At CME Websites, we were either going to bury ourselves under a paper avalanche or we were going to grow our business at double digits, and we weren’t going to buy another filing cabinet.
Assignments were piling up and getting lost. Multiple manila folders for the same client were everywhere, and at the end of the month it took nearly a week to tally billable hours and organize invoicing.
Changing up the way we did things didn’t help, and trying new software packages was like spinning our wheels in mud. It wasn’t one thing we needed to think about; it was everything, and it was all falling apart fast.
“What if?” we asked ourselves, “What if a customer could enter an order on our website and it went directly into the assignment queue? The office manager doesn’t need to create a piece of paper, forward an email, or double enter the data – she just prioritizes it and assigns it to the right person with a click? Can we do that?”
“Ahh,” mused a team member, “but what if the person getting the assignment needs contact information and client history, and there’s a string of emails with important information about the assignment? Can all that information be in one place?”
“And if I need to ask for help,” asked another, “or have someone check my work, can I do that on the same screen? Can I show the customer my progress too?”
“Hey,” our accountant chimed in with a touch of sarcasm, “when you’re done with all this, why don’t you just wave your magic wand and drop information right into QuickBooks. Out go the invoices to be paid online without stuffing a single envelope. Do that too will, ya!”
“OK,” said management, paying no attention to the accountant’s disparagements, “we know what we want; let’s go find it!”
Like knights-errant in search of the grail, our team scattered to the four corners of the Internet in search of solutions. They quickly came back beaten and dispirited.
“There is no software to do this!” they whined (and it’s pitiful when they whine).
“Can we do this ourselves?” someone muttered.
“No. It would take years and we’d have to reverse engineer half a dozen kinds of software and cloud based systems. There simply is no such thing that does everything we want!”
“Damn. It’s a shame we can’t mash them into a ball and make the things we need work together!”
“You mean integrate the systems? Tie our website into a management console, and then tie that into QuickBooks. Add DropBox for storage maybe, and Constant Contact for client communications , flagging sales when we know someone opens an email multiple times. Can we do things like that?”
Seeing that our programmer was smiling, we got excited again.
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, we worked to integrate popular, time tested software and cloud-based systems so that they could share information, synchronize data, and create the workflow that would solve our management and paper-work nightmares forever.
Our only problem was that it worked better than we imagined!
Customers seeing us use our new system said they wanted it too.
Demurely, we declined. After all, our goal was to find the treasure for ourselves. “We make websites,” we explained, “it’s just really cool that we found ways to manage our workflow so well. You should be jealous.”
“We are,” admitted our clients. “And you should come to your senses. This thing you’re doing here… This is the future of your company. Now stop being so geeky about it and set this up for us too!”
“Umm…” we said, scratching our chins, “we suppose this could work for almost any business. What do you need?”
“What you have here is great,” said one client, “but what I need is completely different.” (Clients have a habit of saying that once they get you excited about something.) “I need my guys in the field to access this from a tablet and pickup their assignments. I need to see their progress, track their time, and feed them assignment updates in real time. If you can do that…”
“We can do that.”
“I need a workflow that syncs with my online Magento store,” said another. If you can do that…”
“We can do that.”
“My manufacturing plant uses a Vulcan data base and QuoteExpress; I bet you can’t…”
“Yes we can. We can make your plant 99% paperless and dramatically increase your ability to take on work and have it flow to the production floor.”
“Can we really do that?” one of us whispered when the clients weren’t listening. “Aren’t we supposed to be making websites?”
“Yes, but that’s CME Websites. The new team has a new business. They’re CME Integrations. See, here’s the paperwork. We filed it yesterday. So who have we got standing in line?”
“There’s a drug testing company, a disaster restoration company, a mechanical-electrical-plumbing CAD company, and, for some reason, 3 or so companies involved in HVAC fabrication.”
“And we haven’t even advertised this yet?”
“No. But word is getting around fast. What do we do?”
“I think the question is, what can we do?”
At CME integrations, our systems offer the ability to tie into a multitude of other software programs, giving you the ability to integrate your system with your critical tools and programs, but keep everything together as one system.
Some of these programs include: QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Dropbox, Sharefile, RightSignature, Constant Contact, and more.
Do you use a very industry specific tool that you can’t do without? No Problem. Our systems integrate with many industry specific tools, and can pull data from them and into the system, creating a seamless process for you and your employees.
It can all happen on the web, making your management, workflow, and data accessible from any Internet enabled device.
As a concept, we call what we do Web2WorkFlow™. And like our jealous clients who pushed us into selling and customizing this system as a service, you’ll have to see it to believe it.
What happened to that avalanche of paper and our filing cabinets? No more paper goes in, and only rarely does a piece of paper containing information more than 2 years old come out. Yet we can track the exact status of dozens of simultaneous projects and hundreds of individual tasks as they happen in the daily hustle and bustle of growing our business at a double-digit rate.
To see if we can help your business do the same, give us a call at 724-523-3001.