“Before starting on this journey, we were using systems that did not optimally fit with our forward-looking and professional outlook at Evolve,” says Fiona Mallia, Head of Business Support at Evolve Ltd – which supplies equipment and services to the scientific, industrial and medical sectors – describing the company’s digital transformation experience as essential to its growth and purpose.
“Quoting our Managing Director, previously Evolve was like a car without a dashboard,” she says, adding that the company decided to upgrade its processes and adopt new technologies that would drastically improve its performance and management.
Ms Mallia has been responsible for driving this aspect of the company’s evolution since joining the team five years ago. With a science degree and work experience in the sale of scientific equipment, and as a laboratory analyst in the food and beverage industry, Ms Mallia took on her new role at Evolve soon after completing her MBA, which proved to be the right opportunity for her to move into the operational aspect of a business.
Since then, she has led the company in its initial phases of a digital transformation, primarily by becoming a SalesForce enthusiast and finding innovative ways to use this Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to improve its operations.
“We shifted to cloud-based systems, namely SalesForce and Office 365. Cloud computing enabled accessibility from different locations and devices, such as allowing the seamless transition to work from home whenever necessary,” she asserts, explaining that the systems immediately had a significant impact on Evolve’s operations.
“All quotes started being issued through this system, so everyone had full visibility of open opportunities, status, who is working on what, pipeline, forecasts, customer history, quote approvals, etc. Field service engineers had their service report books replaced by tablets with constant SalesForce access. Customers started signing reports through the tablet and this significantly improved the closure of service cases and related invoicing.”
Ms Mallia explains that the systems were chosen because they allowed for work to be carried out from any location, and in a secure and reliable manner. “These systems became the central depositories for company data. They are entirely cloud-based, so we can access e-mails, files, Office programmes and SalesForce from any location on any device.”
They also offer flexibility, where the only requirement is a working internet connection, facilitating access for employees who work on site, who travel often and need access to data, or for those who prefer to work from their phone or tablet. They also offer peace of mind in terms of security and reliability.
“Storing our data on the cloud eliminated the cost of purchasing expensive hardware. Both systems have a lot of built-in security features to keep the company’s data safe, for example back-up systems, Mobile Device Management and Multi-Factor Authentication.”
The Head of Business Support asserts that these IT solutions are helping Evolve move towards paperless processes as well as managing company data and knowledge across the board. The flexibility of SalesForce has allowed this solution to move to the centre of all the company’s operations, including the management of HR-related records.
“This includes records related to company vehicles and devices, training records, skills management, travel management, and a Suggestion Scheme. The system also maps, for instance, a library of positive psychology books. Employees can see which books are available as well as see the reviews and ratings provided by other readers,” says Ms Mallia.
“The possibilities with this software are endless. Each audit, new joiners, suggestions for improvement, deviations, experience and more provide inspiration and ideas for how things can be done in a better way.”
Going forward, Ms Mallia says the plan is to continue expanding the company’s digital transformation strategy and ensure that all the investment in this aspect of the business ultimately results in a better customer experience.
“Evolve will also be transitioning to a new, cloud-based ERP. We are seeking out a flexible solution that complements our current infrastructure, promises to significantly increase efficiency and automation, and ultimately support Evolve in its plans for the near future,” says Ms Mallia.
“Furthermore, we are planning to roll out a customer community and a mobile app, whereby customers can interact between themselves, with Evolve through live chat, and receive updates about their assets, orders and cases amongst other things. Augmented and Virtual Reality also feature in our plans, in particular with offering off-site support to our international customers, thus leveraging the local expertise to the benefits of a wider client base.”
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