Intelligent CXO Issue 3 | Page 39

INDUSTRY UNLOCKED an Agile project management philosophy , solve problems quickly and develop the right solutions .
Vance and his team have also used Smartsheet to improve general HR processes , like holiday booking , which play a key part in effective resource management . Previously , holiday booking was done manually with paper forms – a ‘ frankly archaic ’ system , as Vance was all too aware . Vance has since developed an automated holiday booking sheet .
Building a strong company culture
All of the above has combined to create a better culture of collaboration and communication within the business . But Howden has even used Smartsheet to specifically nurture a strong culture through the COVID-19 pandemic , creating an internal platform where associates can post updates , share light-hearted fun and of course , keep track of each other ’ s availability and location . Vance is already planning to help roll-out the benefits of Smartsheet for his global colleagues , helping them build relevant applications as needed to ensure they have tailored capabilities .
Vance tells Intelligent CXO more about the partnership .
Could you tell me more about the challenges which a global company faces ?
As a global company with over 6,000 employees in 26 countries , a major challenge for us is ensuring that the data we share is consistent and current . The solution before Smartsheet was using spreadsheets , which were emailed out once they had been updated , but invariably someone wouldn ’ t have received the email or were looking at the wrong revision . Smartsheet gives us the ability to ensure that everyone who has access to the data is looking at exactly the same thing .
What attracted you to Smartsheet initially ?
We originally looked at Smartsheet to solve a completely different challenge on the manufacturing side of the business . We had a number of projects going through manufacture at the same time , using the same resource , sub-contractors , etc . We soon realised that using a traditional MS Project-type Gantt chart plan was going to cause issues , so we looked at other software packages that would provide us with better visibility of daily tasks to ensure we remained on schedule . Through our evaluation , Smartsheet was identified as the product most suitable for our needs . The ability to build the project plan in the traditional way using Gantt View and then switching to Card View using the same software was extremely powerful for us .
When I moved into Howden Technology , I quickly realised that Smartsheet would benefit us from the perspective of sharing data consistently , and our use and ways of using Smartsheet has developed from there .
How have employees reacted to Smartsheet ?
Extremely well , the ability to share information consistently is viewed as an extremely positive benefit . We often get enquiries about Smartsheet from other Howden Business Units who are interested in implementing Smartsheet solutions within their day-to-day work . At the beginning of the COVID situation , we developed a dashboard to provide updates on employee availability ( whether they are working from home , in the office , not working or on holiday ), current legislation on Government restrictions , travel , etc . across our three Howden Technology sites in Denmark , Scotland and The Netherlands . We also implemented automated holiday requests using Smartsheet in our Renfrew Technology Centre , which has proven to be very successful .
How will Smartsheet enable the company to grow further ?
We have implemented 10,000ft as a bolt on to Smartsheet and are using the platform in a number of innovative ways in Howden Technology while continuing to develop solutions to support reporting requirements , budget setting , visibility of resource constraints , etc . 10,000ft gives us the ability to build up our project resource profiles and project budgets quickly and succinctly across all of our development initiatives , and we use it as our key source of data for reporting at our monthly progress review meetings .
What ’ s the best feature of Smartsheet ?
It ’ s very difficult to choose one best feature if I ’ m honest . As I mentioned previously , the ability to share consistent , current data is very powerful for us and has certainly benefitted us greatly along with the ability to develop dashboards to display data in a very clear and unambiguous way . Those are certainly two of the key features for Howden Technology . x www . intelligentcxo . com