SoluGrowth, a South African business process solutions company serving multinational clients across the globe, has enhanced its quality management measures for a global financial services corporation, as well as seriously cutting down on reporting man-hours and improving visibility around business processes, with the implementation of Project Portfolio Office’s PPO cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) software.
SoluGrowth provides tailored business process and technology solutions, as well as experienced professionals, to help clients streamline productivity, improve efficiency and reduce operational costs.
The importance of quality management
According to Jeanelle Connolly, associate director at SoluGrowth, the company is utilising PPO to manage quality for its biggest client, a multinational, US-listed company.
“Our client has outsourced its transactions and some accounting services to SoluGrowth, meaning that we are a key player within its global business service centre. As part of our agreement, we handle the processing and payment of invoices, oversee queries (both externally from suppliers and customers for instance, and internally), while also managing accounts receivable, supplier maintenance, and so on, at a global level. All of these tasks have strict audit requirements, as they must follow certain processes and involve highly sensitive information.
“Prior to our rollout of PPO, we had no single approach in place from a quality management point of view; different stakeholders were involved in this project, working from different places, meaning that information was not saved centrally.
“Our client’s perception was that our team was extremely busy but did not seem as productive as they could be. In fact, a few months before our PPO project management software implementation, we were asked by the client to validate the large volume of mail that was being received by our team. Our managers had to go back to the mailboxes – both central and personal mailboxes – export all of this information, and advise who the mails had come from, for what reason, and what the findings were. It took around a month for them to go through 700 e-mails and identify what was driving them.
“Once this exercise had been completed, it was revealed that 40 to 50 percent of these queries were actually being misdirected due to incorrect processes from within the business or suppliers.
“It was clear that we needed a reliable overview of the entire client project – a mechanism to ensure that the daily quality checks were being saved, and that queries being handled were assigned and tracked centrally – that could be accessible in real-time at any point.”
Going the PPO route
Connolly explains that she had been exposed to PPO prior to joining SoluGrowth, and understood that the project management tool was easily customisable. “I felt that PPO, with its proven ability for digitalisation and automation, would be a good fit for SoluGrowth, providing us with the structure needed to manage our quality management information and business processes as well as allowing for better auditability, governance and collaboration.
“Not only is PPO very easy-to-use and intuitive, which means that we have saved on both training costs and potentially days’ worth of training time, but from a cost point of view, it was also far more reasonable than a quality management solution.”
With the use of PPO’s project management software, SoluGrowth now has a good idea of where risk lies, from a human resources (HR) and performance management point of view.
“We’re using PPO to create query and quality check modules, meaning that our team is running all of our client’s queries and quality checks through the tool. This allows us to easily track and find information at any point. We’re also logging decisions from our client on calls, and PPO is assisting with collaboration and communication within the team too.”
Seeing real benefit
“PPO has massively improved our quality management reporting, and this is now one of its main tasks for SoluGrowth and one of the greatest benefits we have garnered from the tool,” Connolly continues. “We are able to report at a high level, but it is also granular enough that we can report on different levels, allowing for real-time information to be pulled for the client at any stage. This has allowed us to provide them with greater visibility into our team’s activities.”
For instance, SoluGrowth can now report back that accounts payable received 400 e-mails within a month; with a percentage of these being misdirected, some being duplicates, and others being urgent processing requests. “This has changed the client’s perception of our service delivery in a very positive way, as it underscores the value we are adding.”
Connolly states that PPO has saved SoluGrowth management hours of time when it comes to monthly operations meetings. “Previously, these reports were done manually in Excel, with managers having to physically count mails received and pull information together from various places. This was easily a 10-hour process.
“Today, these quality management reports – as long as the information is kept up-to-date by our team members – are available instantly via PPO. In fact, all of our PPO users have been able to say that the project management tool has changed their lives for the better. We can look back and categorically say that we don’t know how we ever managed the reporting side alone beforehand.”
SoluGrowth has rolled out a new instance of PPO, which it plans to use in other areas across the organisation. “For example, we have an office move coming up, which will prove a good test for SoluGrowth in using a standard version of PPO. Here, we will be able to track expenditure and time, and gain an overview of tasks and issues. We have already identified other parts of the business that can use PPO, such as our HR department, and will be showcasing the tool to the rest of the organisation soon to see where else it could be of benefit,” Connolly adds.
Says Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office: “PPO was designed to provide organisations with greater transparency on processes, as well as a more structured way of operating, which brings with it additional benefits such as automated reporting and improved auditability and team collaboration. SoluGrowth is a prime example of the effectiveness of PPO, showcasing how companies can get up-and-running quickly and easily, while also leveraging the project management tool’s scalability by adding or switching on functionalities as the environment develops and requirements change,” he concludes.