By Anthony J. Lockwood
Kenesto (Waltham, MA) is a new cloud-based process automation system said to be designed to allow users in all departments of a manufacturing enterprise to create processes and manage work easily. Self-described as flexible, people-centric, product-based, and enterprise-scalable, Kenesto enables users to build ad hoc or standardized processes complete with automatic generation and execution of process models, audit trail functionality, and management reporting. Kenesto is said to be suitable for automating common manufacturing processes, including engineering change proposals, requests for quotation, and new product introductions.
Kenesto, says the company, uses concepts that workers across an enterprise understand already, such as file attachments and e-mail notifications. With the system, you create processes by naming participants, assigning tasks and due dates, attaching documents such as drawings and bills of materials (BOMs), and routing the information to people and/or third-party organizations involved with the process. As you enter this information, Kenesto displays your process graphically on the same dashboard where you created the process. It represents your process as simple boxes with flow lines. The real names of team members and real-time status reports are provided. To help create processes, Kenesto provides a number of customizable templates.
Participants are notified of their tasks through secure e-mail and leverage e-mail to provide status updates. Participants can be any combination of in-house personnel and external suppliers, vendors, and customers. Once a process is initiated, Kenesto manages the process flow throughout the enterprise. Processes can be modified or altered as needed in response to changing conditions, and Kenesto automatically and incrementally records the process in real time.
Features include text and e-mail for notification of process updates and status, integrated search, vote processing with approve/reject/abstain signatures, customizable document forms, and templates for creating, saving, and reusing existing processes. Kenesto provides online viewing of more than 250 image and file formats.
Kenesto runs in any HTML5-capable browser, including mobile devices running Android and iOS. Pricing is based on the number of processes started each month. Companies choose the number of processes they intend to initiate each month and are billed annually for that level of monthly process starts. As of April 2012, a company purchasing 100 new processes a month would be billed $6,000 annually, according to the Kenesto. Pricing includes cloud storage of all documents and attachments required by the process for up to one year.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.