The initiative was undertaken to streamline and accelerate approvals as well as operational activities within the chain of command of the Group as well as saving over 50,000 sheets of paper which would otherwise be used in manual transactions.
The family-owned business which has completed more than 50 years of operation, undertook this exercise to positively impact regular work processes within the Group that has over 3,000 employees and various divisions dealing with trade, retail, projects and manufacturing. The process has also reduced the time-lag in approvals at various stages resulting in transparency and tracking efficiency within all levels of the organisation.
The implementation which began in August 2011 has seen the activation of over 26 workflows which seamlessly assimilate various operations within the Group’s Corporate Finance, Internal Audit, Legal and Government Relations departments besides the activities of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation.
“The Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group believes in integrating the most technologically advanced management and operational practices that will help improve efficiencies and create a paperless work environment. Currently, the general use of paper and wood products in work environments is greater than our ability to sustainably harvest the materials. There is energy saving as well. Almost all information is stored electronically even if there are “hard copies”. In addition, this reduction of completing manual requisitions in an employee’s day can help to increase motivation and productivity. While workflow automation is not a revolutionary practice, its adaptation across the board, within such a large business conglomerate could be one of the first such instances within the UAE,” said Abdulla Al Gurg, Group General Manager, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group.
The automation blueprint including the development life cycle was created by Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group’s IT department which synchronized workflows based on various departmental requirements through SharePoint 2010. SharePoint workflows are also automatically linked to SAP thus, leading to a real time reflection of processed requests in the system.
The benefits achieved through workflow automation include increased speed and productivity, acceleration of the paperless office objective as well as reduced margin for errors. Within the Group, the process of approvals has been reduced significantly from a period of two days to a few hours. The system provides access to senior management via mobile computing devices such as smart phones.
While there is significant cost involved in developing and maintaining an automated workflow, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group decided to invest and activate the project, as the return on investment positively reflects on the Group’s vision to achieve a paperless work environment and double its turnover by 2015.
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