“A ticket with the number 0815 has been created for you”. The issue with tickets always has a bad reputation when you don’t get an answer to your request. It often has something impersonal about it. You are just a “number”. However, ticket systems can also be a useful tool in the customs department to create transparency and standardise processes.
Imagine you start the working day with a well-filled inbox, but instead of starting the actual work, you first have to sort through everything, prioritise and, if necessary, ask a lot of questions about missing information. Half the day is over and you realise that you have only answered your colleagues’ questions so far. For one colleague it’s the missing customs tariff number, the question of how to declare guaranteed deliveries for another.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a request from a customer, employee or business partner. A ticket system helps to standardise requests, to track processing times and to work together as a team.
In our article you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of using a ticket system on a daily basis and how you can find the right one for you and your company.
A ticket system is software that helps you organise and manage requests. It contains elements that you normally send by email. You have to enter the content for the problem you are supposed to process and solve. Other information that a ticket may contain include
You can think of a ticket as a kind of index card that contains all the relevant information that you or the respective support team needs to process a case.
Such tickets are created whenever an employee of a company encounters an event that interrupts his or her workflow. These tickets are then automatically categorised according to company standards, prioritised and then forwarded to the correct support area. The responsible support staff then analyse these tickets and solve the respective problems.
Especially in the course of digitalisation, in which everything is simplified by technologies, the various ticket systems are becoming more and more important. Here we ask you the question: What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of such organisation systems? Outlook can also sort and I can work with rules, so why change?
Two particularly important advantages are increased efficiency and more transparency. A ticket system is supposed to reduce your bureaucratic workload, and it is supposed to create clarity and traceability. The time saved benefits you, but also the customer, because the real-time evaluations can quickly eliminate and optimise unnecessary work steps. For example, if someone complains that the feedback from the customs department always takes so long, you can find out how long the average feedback rate is with a glance at your ticket system and create facts.
All tickets, whether current or past, can be clearly arranged according to their status. For example, you can categorise them as open, in progress, waiting for feedback, or closed. On this basis, you can easily create reports and statistical surveys. You can then visualise them in the form of dashboards. Perhaps this would also be an idea for your department’s key figures? How many enquiries do you receive per month? What type of enquiries and how quickly do you give feedback from the customs department?
Another advantage here is that you can use your ticket system in the customs department as a knowledge database from which, for example, FAQ’s are created – the most frequently asked questions.
For example, in the area of export control, on the subject of dual-use testing, a section of the FAQ could read: “Which articles are non-critical? All articles that are then in this section of the FAQ’s do not require any further examination for export. This saves resources such as time and money.
Another important point about the ticket system is that no information can be edited or manipulated afterwards. This means that a company can later trace the entire communication without any gaps. If several employees are working on a case, the solution approaches and thought processes of the colleagues can be viewed quickly and directly, which facilitates cooperation and traceability. In the end, your customer will also notice this.
A ticket system can therefore prevent an overcrowded inbox, where you can quickly lose track of everything. You can make the knowledge gained from this centrally accessible to everyone.
In order for a ticket system to function smoothly, it requires a precise analysis of the workflows and processes in advance. Which processes can be meaningfully mapped via a ticket system?
– Consultation questions on customs issues from other departments
– Classification and classification enquiries
– Orders for customs declarations, for customs service providers, for example.
These are just a few examples that may be interesting depending on the volume of work. You have to look at your IT landscape, are there already ticket systems in the company that you could adapt to your cases or will it be a new software. Then the question of integration and distribution in the company should be asked.
Furthermore, you should plan time for the conversion of the processes and the training of all employees involved.
Meanwhile, there are many different ticket systems on the market, but which one suits you best?
Some systems offer extensive functions such as project management, financial management and real-time alerts, while others only cover basic functions such as ticket processing and problem management. It is important for you to first find out exactly what I want to achieve with a ticket system. Where do interfaces need to be connected? What resources can I use for this? What budget is available? Not everyone needs the same scope of services and the same effort.
If you are considering two or three ticket systems, a comparison can help you to choose the right one. You can find some well-known examples on the web, such as JIRA from the Atlassian family, or Zendesk. Here, for example, you have the advantage that you can put together your required functions in a plan. Depending on your needs. If you still can’t decide at the end of the day, some providers also offer free test runs. Exchanges with partners, other companies or customers can also help you with your decision through experience reports.
In smaller companies or teams, the requests that arise can often still be handled well through the classic channels, such as the mailbox. However, as a company grows, the management of enquiries becomes more and more extensive. Keeping an overview of who is responsible for something and who is currently working on which case becomes more and more complicated.
You could also say that the introduction of a ticket system is a kind of guide to the success of the project, because it not only provides you with an implementation control – what needs to be done, where do I find the information, has the goal been achieved, but also a self-control – what have I achieved and what still needs to be done.