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International Business Machines or IBM, is a multinational technology company.
IBM manufactures and markets computer software, hardware, and middleware and offers business consulting and technology services to over 20 industries in 170 countries. IBM is also a renowned research center for innovations, holding the record for most U.S. patents generated for 25 consecutive years.
With IBM’s nature of a business, to use technology as their main solution to solve problems, it is only necessary to also apply technological advancement to integrate their business even in its smallest operations and departments. In the Philippines, IBM has six mailrooms among the seven sites nationwide. These are managed by Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) Facility Managers. Over the years, JLL contracted a third-party service provider, whose managing capacity is based on an entirely manual process.
The challenge was to look for a third-party replacement for the current provider, that has a technology to streamline the overall process of the mailrooms. IBM through JLL, partnered with Drake Business Services Asia who has: 1. An experienced team that carefully analyzes a Company’s mailroom needs to guarantee success 2. A technology monitoring solution, Track and Trace, that is engineered to reconstruct a system and stable an operation 3. A comprehensive approach to the workflow process that results to an efficient management.
About IBM in the Philippines
IBM established its presence in the Philippines in 1937 by bringing in its IT-enabled services from the United States and offering it to the country’s local businesses who have units such as Sales, Software, Systems Technology, Information Technology, and Global Process Services Solutions. Today, with over seven decades in the Southeast Asian country, IBM Philippines has over 5,000 clients, 400 business partners, 130 authorized service centers, and operates in 13 business facilities nationwide.
IBM’s Mailroom is the center of the fast-paced, most important, and confidential courier and government documents for and from the clients. Daily, the mailroom staff receives and dispatches documents that contain information, fundamental to the company’s daily operations, therefore requiring utmost precedence. Even though the company strives to meet its daily quota of incoming and outgoing documents, they still experience improper sorting and filing of files, resulting in lost documents. Mainly because of their recording system via emails and excel sheets. IBM needs to quickly locate these missing files through partnering with a service company whose one of the core businesses is a technology solution that can centralize and administer their Mailroom operations. Drake Business Services Asia was one of those who presented their methodologies, value proposition, and most significantly, their technology solution. Eventually, after deliberating and seeing the possible impact of incorporating DBSA’s technology in their process, IBM awarded the contract to DBSA.
In 2015, DBSA officially took over IBM’s Mailroom Management, together with JLL’s Facility Managers. The implementation of the proposed plans never came in handy for DBSA. To be precise, DBSA and JLL struggled with changing how the whole ecosystem of mailroom functions – from people’s outlook on the upcoming developments, to the employee’s knowledge of how the new technology runs, to shaping and exercising the employee-client relationship, and to the actual execution of the automated system. With over a year of partnership, the Mailroom staff still experienced setbacks that defined a need for a different strategy in the administration, as well.
Bearing in mind the full potential of re-aligning the processes, including setting the pace of the workforce, the management of DBSA and JLL, closely analyzed and identified the bottlenecks in IBM’s operation. It is a key objective for growth to continuously flourish in the Mailroom. In order to make things happen, both focused on enforcing the following modified approaches to create a practice that would encourage professionalism and productivity in the mailroom:
Upon acknowledging the need for focus, DBSA’s well-equipped team ensured to review, act, and apply the mentioned approaches to each mailroom of IBM.
Drake Business Services Asia transformed IBM’s mailroom into a more productive and organized document division. The changes include a streamlined process through an innovative business solution, and a positive demonstration of employee’s attitude towards changes in the workplace.
Today, the mailroom staff meets 100% of their deliveries with zero reconciliations and balanced in and out from more than 30% of backlog before. With over three years of partnership with DBSA, May Alvareda Facility Manager of JLL for IBM is more than satisfied with how far the business has come. Meanwhile, for Raymond Padua, Facility Manager for Operations of JLL, described that the how the overall experience became a turning point for them. Most especially for Cris Gatdula, Facility Lead of JLL for IBM, who is part of the team since 2015, expressed that along with the transformation, the new processes also transformed people’s mindset towards their jobs. “It is just right to point out that DBSA is the subject matter expert when it comes to Mailroom Management. Aside from that, their technology solution, the Track and Trace system, aligned everything that we have and do today,” Alvareda shared. “Before Drake took over, it’s all manual. We lack on even some of the basic tools like laptops, internet connection, desktops, etc. On our part, we also had shortcomings. And together, we aimed to address these so that we can do better. It was a great experience, not only for JLL but also for DBSA. If not for experiencing rock bottom, especially when we saw that almost every day we lost documents, we will never be challenged,” said Padua. Most especially for Cris Gatdula, Facility Lead of JLL for IBM, who is part of the team since 2015, expressed that along with the transformation, the new processes also transformed people’s mindset towards their jobs.
“When you enforced these changes to everyone, including us, we had a fair share of due diligence. Today, even when we receive a handful of mails from our clients, we ensure to always have a smooth transaction. What made a difference is not only the mindset of the people, but also that of us in JLL and IBM,” Gatdula explained. “We can no longer access the mailroom without DBSA’s permission because we see it fit that the control of the room be yours. And it only goes to show that the staff has now a sense of accountability.”