Major energy company to save $800,000/year with bespoke business app created without code.

Overview

One of the world’s largest energy companies expects to recover up to $800,000 per year in wasted time and resources by switching from an outdated project initiation system to a custom app they created with Skuid on the Salesforce1® platform.

Challenge

In the spring of 2015, the marketing team of a major multinational company faced a complex problem. To initiate projects, marketers were required to submit their requests by using a simple spreadsheet called a project initiation form (PIF).

The PIF was an old, ugly spreadsheet stored on the company’s corporate intranet. To initiate a marketing project, an employee would download the document, fill it out, and email it to the creative team. Sometimes employees sent projects to the wrong person. Sometimes employees sent urgent projects to inactive email addresses. And because the spreadsheet didn’t have the capabilities to capture nearly enough project information, there were still huge gaps in the information required to begin a project even when the PIF was routed properly.

A growing number of project requests each day was making it nearly impossible to balance resources, track status, and execute projects successfully. Deadlines snuck up on the team, resulting in unexpected costs for rushed printing and shipping, re-work, and even employee overtime. The whole process frustrated those requesting marketing resources, and the team struggled to manage it properly.

The catalyst for change arrived when an analyst reported the department lost up to $800,000 each year through inefficient project management. The team was tasked with finding an efficient solution to their own complex problem.

“The goal was for us to be spending less time in email and tracking these projects down so we could spend more time doing what we’re good at, which is being creative,” says the digital projects coordinator (whom we’ll call Tina, per a nondisclosure agreement).

Tina decided to purchase Salesforce1 to build an app that would log project data, but she hit a roadblock when the project needed more customization than she anticipated. She needed a sleek, customized user experience so clients could easily request services without hours of technical training.

“We saw what we’d built and we realized it was too complex. And we became worried that the complexity would only make matters worse,” Tina says. “It really scared me when we realized [the app] couldn’t do what we needed to do. But because of the investment we’d already made, I didn’t have a choice but to figure out a way to make it work.”

Solutions

Tina imagined a world where employees could easily walk through the request process in minutes with a custom Salesforce app. She searched the Salesforce AppExchange for a solution, and the reviews for Skuid’s user experience platform impressed her. After talking to one of Skuid’s solution consultants, Tina couldn’t wait to get started with Skuid. Within three months of choosing Salesforce, two marketing team members were able to create a custom PIF app using Skuid’s code-free platform.

“We’re not developers, but we were able to develop this app, which is pretty impressive,” Tina says. “The part that we thought would be hard — building the technology — was incredibly easy with Skuid.”

Results

With Skuid and Salesforce, Tina’s team expects to recover up to $800,000 per year in efficiencies by making smarter business decisions based on more comprehensive project data. Tina has been so pleased with the results that now she’s dreaming of using Skuid to create a comprehensive project management platform.

“I would never recommend building a Salesforce1 app without Skuid,” Tina says. “I can’t imagine being able to make a project like ours work without both.”

The new process has also given Tina’s boss, the company’s creative services manager, immediate access to reporting on his department’s project load in real time. Before using Skuid, he spent days exporting information and making assumptions about workload to prepare for quarterly reviews. Now, he can easily see all performance metrics on a single dynamic dashboard.

“There wasn’t one thing on our wish list that Skuid wasn’t able to help us solve,” Tina says. “They have been a joy to interact with — communicative, sharp, and absolutely intent on giving us the tools we need to be successful. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better experience.”