Non-Stop Projects and Organizational Goals: Workflow at Liquid Controls

Think about the number of products you use that involve some form of liquid to produce, clean or maintain that product. Consider that almost about everything you eat and wear was washed multiple times before you came into contact with it. Your apple, jeans, the gel in your hair; the floors, walls and ceilings of your home and office – they have all received a variety of ‘liquid treatments’.

Most of us don’t think about this very often —however, when we do, it is difficult to imagine any product we encounter that has not been “delivered” without the involvement of some form of liquid.

One of our customers spends a great deal of time thinking about liquids. The business of Liquid Controls is the development and manufacturing of liquid process control instrumentation and measurement products. Through their products, companies effectively use water, adhesives, chemicals and a variety of liquids. A part of IDEX Corporation, Liquid Controls is dedicated to providing high quality flow meters and accessories for accurate liquid measurement in a variety of industries. Their reach is global, and their products essential.

Learning about their business and the impact of their products has helped shape our opinion about how workflow changes the way the world operates. Without ways to monitor and manage liquid distribution, our lives would be quite different.

Like most companies, Liquid Controls relies on its intranet to provide electronic forms and information for its employees — from policies and procedures to expense reports and sales quotas. Yet its intranet had also become more of a repository of data —and less of a tool for initiating and managing processes. In the eyes of Bruce Lawrence, Group Network Manager, the intranet had the potential to provide so much more value! He sought a BPM software and workflow software solution that could apply business process management (BPM) to make things easier and more efficient within Liquid Controls.

Lawrence wanted a system that would work the way that employees worked. He initially looked for ways to process online forms, then expanded the scope to include workflow solutions. Lawrence consulted with business users to further determine what they needed and found a variety of requests: Accounting wanted to control the process for capital expense (CapEx), a manual, paper-based process at that time. (As a result of misplaced documents, Accounting was missing audit deadlines.) QA wanted all of its quality procedures online. (One of its documents required 12 signatures – and it was discovered, on several occasions, that no one knew who had the form.)

Additionally, as an ISO-certified organization, any time there is a change in any procedure, Liquid Controls had to secure signatures approving that change— as well as track documents associated with that change to ensure that information access and distribution was seamless.

For this workflow initiative to be successful, Lawrence did not have time to waste cycles on extensive back-end development and integration. A fast roll-out was important!

The Liquid Controls team reviewed trial versions of Adobe and Microsoft forms builder. They did not address the company’s workflow needs to their satisfaction. The product that did was BP Logix’s Process Director.

Liquid Controls is using Process Director for applications ranging from attendance and engineering change control to shop floor work constructions. Providing the appropriate workflows to ensure that a new hire could build a product to the same tolerance as a more senior employee was one initial challenge that the company successfully addressed.(Building a flow meter, for example, requires 600 work constructions. Changes to the process are now done through one workflow. Instructions are published in real-time which makes them available to shop floor employees immediately.)

According to Lawrence, “For us in IT, the world is one of nonstop projects. There is always a queue of people waiting for us to respond to a request.” One of the benefits of Process Director for Lawrence and his team is greater transparency and insight into requests, as well as opportunities to reduce redundant work, perform better parallel tasking and standardize on requirements.

An industry that is highly regulated also deals with audits. Liquid Controls is audited at least once a year for its ISO accreditation, as well as regular Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) requirements. Once ISO-certified, procedures must be available to anyone who needs to see them. Process Director helps with business process governance making the reporting, monitoring and auditing of processes seamless and gives authorized employees and auditors access to the information they need and the approval workflows that were given.

Perhaps the biggest advantage Liquid Controls has gained from using Process Director is that the IT team does not need to write code, allowing them to focus on deploying other applications. And while employees appreciate the user interface and friendliness of Process Director. IT appreciates the business logic that lets them dive as deep as necessary to be consistent with their workflow.

Process Director enables Liquid Controls to drive from the results side backwards and to better leverage its investments. We invite you to consider whether Process Director can do the same for your business.

Learn more:

  • Companies in a variety of markets are using Process Director to make their business more efficient. Read our BPM Case Studies from our customer experiences.
  • Process Director offers a wide range of features. Learn more about its workflow management software.
  • Get first-hand experience – we invite you to join us for a personal free BPM software demo of Process Director.