Monica Wilkinson, the Lead Architect of Business Technology at Slack, has been using Workato alongside her team since 2017.
Over the years, they’ve used Workato to automate numerous processes via chatbots that can communicate between Slack and the rest of their apps.
These automations allow employees to take specific actions without leaving the business communications platform, such as approving deals, and they allow employees to receive timely and helpful messages in Slack, such as alerts for upcoming trainings.
But based on the insights Wilkinson and Justin Ng, a Software Engineer at Slack, presented during their session at Automate, the #1 conference on Automation, it’s clear that the automations used throughout their order-to-cash workflow are as valuable as any they’ve implemented.
To give you the full picture, we’ll break down why they needed to automate this process, how they did so, and the results they’ve seen since.
Why Slack needed to automate their order-to-cash process
Slack originally used a homegrown system for invoicing, which operated separately from their CRM and provisioning systems. This meant that when an employee edited or added information in their invoicing system, they often needed to make those same edits or additions in the other systems (and vice versa).
As a result, employees were forced to constantly hop between apps to re-enter data, costing them precious time and leaving them vulnerable to making costly mistakes (e.g. invoicing clients by the wrong amount).
That’s when Justin Ng, a Software Engineer at Slack, and his team explored an aggressive integration and automation-led solution. Ng explained the results they hoped that solution would achieve:
“The goal was to automate at least 90% of orders, 95% of which would run in less than 5 minutes, while maintaining 99% system uptime.”
How Slack uses Workato to transform their workflows
Ng and his team invested in several initiatives to effectively automate their order-to-cash process, but at the core of their efforts are 3 recipes (or automations) they’ve built in Workato:
- Recipe 1: Once a Salesforce opportunity is marked as closed won, a customer gets created in Workday, and their contract gets created in the latter platform. Also, a system they’ve built internally—to manage and provision purchased products—deducts from the customer’s credit balance.
- Recipe 2: Once a Workday contract gets approved, the customer gets provisioned with the plan they purchased (via their internal system), and the revenue recognition date gets updated in Salesforce.
- Recipe 3: Once a Workday invoice gets approved, the information from that invoice gets added to the Salesforce opportunity and internal system.
Related: How to automate order processing
The result: an almost completely automated process that provides nearly 100% uptime
Despite setting aggressive goals at the onset, the team was largely successful in meeting them.
Using Workato, they’ve been able to automate 93% of their order-flow process (exceeding their 90% target), and their system uptime is nearly 100% (also exceeding their goal of 99%).
Equally important, their automated order-to-cash process provides time savings that allow Ng and his team to focus on other critical tasks.
“We are happy Workato takes care of the underlying infrastructure, as it gives our team more time to focus on innovation and execution.”
You can learn more about Slack’s order-to-cash automation, and see how they’ve been able to automate at scale, by watching the recording of their session—“Automation at Scale at Slack”—from Automate.