Go with the flow: new process solutions - Mark Large

2conciliate Business Solutions provides methods and tools to visualise, involve, create participation and build business management. Chief Executive Officer speaks to one of its clients, Mark Large of Volac, about how the company's 2c8 Modeling Tool has maximised the potential of his business and helped him get the most out of his staff.

The most common flaw when modelling organisations is to not consider the potential for improvements. With this in mind, the 2c8 Modeling Tool from 2conciliate is:

  • one of the most-valuable modelling tool on the market
  • easy to use
  • has assisted modelling
  • used to create IFS standard process models
  • used by over 700 customers in 24 countries.

To find out first hand what the product has to offer, Chief Executive Officer sits down with Volac's Mark Large to find out more.

Can you give us some background on what your company does?

Mark Large: We're one of the fastest-growing international dairy nutrition businesses. Founded in 1970, it's still privately owned by the family that started it. The grandfather founded it, and brothers now run the company. We're customer-focused, and we produce dairy nutrition products for humans and animals. We make milk replacements for animals, to produce things like lactose, which goes into confectionery, and whey protein that goes into the bodybuilders' protein shakes that you may buy.

We export around the world; we've got six UK manufacturing sites, a joint venture in Holland, sales offices in Ireland and Italy, a joint venture in Malaysia, a factory in China and a licensing agreement in the US. So our products are used worldwide.

What are the key management challenges you have faced?

Our business has gone from having a £54-million turnover in 2009 to £250-million turnover now - so in six years, we've grown massively. The problem with this was that our systems were not integrated. What we've now done is implemented remote site solutions across the group, and as part of that we need to 'e-map' all our processes and procedures - 2conciliate has been a big part of that.

How did you begin working with 2c8 Modeling Tool, and what attracted you to the company in particular?

It is much more intuitive than other packages that we've seen - 2c8 Modeling Tool is a package provided by the RP vendor IFS, which has it built into its system, with all the standard process flows. We saw how useful that was within IFS as standard, and we said, actually, we could use that for mapping all of our processes in the system.

It's an interactive system, too. With each process flow you can have links to it that take you off that screen in IFS; you can send it off to other documentation; you can actually attach documentation to a process flow that links directly into the system. So if, for example, your process says you need a form to be completed, you can link that to a controlled version of the form in the system, so you're always using the most up-to-date information.

So how does a typical day for your company using the product work?

Take procurement, for example. If somebody in the company wants to buy something, they can go to the process flow, which is stored in our operating system, where they have to actually purchase the goods. Then you can follow the process with the technology - what forms they need to fill in, who they have to send information to and what part of the system they have to go to actually finish off the process.

How does that help with your challenges?

In the old days, before 2conciliate, you could buy all you like, and then we paid the invoice when we arrived. Now, people can't do that because the system won't allow them to send a purchase order off without going through the process - they go through the flow process and follow it using the 2conciliate model.

That's good for us, because in implementing a new system a lot of the processes change, and documenting them in this way means users can see which processes have changed, and we can identify changes to roles as well, as a result of the changes to the system.

It cuts down on the admin we would have done in the past. Because it links in with the documents, if you have a form attached to the process, someone doesn't have to email somebody, try to trace the form or get the right version of the form. You always know you're using the correct documentation.