SAP Jam: Improving business results
With more than 400 employees spread across a dozen locations in North America, Inscape’s senior management realized that not every employee understood how their efforts contributed to the company’s overall strategic plan. To solve the problems they now use modern software. In the video Sameer Patel, Global Vice President of Enterprise Social Software SAP, explains all the benefits of social business software.
Inscape Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of office systems, storage and architectural wall solutions for commercial office environments. Inscape’s installations have improved the working environment at many of America’s leading companies, including Lockheed Martin, Willis Insurance, American Family Insurance, University of Colorado, Healthways, Maple Leaf Foods, Echostar and AOL.
Noteworthy installations include more than 41 miles of movable walls at The Pentagon, the largest movable wall installation in North America and the installation of 250 workstations a week for 20 consecutive weeks at Best Buy.
Doug Lennox, Vice President of Information Technology and Process Development, also realized that Inscape needed to improve how they share information and collaborate.
Product development is always on a tight timeline and relying on just email had led to some costly errors. Like most companies, Inscape’s email inboxes are often overflowing, so occasionally a project leader would miss the latest design document in their inbox and create a tool off an old revision.
Retooling is expensive, but greater costs stemmed from an 8 to 16 week delay in the launch of the product, which cut into potential revenue.
In the summer of 2010, the Inscape team selected SuccessFactors’ Performance and Goal Management to improve their performance review process and help align individuals to the overall corporate strategy. “Now with SuccessFactors paperless system, every employee has an active role towards the company’s strategic objectives.
A Jam group for each product team
Managers can audit progress on a monthly basis, which allows us to course correct months earlier than in the past,” says Pam Leslie, Organizational Development Specialist.
Assisting in the deployment of SuccessFactors’ Performance and Goal Management, Mr. Lennox’s teams used Jam, SuccessFactors’ social collaborative platform, to improve internal communication. For the rollout, Inscape’s IT leaders could answer questions once rather than having to reply to many similar emails.
They also were able to identify problems and develop solutions in an open environment. This process led to two direct benefits. First, anyone with an idea on how to solve the problem could contribute their thoughts, and second, end users didn’t need to ask about their issue – they could simply read the group discussion’s latest posts to learn what was being done. With Jam, Inscape was able to keep the software rollout on schedule.
After proving to be so useful in the Goals and Performance software rollout, Mr. Lennox decided to start a Jam group for each of his product teams. With Jam, each team member, whether in product design in Holland Landing, Ontario, manufacturing in Jameston, NY or technical consulting in Chicago, knows where to find the latest design documents.
The teams also use the blogging feature to record meeting notes and Social Docs to publish information and get feedback on product templates and other documents. Mr. Lennox reports, “Jam social features have sparked collaboration, so we’re getting a lot more feedback on designs. What I like most is that with Jam groups everyone knows where to go for the product specifications, so there is no excuse for not using the most current design. Now, we’re avoiding costly delays.”
By moving from a paper-based to a paperless performance management solution, Inscape employees have a much clearer sense of the overall corporate objectives, and management has greater visibility into employee performance throughout the year. “We knew we’d save time by converting our reviews to SuccessFactors, but we’re very pleased with the focus and insights the goal management system has given us”, say Ms. Leslie.
With Jam, Inscape’s project teams are better informed and more innovative. Accord¬ing to Mr. Lennox, “Keeping projects on schedule is always important, and Jam is a big help there. We’ve also lessoned the number of retooling requests which could have cost us $100,000 on our current projects.”