Reduced Advertising Personnel with Workflow Improvement
The Boss’s Statement, “We’re Letting Go of 50% of the Work Force in Six Months”
Q. Please tell us about your advertising order process.
Recruit manages many websites; for example, SUUMO (realty and housing website), Hot Pepper Gourmet (coupon and restaurant guide website, formerly known as Foomoo), Jaran (hotel reservation website), etc.
Our Internet Marketing Office confirms from each department the number of users that must be guided to each site, and posts advertisements on websites such as major search engines. For example, the goal of realty and housing websites is to have many people register for the open-house events.
Q. What made you start business process management?
With the downward trend in the economy, and a decrease in orders from clients, there began to be talks about reducing internal costs. There were a little under 100 employees working at our department, but we were suddenly told, “In six months we are going to abolish the sales staff-per-client system and reduce the workforce by 50%. We must improve internal business workflows but maintain the current level of performance.”
First we decided to figure out, one-by-one, what each person was doing. Drawing each type of work into diagrams was harder than expected, and the two staff members in charge of workflow improvement basically drew diagrams every day for almost two months. We thoroughly understood the current workflow, so we were able to get it down on paper one way or another. When this was complete, we eliminated redundant and meaningless flows and created an improved flow.
Anyone Can Improve Business Processes!
Q. Was it difficult to define the ideal business processes?
Compared to the task of understanding the current situation, defining the new workflows was easy and took about two weeks. The biggest hurdle when drawing the workflow diagrams was the discussion on how to ensure each employee actually follows the new business processes. We had an internal workflow tool, but we were told it would take over several million yen to customize it, so we had to abandon that idea.
While we were searching for a way out, our boss discovered Questetra BPM Suite, which would allow us to implement the new workflows in a surprisingly direct way. It also let us introduce user distribution of work and manuals, email notifications and deadline management. We use Questetra BPM Suite APIs to integrate it with our other internal systems.
Q. Please tell us about your future plans.
When we were actually conducting BPM activities, the sense of achievement was great. We’ve been able to connect this to “results,” so we are now able to take on the mission of “progressing BPM activities.” We intend to continue with workflow improvement. The world of advertising is constantly moving, and even posting methods often change, so we have to also constantly make changes in response to the environment.
I think that it’s possible to conduct BPM activities with relatively few members, and that you don’t even need a lot of experience in BPM. Diagrams can be created by anyone who has a normal amount of understanding. Recently we try to make commitments to specific goals, such as “Being able to complete which work with how many number of members by what date,” and to be wary of workflows. I think the person who can complain about workflows saying, “who in the world designed this??” is suited to BPM activities.
RECRUIT co., ltd.
- 3,002,640,000 JPY
- August 26, 1963
- Hitoshi Kashiwagi
- Main businesses:
- Advertising, Internet business, publishing, etc.