Global Ag Input Solutions uses Process Street to help direct operations and connect team members out in the field with those in the office. We sat down with Vicki Riendeau to learn how they employ Process Street’s checklists in their business.
The Global Ag Input Solutions story
Global Ag Input Solutions is a subsidiary of Global Ag Risk Solutions, an insurance company which primarily operates in Canada and is moving further into the US market.
It was identified that customers needed more than just insurance products and would benefit from lending opportunities. As such, Global Ag Input Solutions was established to provide a unique, convenient and flexible Input Financing Program that puts producers in control.
Global Ag Input Solutions is a growing company with an innovative approach in the industry, but how does the team keep on track day to day?
Global Ag Input Solutions uses Process Street for:
- Internal communication
The team has benefited from implementing Process Street by:
- Streamlining internal communications
- Managing the sales process end to end
- Centralizing information
- Providing clarity about what work needs to be done
Global Ag Input Solutions provides its services to the agricultural sector over a large geographic region. This involves significant traveling and time outside the office to meet with customers and better understand their needs.
Our insurance company operates in the prairies; Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta, right now. And we are also expanding down in the US. So, a year and a half ago they started a finance company. Ag Input Solutions is a loans broker and we offer input financing to the producers; producers who purchase our insurance.
With a small team and vast distances between them, the team needed to find a way to operate effectively.
There’s three of us, there’s two of us that work in the office here and our sales manager who is out in the field. He’s not in the office very much so we needed a way to communicate with him on all of our files.
We started using Process Street because our claims department, which operates in a different city than our main company, started using Process Street to look after their claims processes. The manager of the claims department introduced us to Process Street and we thought, wow, that would probably work for us as a way to communicate when we’re not in the same location.
However, it took some testing to see exactly how Process Street could work best for the specific needs of the team.
Initially, when we set up our checklists in Process Street it wasn’t going very smoothly. And then in the middle of the night I woke up and I thought, “Ah ha,! We are not using this product the way we’re supposed to be using it.” We were leaning towards using it kind of as a database more than a checklist. So, the next day I went into work and I revamped our entire checklist.
The solution was found with Process Street
Global Ag Input Solutions decided to use Process Street to manage client interactions end to end.
What we use it for now is we have our entire process beginning to end from when we first get a referral to contact a client about our lending product.
Yet, Process Street has ended up offering much more functionality than just that; utilizing the features to act as a CRM and as a structured internal communication tool.
We also use it, I would say, as a communication tool so that Betty and myself who are in the office can easily communicate with Cameron, who is our sales person out in the field all the time. Every time he makes a call he puts a note in Process Street. And then from there, I get the email from him, I put that in our database.
The difference this has made to internal operations is considerable.
It actually was a complete lifesaver for us. We don’t know how we would have operated in the last year without Process Street, quite honestly.
Process Street is now used across the company across at least three different departments; from sales operations to managing bank assignments.
The software takes a core role in allowing the team to get on with the important work which matters most to the business.
We use it all day everyday. It’s our communication tool and it’s everything. Everything we do is based on Process Street.
The benefits of using Process Street have come through standardizing approaches and being able to centralize information. The big result of this is saving time.
With the claims department, when they need to know something from our finance department, they just send the email and we go in and go into their Process Street and give them the information they need. And complete it and it’s done right. So it’s saving us a lot of time on the claims end.
More than just the time saved, there is clarity about what work needs to be done. Using Process Street has helped make communication more actionable – which makes everyone’s lives easier!
You don’t have to phone people; they know when they see Process Street in their email that they need to do something. I mean, it automatically tells you that there’s action required. It’s not just getting 40 emails and not knowing if you need to do something with them. If you have emails from Process Street, you know that each one of those has an action attached to it.
Taking it to the next level
It’s great for us to hear about how Process Street is benefiting Global Ag Input Solutions, but we should all be looking forwards; not back.
What challenges do Global Ag Input Solutions still face and how can those challenges be overcome?
We deal with banks because we’re a loans broker, so we’re kind of the go between; between the producers and the financial institutions. So for part of our process we need to know basically where the financial institution is at in their process of getting the paperwork signed. Did our producers sign the paperwork? Is he going ahead with the loan? Has the financial institution received an assignment from us on the insurance policy?
When you’re working with multiple stakeholders, this kind of problem is extremely common. Even if you have everything worked out within your own internal operations you’re still reliant on the actions of others.
That’s where we really struggled this year; with the communication with the financial institution.
However, the team at Global Ag Input Solutions feels they have found a system which could streamline this relationship and overcome the difficulties in communication.
What we’re wanting to do this year is set up a separate checklist for the financial institution; they would go into our Process Street and they could only see their checklist.
You can use features like checklist assignment or task assignment to make it very clear exactly what you need another person outside your organization to work on. You can also introduce mechanisms like stop tasks, which require a task to be completed before the rest of the checklist can be used.
Process Street’s agile features help make process improvement easy
In the fast paced world of business, it is important to continually assess how your organization operates and how it can be improved.
Global Ag Input Solutions did this by thinking hard about how to get the best out of Process Street for its needs.
But the journey didn’t stop there. These processes, once designed and written, can still be improved and often need to be changed.
With Process Street, you can modify process templates and push the new revision live immediately. This can auto-update existing and old checklists or you can do it manually, only changing the ones you really need.
Global Ag Input Solutions has found this a really useful feature for the dynamic environment the company operates in.
I love that you can make a change along the way in your checklist at any time. It’s just awesome because obviously processes can change on a daily or weekly basis and you need to have that ability to add things into your checklist or take them out.
Hopefully Process Street can continue to support Global Ag Input Solutions in its growth and development as a company.
“We absolutely love Process Street!”