EmberPoint gains better business intelligence and optimizes its operations with Smartsheet

EmberPoint automates business processes and gains a clear view of data for better use of resources by implementing Smartsheet solutions.

Avg. read time: 6 min

of process steps automated


hours saved per month


  • Technology

Organization Size

  • Mid-market (200-1999)


  • Asia Pacific (APJ)

"This year we automated 70% of the steps compared to our existing process using Smartsheet."

Hideki Yamashita


Established in 1999 in Tokyo, Japan, EmberPoint Corporation is the largest provider of Japan’s email delivery platform, MailPublisher. After partnering and integrating with global companies for a decade a few years ago, EmberPoint re-launched as a domestic vendor with the goal to connect customers and users with the best possible communication. This vision prompted the company to build equally excellent internal processes.

At the time, EmberPoint was using Excel and Google Sheets to manage its customer-facing processes like requests for quotations and subscription applications. There was already a system in place, but various issues kept coming up. 

“The subscription order form created in Excel was based on the assumption that the customer would receive a ‘printed and stamped’ form, which is unique to Japan. It was necessary to manually post the form to the in-house management system, which was inefficient and prone to errors.” says Mr. Yamashita.

EmberPoint was already using Smartsheet since 2017 for project WBS, to-do checklists, budget management, ISO 27001 information asset ledgers, etc., and decided to expand its use to internal business processes that still relied on Excel and Google Sheets. Its use covered SaaS quotation production, applications and approval processes, and even contract management.

“To our satisfaction, Smartsheet is a flexible tool that easily integrates with external SaaS solutions that we could customize to fit our specific needs,” says Mr. Yahashita. “Needless to say, the process improvements are remarkable.”

Simple, streamlined enrolments 

"The critical success factors were the digitization of order through the use of Forms and the automatic integration of electronic signatures," explains Mr. Yamashita. In the past, the customers had to fill out an Excel form and submit a scanned PDF file of the printed paper with a seal, a deeply-rooted Japanese business practice.

Therefore, the PDF files of the order forms could not be handled as data. So, EmberPoint’s staff had to manually transcribe the contents into the in-house system, which was inefficient and required great care to prevent transcription errors.

In addition, the conventional order form required many fields to be entered by the customer. Problems such as incorrect or incomplete entries delayed the order process and caused stress for the customer and our staff.

EmberPoint decided to create a new online Smartsheet form for the application process, To solve the existing problem, we designed the Smartsheet form more efficiently, using a variety of drop-downs and check boxes for the sales representatives to input proposal specifics.

When the form entry is completed, the internal approval process is triggered according to the amount of the proposal, etc. "All the controls for determining the approval level, notifying the approver of the request and processing the next step after approval are all automated using Smartsheet functions," explains Mr. Yamashita.

Once the internal approvals are completed, an order form is generated based on the form's contents through automatic integration with DocuSign, and a signature request is sent. The customer only needs to review the contents and sign it electronically.

“Smartsheet’s DocuSign integration works perfectly; its status is automatically updated, having the signed documents attached, which is very useful,” adds Mr. Yamashita.

The ability to control the triggering of this status to automatically launch the next step has also significantly contributed to the automation of the entire process. The automation of DocuSign integration was released while this project was in progress, so it was beneficial.

Photo Courtesy of EmberPoint

Visible data and increased productivity

Early in the transition, centralizing information with the help of automation was a priority for EmberPoint. But another aspect, data organization, soon took center stage. 

“Automation helped streamline our process, without a doubt. But attaching links to folders on Google Drive made it possible to consolidate related information into Smartsheet and access all information starting with the contract master generated from the order process.“ says Mr. Yamashita. “And it was easy to learn how to do that as Smartsheet’s forms guide users to the correct input item using drop-down lists and logic. Learning these settings did not take much time once we started using them. The members working with Smartsheet for the first time are playing an active role in this project.” 

For their internal processes, EmberPoint briefly thought about using other tools but decided to stick with Smartsheet. “We considered using a dedicated workflow software before, but it couldn’t do what we wanted very well. Smartsheet allows us to do more than just workflow while integrating everything we need,” Mr. Yamashita concludes . 

The company is most happy to have introduced Smartsheet for expense and purchase approvals. “Travel expense applications, purchase approvals, and vendor registrations could take a lot of time. With Smartsheet, all these processes are now done much faster because the tools are integrated.”

“This year we automated 70% of the steps using Smartsheet. This success is attributable to automatic internal approvals, integration with DocuSign, reminders and automation,” Mr. Yamashita explains . 

Working with Smartsheet enabled EmberPoint to gain shorter turnaround times, fewer person-hours and higher-quality data.