Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Ensure Business Continuity Through COVID-19 Remote Operations


Business Case:

COVID-19 affected businesses across the board, with governments around the world developing strict restrictions and advisories. Due to coronavirus quarantine restrictions, our client, a multinational technology company, had to close physical stores. As part of the client’s Business Continuity Plan, store associates started working on assignments remotely. Associates could pick assignments based on five different strategic priorities that aligned with overarching company goals. As a result, our client faced consolidation and work insight generation problems.

Key Challenges:

  Remotely track store associate assignments 
  Allow store managers to remotely manage bonuses 
  Consolidate all tasks for store associates and managers  

Our Solution:

We created a Power Apps solution that allows our client to easily assign work to associates. The solution also lets associates opt in and out of the remote work program, tracking their eligibility towards bonuses they could earn as part of it. 

Figure 1: Solution Design
Our Power App offers role-based security primarily configured for store managers and associates. Store associates input their remote work preferences while managers assign tasks and bonuses. This information is stored in an Azure SQL database (DB) via Microsoft Power Automate flows. The app also sends notification emails to associates and the general store alias account. We built a Power BI report on top of the Azure SQL DB to meet client reporting needs and perform further analysis on the effectiveness of the program. 

Application Preview
The app provides separate interface experiences:

  Store manager interface: Provides a list of associates that have opted in for remote operations. Here, managers can generate assignments and bonuses. Managers can also view activity history and update the opt-in/opt-out data of their store associates. 

Figure 2: Store Manager Profile

  Store associate interface: Provides the option to opt in or out of remote capabilities. 

Figure 3: Store Associate Profile (Opted Out)


Figure 4: Store Associate Profile (Opted In)

Business Outcomes:

Our solution made creating and tracking remote assignments easier. Over 2.5K employees have onboarded this app. In the span of two months, the app has allowed our client to maintain business continuity with around 40K app transactions. The client was able to minimize losses by maintaining business as usual while monitoring the remote work program strategically. 

Highlights:

    Developed a low-code, enterprise-grade solution with minimal time to market
    Optimized task assignment and bonus assessment during remote operations
    Enabled business continuity despite closure of physical stores due to COVID-19