Airline passengers stuck on the ground will vote with their feet and switch carriers. How could Vestergaard Company support airlines with faster, better de-icing to get airplanes up and away?
Vestergaard Company launched a social business network, enabling its engineers working around the world to share insights, opportunities and feature requests instantly.
Up to 80%of employees log into the social business network every day
Enablesfaster knowledge sharing for more efficient services
Enhancesproduct development processes
Business challenge story
Uniting a global workforce
If you’re a regular air traveler, you have most likely been acquainted with Vestergaard Company’s products several times without realizing it. The family-owned company holds a considerable share of the aircraft de-icing equipment market, and provides other forms of ground support equipment that play a crucial role in preparing aircraft for take-off in cold regions and seasons.
Despite its headquarters being located in Roskilde, Denmark, the company is highly international, and maintains a market presence in 40 countries and 200 airports. Aiming to create a more efficient approach to communication—and strengthen an already strong corporate culture—Vestergaard Company chose IBM Connections as a collaboration platform for all employees.
Embracing the social business network
The company made thorough preparations for implementing IBM Connections, and put together a plan to ensure all employees felt equipped to actively participate on the new social platform. The supporting infrastructure was in place in the form of tablet devices and desktops for its entire production staff, along with strong support from senior management.
Torben Gerlach, CFO, Vestergaard Company, explains: “We have an extremely flat organizational culture, and our top management has been raised to feel at home in our production area. It was crucial that we got everybody on board, as we have 170 people in blue overalls with a huge amount of knowledge, which we can access much more easily with the IBM solution. At the same time, it was crucial that we were fully supported by our CEO and other senior management, who actively took part in the deployment process and demonstrated how important the social business network was for the business.”
To help it to start realizing the value of its social business network quickly, Vestergaard Company engaged expert support from IBM Premier Business Partner IntraVision.
“The IntraVision team stood out in their ability to adapt proven solution integration methods designed for large enterprises to the unique requirements of our business,” says Gerlach. “It was important that we represented that organizational structure in our social business platform. Working with IntraVision helped us to ensure that all functions of our business were engaged throughout the design process for the new IBM Connections solution, and to deliver a new way of working that offers value to every part of the company.”
Working together with IntraVision, Vestergaard Company rolled out IBM Connections to support its 260 employees in all areas of the business.
“IntraVision embraced a ‘train the trainer’ approach, and the workshops they ran with our senior team at the beginning of the process were extremely valuable in securing senior buy-in and driving company-wide adoption of the solution,” adds Gerlach. “Whenever we needed assistance, we knew that we could count on IntraVision to respond quickly—and thanks to our close partnership we succeeded in going live with IBM Connections in a matter of months.”
Jens Overgaard Dinesen, CEO at IntraVision, comments: “We have had a productive collaboration with Vestergaard Company, and their approach to the deployment was extremely structured and focused. They knew right from the start that they wanted a solution placed locally that would enable all employees to connect, regardless of how far from the head office they were. Additionally, Vestergaard Company followed all best practice recommendations for social business network implementations, and actively involved senior management in the planning and implementation process.”
Enabling efficient knowledge sharing
By implementing IBM Connections, Vestergaard Company has improved its internal knowledge sharing, and made insights from its customer-facing engineers more accessible. For example, the company now creates a new IBM Connections community for every customer order, meaning that employees can quickly find manufacturing specifications, presentations and other important documents, and share valuable information about technical issues instantly with everybody in the organization.
“IBM Connections really is a fantastic tool,” says Gerlach. “When we get a new order, everybody sits down and reviews relevant information from previous, similar orders in IBM Connections, which means we can find the best solution for each customer faster, and avoid mistakes. The solution is the social glue we were looking for to bind the company together more strongly, and I cannot imagine a better tool. We can now talk to the entire organization effortlessly—whether it’s about small everyday things, or complex workflows.”
Vestergaard Company continues to see great value in IBM Connections. Since its initial deployment, the company has upgraded the IBM Connections environment to take advantage of new capabilities.
“Between 75 and 80 percent of the business logs on to IBM Connections every day, which is testament to the value our employees see in a collaborative, social approach,” concludes Gerlach. “Our goal was that IBM Connections would bring us closer together, both professionally and socially, and that has very much happened.
“I would definitely recommend other companies to adopt a social business platform. IBM Connections has been a great success for Vestergaard Company, and I am convinced that in five to ten years everyone will have a similar solution.”
About Vestergaard Company A/S
Founded in 1962 and today headquartered Roskilde, Denmark, Vestergaard Company A/S manufactures, distributes and maintains ground-support solutions for aircraft de-icing, sanitation and water services. Employing more than 260 people across four countries, the company serves more than 40 countries and 200 airports worldwide.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Connections solutions, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/ibm-connections
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, IntraVision is an IBM Premier Business Partner and specialist provider of strategic time- and resource-management solutions. To learn more about products and services from IntraVision, please visit: www.ontimesuite.com/about/about-us
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