end of each month. It allows us to notify every team member about the deadline.

Have You Found Any Disadvantages of the System So Far?

Fibery also has disadvantages that can become its advantages. The product is new with all that it implies. However, the Fibery team does its utmost to fix bugs and support us on our particular setups. 

To be honest, the guys from Fibery understand which drawbacks exist in their system. Among them, they mention a high level of abstraction and inflexible permission system on their website. The system hasn’t been tested on the touchscreen, and there is no mobile app for users. 

Still, Fibery does an excellent job at building and managing custom processes. But if you need some cool things, you will have to hire developers, which can add extra sums to your budget. However, in the end, you can develop an exceptional solution within Fibery.

In the Context of Remote-First Policies, Why is Automation Important in Business?

Automation is crucial for any business, and the better these processes are debugged, the easier it is to switch to remote work. In this regard, a custom system like Fibery is suitable for automating various tasks for offline and online offices. 

Automation is crucial for any business, and the better these processes are debugged, the easier it is to switch to remote work.

I’d like to mention here that the shift to remote work hasn’t disrupted our work processes. We’d implemented solid management and controls to make the transition faster. One of our paths to success was to implement automation using a work management platform like Fibery. It adapts to the needs of our team and grows with it. The solution certainly fits our processes.

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