Roger is the CEO of Acme Valve Company. As the head of a growing manufacturing company, keeping everything organized and orchestrated can be a challenge. He relies on SmartDraw to help him do it.
Several months ago, Acme's IT director, Nick, was giving a presentation at an executive committee meeting. His topic was a proposed private cloud infrastructure. Despite the complexity of the issue, Nick's presentation, using a series of SmartDraw visuals, so impressed Roger and the committee that they asked him to supply all executives and managers with SmartDraw.
At the time, Roger thought they were buying a presentation software program that they would use occasionally. But he soon found that his entire organization was using SmartDraw to communicate better and deliver better results in planning, projects, and meetings. He now finds that keeping track of everything on his iPhone or iPad via SmartShare is far better than trying to sift through a perpetually stuffed and unstructured email inbox.
Roger begins his morning by spending some quiet time over breakfast, thinking about the issues facing his company next year and how they might influence the strategic plan he is working on.
He takes out his laptop, launches SmartDraw, and opens a Simple Mind Map template. He uses this to brainstorm a visual outline of projects, ideas and initiatives. This triggers several questions and other issues they suggest. He puts all of these into his outline.
On the left side of his planning map, Roger lists the three main ongoing projects that are foremost in his mind. He has links from these items to other mind maps with details and thoughts on each subject. Two of the his current issues, the roll-out of the new E3 valve and integration of ABC Electronics, a company that Acme recently acquired, are on his mind.
On the right side of the map, he starts listing the major issues he is targeting. He builds onto the major topics with questions and thoughts that he wants to explore. Roger finds that this is an excellent way to organize his thinking. It allows him to make better use of his time and makes it easier to communicate ideas with his colleagues. He'll use this mind map in his planning meeting later this afternoon.
After arriving at his office, Roger reviews the progress on the action plan that he put in place for this year.
Several months ago, he used SmartDraw to create a project map that lists the key objectives for the year, their schedule and which member of his team is responsible for each. He then sent these tasks to the SmartShare account of each team member, where they are monitored and updated.
He opens the SmartDraw file and it is automatically updated with the progress information that each person working on the objectives has entered from their SmartShare account. As he drills down into his action plan he sees that one of the initiatives, to improve production scheduling to reduce delays, is running late. Note the task icons in the boxes on the right. Several of them have red exclamation marks, indicating that they are behind schedule. Clearly, something is going awry.
From his SmartShare account, Roger adds a comment asking the team to look into the delays in this initiative as soon as possible and report back to him. SmartShare automatically sends email notifications to Ritesh, Anita and Miguel. Roger makes a note to check into this issue when he gets back to the office after lunch.
Since he began using SmartDraw to track objectives, Roger finds it much easier to stay connected to his company's operations. He likes being able to check on projects from anywhere on his iPhone. So does everyone on his management team.
After concluding lunch with one of Acme's key suppliers, Roger pulls out his iPhone and sees that he has an email notification from SmartShare. It's Anita, responding to his earlier request. He opens it up and clicks the link, launching his SmartShare app.
Anita's notification takes him directly to the master process chart for manufacturing. One of the objectives completed last year was to document the entire manufacturing process for the company as a series of linked flowcharts using SmartDraw's visual process management (VPM) methodology. Now he can browse through every step, see who carries them out and who manages them.
While Roger was at lunch, Anita and Miguel called Ritesh, who is working with Acme's plant managers to update their VPM charts. Drilling into the scheduling process chart, Ritesh found that the process currently being used doesn't account for delays in parts availability. Anita attached a note in the flowchart. She shared it with Roger and the team, all of whom received a notification via email.
The visibility into details of the manufacturing process that the SmartDraw documentation brings has made it much quicker to train new hires, and led to higher quality and fewer rejected parts since it was introduced last year. Now, it is helping the company identify areas where processes can be improved, such as how to deal with a delay in parts orders.
Roger heads to the conference room for the planning meeting. He uses the projector to display the mind map he created this morning on the screen at the end of the table. The mind map becomes the starting point for the meeting. As issues are discussed, new items are added to the map, or moved around in real time. The result is instant and clear communication within the room.
Roger's VP of Marketing, Marilyn, suggests that they step back and do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis for the company. Roger agrees. He opens the SmartDraw SWOT template and people in the room start suggesting items to add to the matrix. Roger adds them in real time. After thirty minutes they have a SWOT diagram they all agree on and a clear direction for some additional objectives for the coming year.
Roger shares the documents with the management team and ends the meeting. They can each use their own copy of SmartDraw to modify the documents with their own suggestions before the next meeting. SmartShare manages the shared copy and all of its revisions, so each person knows that he or she is always working on the most current version of a file.
Using SmartDraw with a projector to create real-time minutes of meetings has not only shortened meeting times but has made them much more productive.
Roger takes the train home from work. While browsing with his iPad, he gets an email from his assistant, Candace, that she has updated the presentation for the board meeting next week. Roger touches the link and opens the presentation in SmartShare. He swipes his way through it and sends back a comment: "Thanks, this looks great." SmartDraw's visual presentations look so much more impressive than PowerPoint bullets.
He slides his iPad back into his briefcase, eases back into the seat, and enjoys the relaxing sound of the train's wheels gliding across the rails toward home.