Dark Tales from Bitwise Cowork Before Salesforce

How Can Salesforce Save the Day? 

Horror stories begin with a dark and stormy night, sharp objects, or clowns. In the office, most folks describe a scary day at work based on stale coffee and TPS reports. But there are a chosen few workplace warriors who truly understand what a hard day at work really looks like. And they have the stories, and scars, to prove it. Regardless of the personal office trauma predilection, those things that go bump in the night can quickly turn around to reveal a redemption story primed for success. 
Bitwise Industries had the opportunity to intervene with Salesforce on behalf of one of our own who was working way harder than any human should, but as you will see, sometimes you just have to make good with what you got. This story from the office starts with a journal, a determined soul, and one dark IT storeroom akin to the cupboard under the stairs. The scene: a quiet Monday morning around 9am (no jump scares here).

Act One: The Conflict

Cowork is the arm of Bitwise Industries that provides an epic office experience for all members who call that space their work home. From a simple day pass for an individual to someone who plans on being onsite each month, coworking at Bitwise Industries brings along a lot of perks and amenities for members, and for a time, some heartache for the person who managed it all. Carley Feil, the Facilities Manager of Cowork at the time, began each day at work the same way; flipping through her journal. That was the one tool that Carley used to hold everything together during Cowork’s infancy when it launched. That hardcover ledger was her lifeline. It was Carley’s means to grasp every angle and aspect of running that business. However, she did have some basic tech to lean on. Carley used a Google spreadsheet, a simple drip campaign for emails (both member correspondence and lead generation), Stripe for all the payment transactions (daily and monthly), and finally, she found herself regularly climbing into a small, dark IT cupboard to generate door codes (temporary and long term) for members to access the building. And then all of those data points–and many more–were logged in the journal along with tracking member needs, conference room schedules, discounts, passcodes, payment status, declined credit cards, and other necessary operational notations. 

Everything that required data management happened through her manual input into that journal. From signups to cancels, email list updates to payment inquiries, Carley deployed pen to paper and color coordinated with a highlighter to track her progress for each member. Apologies to anyone reading this who has “been there, done that.” I’m sure you’re breaking into a cold sweat right now from reliving the night terrors brought on by experiencing something similar. 

Carley successfully navigated her way through the pages of that book and helped Cowork grow into a thriving business, but she acknowledged that items slipped through the cracks, and she was resigned to the fact that it was only a matter of time before something deemed a bit more catastrophic could happen. Business was going gangbusters, but Carley needed help. And she needed it fast. 

Act Two: The Discovery

Every minute Carley spent each day pouring over manual-input data management between numerous sources was time that she lost to engage with members and build the Cowork community that is the hallmark of Bitwise Industries. It was time for a change. That’s when our internal Salesforce experts came to her and asked, “what is your dream for Cowork?” As the team ventured into the thorough research deep dive of Carley’s process and journal entry acumen, they quickly realized the need for a system that would allow her to clearly see every slice of business information in one place, integrate each isolated piece of third-party tech, and display it all in a way that was easily accessible and available in real time from anywhere. If she had that “source of truth,” she could move through her day with a newfound confidence that things were operating smoothly, mistakes were being mitigated, and routine problems could be addressed immediately to make sure that Cowork continued to thrive. 

Act Three: The Climax

And a hero comes along in the form of a dynamic CRM called Salesforce. This refined masterpiece has shown its impressive ability to tame the monster of inefficient processes of all sizes. After identifying the technology to retain, qualifying pain points from the current process, and clearly understanding the end goals for Carley and Cowork, the Bitwise Industries Salesforce team delivered a mobile-responsive, web-based solution that integrated the needed technology (Stripe), replaced outdated items with custom automation, and greatly reduced the steps required for Carley to do her job. And the team put it all in an easy-to-use, visual dashboard that housed a snapshot of every item she requested. Beyond the dashboard, Salesforce generated automated emails, tracked the sales cycle, integrated payments through Stripe to track their payment information and create a member registration record in Salesforce before triggering a temporary access code to the building. Additionally, members were able to log in to this web portal to access all of their profile needs with Cowork, request access codes or special services, make payments, and schedule conference rooms. 

As a first-time Salesforce user, Carley needed only two weeks to fully adopt this new way of working through her dashboard and quickly abandoned the journal. This pivotal step allowed Carley to be a part of the community instead of just managing the community. (And Carley got out of the dark cupboard. Bonus!) This Salesforce solution will continue to improve as it is rolled out to the existing Bitwise Industries’ buildings present and future. 

The Epilogue: How Can You Benefit?

For this story to have any impact, we need a root understanding that these solutions through Salesforce are scalable up or down. This Cowork example highlights the needs of an individual facility manager, or maybe a small business owner, who needs to recoup time and energy to allow a systemic shift toward a customer-centric model for the benefit of all parties.

Like a spiderweb stretching out between multiple branches on a tree, this solution can play out for multiple facilities or plants where onsite decisions need to be made by supervisors in the trenches, as well as granting a dashboard to a district or regional manager who needs an overarching dashboard that tethers key benchmarks between each facility to maintain their overall productivity and budget goals. In fact, this application could be used just as easily on a global level for enterprise-sized companies who need VPs or C-suite executives to have actionable, real-time access to the health and progress of facilities, lines of business, or any quantifiable priority item you can dream of for business. 

Salesforce is the shiny armor, the horse, and the sunset you’ll ride off into because it leads to improving workflow, tracking and analyzing data, and saving time and money so your business can scale, grow, and thrive. That sounds like happily ever after to me. 

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This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. He tends to oversimplify things like comparing Salesforce to a first-gen iPod. He might not understand exactly how it works, but he’s certain he can’t remember how hard it was to listen to music prior to having that shiny little music box in his hands. (That thing held thousands of songs!)