Manual processes were hampering productivity
Each day, the company was inundated with RFP leads from multiple platforms. During peak seasons, more than 500 RFPs and leads came in daily. The company’s existing processes required that the internal teams use individual and shared inboxes to track, manage and monitor these leads, which was a manual and time-consuming process.
When new RFP leads came in, employees would manually follow a set of complex criteria such as account ownership and geographic location to determine the appropriate account manager and then forward the message to that individual or group. Each lead was also entered into the company’s tracking system to monitor its status.
Seeking a solution
The hospitality organisation wanted to eliminate the repetitive and time-intensive nature of the process while adhering to specific criteria to ensure delivery and response to each RFP.
In searching for a solution, the goals were to:
- Eliminate the manual tasks required by the existing system
- Reduce human error and employee responsibility for each RFP delivery
- Leverage technology to expedite RFP processes
A review of the existing process revealed multiple points where automation would achieve and exceed the company’s goals, including automatic RFP status notifications, account manager determination and email routing criteria.
After fully assessing its needs and system requirements, the organisation determined that a custom solution leveraging several technologies would help them achieve their goals. This custom solution combined the capabilities of Microsoft Power Automate, Nintex Workflow Cloud, Microsoft 365 and Outlook. Understanding that external expertise was needed to guarantee success, the company partnered with Protiviti to develop a solution.
Implementing a solution
Automation tools often complement one another, and a combination often creates the best and most effective results. Nintex, which is platform agnostic, integrates with and complements Microsoft solutions, including Power Platform. To meet the organisation’s automation needs, the most appropriate solution combined both Nintex Workflow Cloud and Microsoft Power Automate to reduce overall development and ongoing maintenance and overhead.
For the RFP process, Power Automate monitored each inbox and searched for predetermined keywords in both the subject line and email message body. The company receives many RFP emails using a similarly consistent structured email body, allowing Power Automate to identify key information that can be used to determine the correct routing-path criteria.
Microsoft SharePoint was used to store the information extracted from emails, especially those related to similar RFP opportunities. Once grouped, logic was performed to send messages to the right recipient list within the client organisation.
Demonstrated results and repeatability across an organisation
With the RFP-related information neatly packaged and delivered on time, the company’s employees can efficiently enter lead information into their Salesforce environment without being overwhelmed by a highly manual process.
Initially, three inboxes were identified for which the new processes could be deployed. The inboxes were shared and had key RFP leads flowing in daily. However, each inbox’s protocols differed slightly in logic, so there was an opportunity to put the automated processes to the test and prove that they functioned as intended.
The initial results demonstrated that the new process also increases the hotelier’s speed-to-market, allowing them to respond to RFPs faster and win more sales opportunities, ultimately increasing ROI.
After the initial success, other event groups within the global organisation wanted this automation technology implemented for their groups. This organisation-wide interest in the automated RFP solution demonstrates how powerful grassroots automation can be in revolutionising an entire team.
Leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform and Nintex Workflow, the custom automated RFP solution saved an average of 7.5 hours per day or 1,950 hours per year. The solution also has increased the hotel company’s speed to market, allowing it to respond faster while winning more sales opportunities and increasing ROI.
Look to the future
The implemented solution offers additional capabilities that will be further explored in the future. The company is already planning to initiate a second phase of the project, where the focus will be directed at streamlining the automated processes and logic even further and expanding the opportunity to the company’s international teams.
This company has taken this opportunity to truly transform their business. With the help of Protiviti, it now has a solution that continues to positively impact the organisation’s bottom line, day-to-day processes and employee well-being.