Tradition Meets Innovation at Holladay Distillery

By using a no-code platform, Betsey Grassinger is leading a digital revolution that streamlines the distillery’s operations while overcoming resistance to change

Goodbye paper chaos, hello Kintone clarity

When Betsey Grassinger joined the Holladay Distillery to head up IT, she quickly realized how few IT tools they were using. The company was dependent on excessive paperwork, phone calls, and cumbersome email processes. Even for something as simple as booking a conference room, a coworker would have to blast an email to the whole team saying the room had been reserved. Then, team members would simply have to remind each other not to use it.

Betsey knew Holladay needed to modernize — and fast. The catalyst for change was an accountability issue with purchase requests, where the process was wasting too much time with mistake-prone methods. She sought a swift, effective solution that enhanced their workflow process management, and offered reporting and audit capabilities.

Her search for a software platform led her to Kintone, a user-friendly, cloud-based, no-code platform. Kintone’s business-focused applications promised to streamline Holladay’s operations and communications without hiring additional staff.

With Kintone, anyone can build an app without needing a background in IT, so it was an obvious choice for the Holladay team. Everyone can use it, from programmers to non-techies.

Showing off an easy win

Betsey’s first no-code app wasn’t based on the problem that first drove her to seek a solution. She knew the team needed to start with a quick-win project and was certain if they could get a new app out the door right away, her colleagues would instantly see what Kintone could do.

Since building an app for employee onboarding required sign-off from a select few teammates, she decided it was the right project to tackle first. The human resources department was often too swamped when onboarding new employees to email IT about what equipment or setup they would need. This included everything from securing new computers to granting system access, which meant a lot of back-and-forth communication, mostly offline. Once all the boxes were checked, employee onboarding paperwork had to be filed away manually in a cabinet. Clearly, an inefficient process was creating a lot of ‘busy work.’

Betsey worked with the HR team to create an onboarding app listing all the new hire’s tech needs, training components, and safety equipment. The form is filled out directly in the app, eliminating the paperwork. By combining several steps into one portal, Holladay has now streamlined its onboarding process. Compared to the era of email and offline chats, interdepartmental communication is better than ever. 

From paperwork chaos to digital efficiency

The same approach was applied to expense reports. A new app developed by Betsey’s IT department has made it easy to attach bills and receipts. Managers can now approve the report and send it to accounting in one click. No more trying to find your manager for approval, printing receipts and then waiting for them to process the expense approval request.

Betsey and her team rolled out these apps in no time, which sent a message to everyone at Holladay: there was a new tech solution in town. Since then, the IT team has created more than 30 apps, company wide. They’ve built apps that focus on managing and streamlining the company visitor log, a media contact list, mileage records, daily notes for sales, purchase requests, account focus for sales, maintenance requests, and a capital expenditure purchase request app.

By embracing a no-code approach to developing business apps, Betsey’s team has had a huge impact on many processes and workflows around the distillery. Kintone has brought more accountability, automation, and reminders to ensure tasks are actioned and moved onto the next phase of a workflow. Betsey also took the opportunity to gain valuable insights into the needs of colleagues she doesn’t normally interact with, which has helped her learn more about the company’s inner workings.

Open communication paves the way to progress

Despite the significant early successes with Kintone at Holladay, Betsey acknowledges that internal resistance is a natural part of any new system implementation. She has a growing list of potential apps that could streamline operations, but some employees remain hesitant.

The only way to address such hesitancy is open communication. Betsey plans to meet with department managers to better understand their team needs and explore how Kintone could benefit them. After all, they share the same goal.

Betsey emphasizes that while resistance to change is a common reaction, persistence can eventually lead to acceptance. As employees witness the benefits of the new system, they’ll come to appreciate the positive impact of digitalization. This story serves as a reminder that embracing new technology in the workplace, while challenging, can make work not only more efficient, but also easier, and ultimately, more pleasant.