Micron Enhances Business Agility with On-the-fly App Development in QuickBase
Micron Consumer Products Group (Micron CPG) wanted to get its sales, marketing, planning, and other teams better aligned and working together more efficiently. With employees located across the globe and dependent on several siloed technology solutions, the team wanted to manage its business processes in a more efficient manner. QuickBase gave Micron CPG the rapid application development platform it needed to quickly build easy-to-use apps to keep work flowing. The results are gains in process efficiency and a reduction in errors from manual efforts.
- Siloed business processes across globally distributed teams
- Lack of visibility into discount approvals and other processes
- Spreadsheets and emails meant no single source of truth on key processes
- Outdated reporting tools hampered decision making
- QuickBase for rapid application development
- Fast, low-code system for building apps to span multiple teams and processes
- Built-in workflow tools to automate inefficient processes
- Fast, flexible reporting with charts and graphs
- Right-sized governance features that allow for fast development while keeping data protected
- 93% process improvement for discount approvals, leading to greater sales volume
- Reduction of errors in package design process, reducing risk of costly mistakes
- New apps developed and deployed in days, not months
Global Teams Need Global Workflows
As the consumer-facing division of global memory giant Micron Technology, Micron CPG offers Crucial DRAM and SSD solutions, as well as Lexar memory cards and USB flash drives through e-tail, retail, and reseller channels. Like any company with teams in almost every corner of the globe, getting processes to flow smoothly can be challenging.
For example, Micron CPG needed a better way to manage its discount request process, which spanned multiple teams and locations, and wasn't managed by a single software solution. Sales reps would request discounts by email, but depending on the circumstances, they might need approval from the pricing team, product marketing team, finance department, or a global sales executive — or sometimes a combination of those.
"What would happen was a sales rep would have five or six requests open, and they had no way to tell where they were in the process. The end result was that sales reps had to wait for a response. Everyone was frustrated with the process," says John Harvey, Business Intelligence Manager, Micron CPG.
Fortunately, the Micron CPG team saw an opportunity to solve the challenge quickly with QuickBase. The team has used QuickBase to automate a number of manual processes that require collaboration from distributed teams and with multiple sources of data.
To smooth the discount request process, the team built a Pricing Request app on the QuickBase platform. With little or no prior QuickBase experience, the team was able to get the Pricing Request app up and running in less than one week.
The app stores updated price lists and uses built-in formula fields to enable sales reps to perform discount calculations quickly — no spreadsheets required. Automated notifications route discount requests to the next approver, so the request is always in front of the right person or team. Built-in reporting features allow sales reps to check in on the status of any request at any time.
The results speak for themselves. Not only are sales reps now able to check in on the status of a request quickly and from any device, but those requests are also handled much faster. The average response time for a discount decision has been reduced by 93% in a key process that arms the sales team to close deals faster and increase overall revenues.
"QuickBase has been transformational. Were able to make peoples lives easier by giving them back time in their day so they can focus on what they need to do."
QuickBase as a Platform for Operational Excellence
Solving the discount request challenge was the Micron CPG teams first success with QuickBase, but it wouldn't be the last. The team found QuickBase after searching for a platform that would allow him to develop business process apps quickly with minimal (or no) IT involvement. After evaluating various solutions, the team selected QuickBase for its overall ease of use and speed to solution. Unlike other rapid application development platforms, QuickBase requires no setup or dedicated administration.
"I didnt want a platform that required developers or a lot of work to get up and running," says Harvey. "QuickBase gives me the flexibility to solve problems quickly with minimal effort."
Other business process challenges the team has solved with QuickBase include:
- Sample requests
To streamline the process of requesting samples for customers and prospects (previously an email-based process), the team deployed a Sample Request app built on QuickBase. Any requests entered into the app are automatically routed to the fulfillment team. The sales rep then receives a notification when the sample is shipped, plus a follow-up notification seven days later so he or she can follow up with the customer or prospect.
- Printed packaging quality control
To ensure that all printed packaging is accurate and up-to-date, the team built a Quality Assurance app on the QuickBase platform. The app stores and automatically updates logos, messaging, and safety certification marks to enable marketing teams to work from the most accurate information when creating package designs.
The Speed of Success
For Micron CPG, the ability to deliver apps that meet its needs is one thing. Delivering them at lightning speed is another. QuickBase gives Micron the ability to do both. Team members frequently develop apps during initial requirements meetings with stakeholders, often finishing a prototype before the meeting ends.
"I usually have 80%-90% of a new app completed in about eight hours with QuickBase," says Harvey.
That speed gives Micron the ability to not only reduce its backlog of app requests, but also to reap the benefits of process automation in a fraction of the time required for traditional IT development processes. At Micron CPG, that kind of operational excellence has led to:
- Faster, more efficient processes
- Greater data integrity and reduced risk of errors
- The ability to deliver better service to internal stakeholders
"QuickBase has been transformational," says Harvey. "Were able to make peoples lives easier by giving them back time in their day so they can focus on what they need to do."