When you employ thousands of people around the world, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page. How could the company help teams to work together and share their knowledge more effectively?
The company transitioned to a social approach to collaboration across the enterprise—enabling personnel to connect with peers around the globe via almost any connected device.
Empowersthousands of employees to share knowledge and shape more effective processes
Unlocksnew efficiencies and accelerates the rollout of innovative logistics technologies
Enableshigher-quality customer services even as business volumes grow
Business challenge story
Capturing new opportunities
Ordering online has never been easier, and for millions of consumers around the world, a delivery is only a click or a tap away. For global logistics enterprises, the e-commerce model is an opportunity for explosive growth—but only if they can accommodate the rising volumes efficiently.
A spokesperson for this leading logistics company explains: “Without a doubt, speed is one of the biggest challenges facing the logistics space today. Customers increasingly expect faster services—both for receiving deliveries and the information associated with them. The booming popularity of digital retail means that demand for our logistics services is surging, and keeping pace demands constant innovation.
“We run thousands of operating facilities all around the world, each staffed by thousands of people. Our employees are problem-solvers by nature. We knew that many of our people were facing the same challenges, such as finding the most effective way to integrate new types of sorting technologies into their workflows.
“In the past, there was no straightforward way for employees to discuss, create and share these solutions with their peers, many of whom are based thousands of miles apart. To continue our global growth, we wanted to help our employees to work together to develop and deliver even higher-quality services to our millions of customers.”
Like many large businesses, this leading logistics company uses IBM® WebSphere® Portal to help its global workforce keep up to date with best practices. The company recognized an opportunity to build on the platform to achieve its collaboration goals.
“We wanted to make it easier for our people to consume information by creating a place where people with similar needs could gather to share their insights,” adds the spokesperson. “To turn our vision into a reality, we looked for a way to deliver these social capabilities at enterprise scale.”
Unlocking employee expertise
To bring thousands of workers closer together, the company selected IBM Connections™—a business social network that enables knowledge-sharing via digital communities, forums, wikis and more. The plan was to integrate IBM Connections with the company’s existing WebSphere Portal intranet environment, providing full access to all employees.
“We were keen to create a conversational, role-based approach to problem-solving, and IBM Connections met that requirement perfectly,” recalls the spokesperson. “The solution enables our people to share their ideas via forum posts, blogs, comments, files and videos. And because the solution has the potential for tight integration with our employee portal, we realized that we would eventually be able to merge the two platforms—creating a one-stop shop for all our communication and collaboration needs.
“Close to 80 percent of our people do their day-to-day work away from a laptop or desktop, so it was important to give them the flexibility to interact with their peers effectively from their mobile device. With the new solution, our workers can use the IBM Connections mobile app to access and contribute to discussions anywhere, anytime.”
Working together with IBM, the company gradually deployed the IBM Connections solution to users across the organization.
“Because our workforce is so large, we knew that neither a top-down nor a bottom-up approach would achieve our aim of encouraging widespread adoption,” recalls the spokesperson. “Instead, we decided to roll out the solution department by department. By moving at a steady pace and setting realistic milestones, we successfully used word of mouth to get people excited and engaged with the goals of the project.
“Our management group was the first to gain access to IBM Connections, and we opened up the platform to tens of thousands of workers overnight. Rather than measuring the success of the platform purely by the number of people who logged on every day, we were keen to understand the way people were actually using it to solve challenges. The deployment was a great success by both measures; the feedback from our users gave us the confidence that IBM Connections was the right fit to achieve our collaboration goal.”
The spokesperson continues: “Some of the most passionate adopters of the new platform are our sustainability ambassadors, employees responsible for driving green initiatives across the business. For the first time, people who were working in relative isolation from peers in other regions or countries have the chance to engage actively and make positive, productive changes to the way they work.
“Today, all employees across our business have access to IBM Connections, and the IBM team was an invaluable resource throughout the deployment process. As well as providing support and guidance whenever we needed it, the IBM team reached out to us with proactive advice—which on a number of occasions helped us solve challenges before we knew we had them!”
The spokesperson adds: “The amazing organic growth and adoption of IBM Connections has resulted not only in valuable business outcomes, but also in a better work experience for our employees. They now expect to come into work and collaborate and engage with their co-workers. The positive culture change has been beyond our expectations.”
Boosting efficiency, driving growth
By bringing its business together on an enterprise collaboration platform, the company is boosting efficiency across the business, enabling it to capture a growing share of the surging e-commerce delivery market.
“Technology solutions are key to support the explosive growth we’ve seen in business volumes in recent years,” says the spokesperson. “Because we deploy new solutions frequently, integrating them with our processes was previously a complex, time-consuming task—but now, that’s all changed.
“Thanks to IBM Connections, we can immediately connect all our operation center teams with training resources to help them get up to speed with a new solution faster. Better still, we can quickly gather feedback on how useful those training resources are, and push out updates and additions as needed. And if a particular process is proving difficult to describe, our people can even film, upload and share short tutorial videos that cut through the complexity.
“To date, we’ve seen substantial improvements in our time to market for new solutions for sorting packages and sorting deliveries—both valuable sources of advantage in a highly competitive space.”
The company is already beginning to measure the positive impact of its collaborative approach across the business.
“We take employee health, safety and wellness extremely seriously, and we are always looking for new ways to improve the working environment,” explains the spokesperson. “Another benefit of bringing our employees together is that it has enabled us to see that groups around the world have developed their own best practices around health and safety.
“We have now incorporated many of those practices to improve our group-level health and safety guidance, and we predict that we will see a significant reduction in accidents and injuries across the board. And because all our people can now access the latest guidance in a single, centralized repository, we’ve eliminated the risk of people circulating outdated information in file attachments via email.”
Following the success of this project, the company has also begun an early deployment of Box, which aims to provide its employees with an additional cloud file sharing capability, fully integrated with IBM Connections.
The spokesperson concludes: “Anything that we do to improve the efficiency of our internal processes translates into better services for our customers. With solutions like IBM Connections, we are harnessing the expertise of our global workforce to lift efficiency, boost service quality and deliver to more people than ever.”
About Leading logistics company
This leading logistics company offers a broad range of transportation solutions, including freight and package delivery, document shipment, and supply chain services.
- ICS: Connections
- WebSphere Portal Enable
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Collaboration Solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/collaboration