The Marquardt Group is a worldwide leading manufacturer of electromechanical and electronic switches and switch systems for vehicles, electric tools, household appliances and other industrial applications. The Schwabian family-owned company, headquartered in Rietheim-Weilheim, continues to win new markets and has established its role as a worldwide leader in innovation.
The Marquardt Group operates in all major markets around the world and has offices in 12 cities, with more than 6,000 employees. In 2012, annual turnover was more than €650 million.
With 12 locations and a growing business, Florian Scholl, the IT department’s head of global collaboration was looking for ways to bring the world-wide team closer together and increase their performance. Being a high tech company, Marquardt IT has to manage the IT-Infrastructure of not only production sites but also engineering in several R&D facilities around the world: setting up new data centers, managing hardware and software deployments, rolling out standards worldwide, and centralising hardware purchasing for dedicated projects are only some of topics they deal with on a daily basis. Here, communication in a timely fashion is key.
Until recently, tasks and internal projects were tracked using the all too familiar tools: Excel and email. Weekly online-meetings were held to keep the distributed teams up-to-date with each other’s progress. This had worked in the past – when work was mainly performed at the head-office – but increased work-distribution and growing international teams posed new challenges that the weekly online-meetings could only partially address. In addition, time differences meant that not everybody was able to attend the weekly calls.
Marquardt needed a tool that would facilitate virtual collaboration across all locations. The tool needed to be easy to use, and highly customisable, with enterprise-level performance and availability.
Other features on the shopping list included support for major languages, personal and team task-management capabilities and ad-hoc document and file sharing. Podio was among three tools that were thoroughly evaluated over a couple of weeks by a focus group of select users. After the evaluation, users and project managers both favoured Podio over its competitors due to ease of use and customisability.
In order to ensure a successful roll-out, Marquardt decided to enroll the team from dieKollaborateure.com, the first Podio Preferred Partner in Germany. With the help of the Kollaborateure-team, custom apps that fit Marquardt’s project management needs were quickly built and implemented. These apps are now being used for all projects within dedicated workspaces and ensure the standards used by Marquardt IT. In addition to facilitating the creation and implementation of custom apps, the Kollaborateure-team also provided customised on-site and online training for all key users in the IT-department.
“Podio instantly gave all users full transparency about our ongoing projects. We are now able to focus on strategic issues in our weekly meetings rather than daily business.” –– Florian Scholl, Marquardt Service GmbH, Corporate Information Systems, PM Implementation Podio
With Podio, international collaboration was increased and deepened. Before, issues were only discussed within the weekly meetings, now they are commented on and @-mentioned without any limitation on time, since they are managed transparently among the team members within Podio. During the implementation process, users discovered the capabilities of Podio and started implementing their own workspaces for collaboration, task management and meetings. The total handling of “open-points” changed to more structured and task-driven issues. The status of different projects is now available all the time and can be commented on, discussed and edited. As usual with Podio, everybody is happy.