The “Winston Wolfe” of Workflow Software


Got a workflow problem?

In one of the pivotal scenes of the cult-classic, Pulp Fiction, the problem-solving Winston Wolfe (played by Harvy Keitel) explains to his new clients (played by John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson) why he’s so direct with them about solving their unusual and gruesome problem, “If I’m curt with you it’s because time is a factor. I think fast. I talk fast. I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this.”


It’s a stretch for sure, but I can’t help but think of this scene when I talk with customers who have a serious and time-sensitive workflow “problem”.  Although nothing like the problem faced in this scene by the characters in Pulp Fiction, the problems our customers have are usually causing significant pain within their department or organization. Poor visibility, bad data or inefficient business processes are costing them thousands–if not millions–of dollars in wasted time and untold heartburn. They need their workflow problem solved well and solved fast.

We solve workflow problems. Fast.

Having helped thousands of businesses successfully streamline critical and complex operational workflows, we’ve developed and refined our own process for working with customers to streamline their workflows. We start by understanding their pain, the problem and root cause, and then confidently demonstrate how a solution like TrackVia can solve the workflow problem at hand. Pretty simple, right?

After hearing that news, you’d think the customer’s response would be, “That’s fantastic. Let’s do it!” While that’s certainly more common than not, every once in a while our team encounters someone who hesitates. I’ve always been most fascinated by those customers and prospects. While the reasons for people’s hesitation about solving their workflow problems vary, they generally fall into one of three categories:

They fear change:
Let’s face it, change can be a scary thing. Daily routines, schedules, old technology and ways of doing things are comforting to people. Change can be scary, uncertain and uncomfortable. The pain has to exceed the fear of change.

They fear it won’t work:
Despite having successfully worked with nearly 2,000 businesses–large and small–over the years to streamline some of the world’s most critical, sensitive and complex workflows, many business pros simply fear a system like TrackVia won’t work for them. Luckily, we make it easy for customers to find out if that’s true or not (more on that later).

They fear it WILL work:
As strange as it sounds, some organizations actually fear TrackVia will work half as good as we say it will. This can drive insecurity. They wonder, “If it solves our problems like they say it will, what will that mean for my workers, my department and my job?” Suffice to say, this fear is usually quickly overshadowed by people recognizing the opportunity to become heroes within their organization, and the chance to focus on more valuable work or projects.

As you can see above, the common thread with people who hesitate is the word “fear”.  It’s a very real and powerful emotion, no doubt. We don’t treat it lightly. But it’s also a very tricky and potentially dangerous emotion—particularly when it comes to the fast-changing business world. We’ve all heard the business expression—change or die. That’s a little dramatic, so I prefer using the acronym for fear:

False Evidence Appearing Real

The truth is, fear of change or fear that something will or won’t work is largely a figment of one’s own imagination. As a result, one needs to work extra hard to resist the temptation to avoid change due to fear.

Luckily for us, any fears or uncertainties about TrackVia are quickly and easily overcome with hard evidence, facts and our long track-record of success. It’s also helpful that we have a pretty extraordinary solution with unique traits that include:   

Unlike traditional workflow software solutions, one of TrackVia’s unique characteristics is its configurability. The ability to tweak, adjust and change the software on the fly, at anytime with drag-and-drop ease. This helps people feel more comfortable that whatever workflow process they implement can be changed and improved over time. 

Another by-product and advantage of TrackVia’s configurability capabilities is that you can build the software around your existing process. In many cases, you’re not really changing what you’re doing, but how you’re doing it. For example, we recently worked with a large automotive manufacturer who conducted quality checks using paper and clipboards. As parts moved down the production line, quality managers filled out paper forms noting any defects or problems. With TrackVia, these same people do the same thing, except now they use a mobile tablet device with an electronic form. The benefit of using an electronic form is that the data doesn’t have to be re-keyed into a software for reporting, and the data collected is more complete and accurate.

Again, unlike traditional workflow software, TrackVia is fantastically easy to implement and try. There’s no major hardware to purchase, infrastructure to build out, software to install or any complex training that’s required to use it. In most cases, our customers can have a new workflow solution up and running in less than 30 days, allowing them to test and use the system almost immediately. Although it’s ridiculously uncommon for TrackVia not to work (99% of customers who implement TrackVia are relying on it a year later), customers have the added peace of mind that they can simply walk away without having made a million dollar, 18-month mistake.

So if you have a real workflow or business process problem and need a “Winston Wolfe” type of fixer, then in our humble opinion (along with customers like GE, Navistar, DIRECTV, Honeywell and others), there’s no better solution than TrackVia to deliver greater visibility, manageability and automation around your most critical and complex workflow challenges.

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