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Image by Kelly Sikkema

Announcement Tracker:
WorkFlow and Form

The Challenge:

Imagine managing announcements for over 3,000 customers using 40 different types of semiconductor tools. One-size-fits-all mass emails led to wasted time, potential safety risks, and frustrated customers. Field technicians were burdened with manually tracking responses via email, creating potential for inconsistency and delays.

The Product:

We designed a data-driven flowchart and templated announcement form to revolutionize communication. Our flowchart incorporates SAP inventory and Salesforce data to ensure announcements reach only relevant customers. The integrated response form captures customer feedback electronically, providing clear and accessible data for all stakeholders.

Discover how this innovative approach saved time, improved communication, and empowered the tech services team with actionable insights.

Navigating a labyrinth of tools and customers

The Problem:

Highly engineered complex machine systems designed to process silicon wafers, called "tools" in our system, need diligent maintenance, much like a sports car. Imagine managing critical safety announcements for over 3,000 customers across the globe, owners of 40 distinct types of these high-tech tools.

Unfortunately, our previous communication system lacked a way to track and follow up on important safety issues and part recalls, sending announcements to everyone, regardless of who owned what.

This one-size-fits-all approach created a cascade of problems: wasted time for both our tech services team and valuable customers, potential safety risks due to misdirected information, and a lack of necessary responses fueled by irrelevant, mass emails.

Tools used: Visio and Figma for flowcharts, integrating SharePoint's form features with SalesForce, Outlook, and MS Forms.

My Role: Create the flowchart based on conversations with appropriate staff, and mock-up the announcement and customer response trackers for development in SharePoint (a MS Office intranet product)

announcememnt flowchart


Above you can see the flow chart for a new way to send out announcements, developed to inform the design of an announcement and response tracker.

How it goes:

  • An announcement is drafted

  • Safety and part replacement announcements get tagged by tool type, sourced by external data.

  • Approved announcement gets form attached

  • Announcement sent to relevant lists informed by tool type

  • Customer responses trigger next steps in process.

Tracker Mockup

The announcement tracker automates this process as much as possible, creating a streamlined and targeted announcement system.

To complement this targeted approach, we crafted a templated announcement form that effortlessly attaches to emails, gathering customer responses electronically. This eliminates the time-consuming manual tracking of replies via email, promoting efficiency and transparency.

Customer Response (Mockup)

Ensuring the coordinated response of field technicians, customers, and internal processes is crucial to a responsible maintenance system.

The response tracker, populated by forms attached to safety and part recall announcements, creates a robust system for accountability and accessibility.

Finding the way out.

Initial reception to our solution was overwhelmingly positive. The tech services team immediately recognized the flowchart's clarity and potential for time savings, praising its ability to "cut through the noise" and focus on relevant customers. The feedback on the form design was equally enthusiastic, with stakeholders appreciating its ability to streamline responses and provide a clear, centralized record for everyone involved.

These early reactions suggest that the proposed solution possesses the potential to significantly improve communication efficiency and accuracy within the company. With streamlined targeted announcements and readily accessible response data, the anticipated benefits include:

  • Reduced workload for the tech services team: Focused communication means less time wasted on irrelevant follow-ups.

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Relevant announcements and efficient response tracking translate to better customer experiences.

  • Enhanced safety and risk mitigation: Precisely targeted safety recalls and part change notifications can potentially prevent costly incidents.

  • Data-driven insights: Centralized response data empowers informed decision-making for future communication strategies, including building a client portal and dashboard.

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