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iCHEF: Improving R&D, customer service and marketing initiatives with Asana | Master Concept

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To us, a project management solution should be a tool for not only the R&D and PM teams but the marketing, customer service, and finance departments as well. To select the right project management platform, our team based its decision on whether it enables seamless coordination between departments, offers great usability with a visualized interface, and features powerful data analytics capacity. Ultimately, our goal is to optimize interdepartmental collaboration effectiveness through transparent processes and data sharing.

Matt Chang
CTO of iCHEF

Overview

The global pandemic has accelerated the deployment of no-contact, omnichannel services in the food and beverage industry throughout the world. To help local restaurants in Taiwan quickly get back on their feet, iCHEF launched a web-based online ordering system in May 2020 to allow restaurant owners to accept orders online with minimal effort. Later, the company upgraded the free service to what it now calls Online Store Technology, a premium paid service that offers scan-to-order functionality, online credit card payment processing, loyalty program integration, and a variety of other useful features. It is an omnichannel solution that enables restaurant owners to manage their membership program with ease and accept orders directly through LINE and mobile food delivery apps. With this premium service, iCHEF is helping restaurants of all scales and sizes through difficult times brought by the global pandemic. Meanwhile, the company is actively seeking to break into foreign markets, eyeing business potential in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other Southeast Asian countries, where services will be tailored to the needs of local restaurant owners.

With an outstanding service capacity, iCHEF’s solutions have been adopted by 12,000+ food and beverage businesses as of April 2022, handling hundreds of thousands of orders on a daily basis. The secret weapon behind iCHEF’s success in finding a balance between maintaining high service quality and seeking innovation through R&D is Asana, a powerful project management platform that significantly enhances interdepartmental coordination. “In the past two years, we launched somewhere around 100 projects per year at varying scales just to optimize our products and services to address market demand,” iCHEF’s Chief Technology Officer Matt Chang recounted, “and luckily, with Asana, we saw a dramatic boost in our productivity, allowing us to carry out these projects to completion while optimizing our operational processes for greater efficiency.”

Key reasons to choose Asana: Coordination, ease of use, and analytic insights

When Chang joined iCHEF in 2016, he was tasked with revamping the structure behind the company’s software platform to enable integration with third-party systems through application programming interface (API) for a more streamlined user experience, as well as for greater cross-industry collaboration opportunities. Back then, the company was dealing with at least 20 R&D projects every year, and the pm software they used at the time–Trello–couldn’t rise to the challenge. Therefore, Chang began the search for an alternative solution that offers such functions as electronic bulletin, tasks sharing/transferring, and interdepartmental coordination. After lengthy testing and evaluation, he finally settled on Asana, a high-performance project management platform that checked all the boxes.

When asked what his reasoning behind choosing Asana was, Chang answered with a beaming smile, “At iCHEF, project management solution should be a tool for not only the R&D and PM teams but the marketing, customer service, and finance departments as well. In order to choose the best project management platform for our needs, I based my decision on whether it enables seamless coordination between departments, offers great usability with a visual interface, and features powerful data analytics capacity. Ultimately, I am looking for something that can optimize interdepartmental collaboration effectiveness through transparent processes and data insights.” Since its deployment at iCHEF, ASANA has extended its influence beyond the company’s project management initiatives and into customer relations and marketing management with remarkable results to boot.

iCHEF is optimizing its R&D, customer service, and marketing initiatives with the help of ASANA

According to Fan-yu Liang, iCHEF’s product operations manager, the company always has a diverse mix of projects on hand, with some being one-off projects while others are routine, multi-departmental coordination projects. In particular, projects arising from client demands often involve the customer service department, R&D department, and even the marketing team. “With the help of Asana, team members who are involved in an interdepartmental project are able to get a clear grasp of its objectives as well as the relationship between tasks from the get-go,” said Liang, “and most importantly, Asana drastically reduced communications costs and the risks of ‘dropped balls’ as team members are able to quickly re-evaluate project timelines even in the event of an emergency.”

Liang went on to explain, “Asana not only facilitates interdepartmental collaboration and enhances project management effectiveness but serves a key role in optimizing our customer relations efforts. Be it pre-deployment training, tablet computer rentals/exchanges/ repair, or introduction of new functions, Asana provides a clear and well-organized overview of all our projects so that our team can keep track of customer service progress at a quick glance.” Indeed, iCHEF receives approximately 5,000 customer inquiries each month, and ease case used to take a couple hours of processing time. Following the introduction of Asana, however, the iCHEF team can finally devote their full attention to more valuable tasks.

In addition to addressing the company’s project management and interdepartmental coordination needs, Asana offers a wide range of functionality to help boost employee productivity. iCHEF’s marketing specialist Hsuan Chou, who uses Asana to keep track of marketing materials and promotional campaigns, agrees with this wholeheartedly. As the volume of client messages and the number of communication channels continue to increase, Chou needs to tackle 4 to 5 cases on a daily basis, and the notepads she relied on for progress tracking in the past no longer seemed to be sufficient. With Asana’s progress tracking capability and subtask control mechanism, however, Chou is now able to handle multiple cases with ease while speeding up her marketing material development game.

Master Concept is committed to assisting businesses with the power of project management

Master Concept is the preferred authorized distributor of Asana in the APAC region and is committed to helping its clients, including iCHEF, increase operating and project management efficiency. Among Master Concpet’s clients, iCHEF is without a doubt the company that integrates Asana to its operation in the most comprehensive manner. Thanks to Asana’s automated processes, easy-to-use project bulletin boards, and cross-platform analytic insights, iCHEF not only boosted its interdepartmental coordination efficiency but also reimagined its collaborative model with its partners. For example, iCHEF referred Asana to its POS repair partner, allowing the latter to explore the unlimited possibilities powered by Asana.

Looking into the future, Master Concept will continue to promote Asana, the best coordination management platform for digital transformation, to corporate clients while working to increase its own pre-deployment training capacity, offer 24/7 localized support, help clients with cross-industry data migration, and provide flexible payment schemes, with the ultimate goal of assisting them in their digital transformation efforts and stay ahead of market trends without a worry.

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