BukuWarung is a one-stop shop for merchants in Indonesia who need to digitise their offerings. What started as a bookkeeping platform has evolved into a complete solution, empowering shopkeepers to manage a range of services including utilities, money transfers and loans.
Today, BukuWarung is used by more than 8 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia. But the company has only scratched the surface of what it wants to achieve. It plans to scale its platform throughout Southeast Asia, supported by a Digital HQ that allows it to streamline conversations, receive context and automate manual tasks.
“We needed to move away from WhatsApp to an app that’s scalable, accessible from all devices, secure and easy to use.”
Outgrowing personal messaging apps like WhatsApp
The BukuWarung team works across four time zones. Before Slack, it tried using WhatsApp but quickly realised the personal messaging app was creating confusion and anxiety for its employees.
“Our people were burned out,” says Alka Gupta, BukuWarung Director of Data, Marketing, Business Operations and People.
“They couldn’t focus on their work. Their phones constantly were pinging with work-related messages at all hours of the day, and they felt like they couldn’t switch off.”
“We needed to move away from WhatsApp to an app that’s scalable, accessible from all devices, secure and easy to use,” says Alka.
But it wasn’t simply burnout holding BukuWarung back – WhatsApp made it impossible for employees to prioritise relevant information. Team chats were often forgotten, and most conversations ended up on the all-company chat.
Security was also critical for the growing company. Employees having conversations about sensitive issues on a personal messaging app created unnecessary risk.
Choosing Slack over Microsoft Teams and Google Chat
As BukuWarung saw early successes and welcomed new employees, it was clear that WhatsApp was hindering growth.
“As we looked to scale, we needed a collaboration tool that would allow us to work asynchronously, structure our conversations and streamline our workflows,” says Abhinay Peddisetty, Co-founder and CEO of BukuWarung.
Microsoft Teams and Google Chat were evaluated, but neither could compete with what the company could achieve on Slack.
“Most of our leadership team had long careers in start-ups where they’d used Slack. They knew it was a productivity-first tool,” says Peddisetty.
“It’s why we chose Slack over Microsoft Teams and Google Chat – our leaders had already experienced Slack’s ability to boost productivity by streamlining conversations, automating menial tasks and enabling asynchronous work.”
“The ease of having used Slack in the past and having seen its effectiveness in helping employees focus and drive work forward, it was a natural decision to move forward with Slack,” says Peddisetty.
Embracing process automation and supercharging productivity
“The efficiency we see on Slack compared with all other tools on the market is unparalleled,” says Alka.
“For example, in the last nine months alone we’ve saved 250+ hours in employee time thanks to workflows, saving an average 15 minutes per issue. Even better, our IT team isn’t saddled in unnecessary meetings – they’ve been able to eliminate more than 350+ meetings in the last nine months, as we’re able to solve issues and do check-ins on Slack.”
These efficiencies and cost-savings come thanks to Slack’s workflows, integrations and channels.
- Workflows: BukuWarung harnesses Slack workflows—no-code automations that turn complex processes into simple, standardised avenues to answers—to automate processes and keep employees accountable. This has saved BukuWarung employed more than 250 hours in the last nine months. IT teams no longer have to waste time finding context – an employee can simply launch a workflow and add relevant context, and the right person will get notified.
- Integrations: Slack integrations—the ability to integrate industry-leading software and custom apps right into Slack—has been a game-changer for BukuWarung. Now it can house frequently-used apps into one place, meaning employees don’t waste precious time switching between apps or checking email notifications.
“Any tool we bring on must integrate into Slack. For example, when choosing a data visualisation platform, Tableau was the obvious choice as it integrated with Slack. This means we’re not constantly checking external dashboards or responding to email alerts – all the information is in one place,” says Alka.
- Channels: It’s hard for Alka to believe that her colleagues used an all-company WhatsApp channel to drive work forward. Using Slack channels—flexible spaces for all the people, tools and files you need to get work done—BukuWarung’s employees spend less time sifting through irrelevant conversations, and more time focusing on work.
For example, says Alka, an HR professional doesn’t need to know what’s happening on an engineering release. Similarly, an engineer doesn’t need to know about the hiring process. Channels cut out the unnecessary communication that both sides would have received using WhatsApp.
We’ve seen huge gains since moving to Slack. For example, in the last nine months alone we’ve saved 250+ hours in employee time thanks to workflows, saving an average 15 minutes per issue. Even better, our IT team isn’t saddled in unnecessary meetings – they’ve been able to eliminate more than 350+ meetings in the last nine months, as we’re able to solve issues and do check-ins on Slack
Driving growth on Slack
Slack is a part of BukuWarung’s story and is uniquely placed to help it grow in the future.
“Slack is a very important part of how we operate, especially as a remote team,” says Alka.
“We live and breathe on Slack. If we didn’t have it, I honestly don’t know how this company could work.”