The great history of humankind is all about our capability to collaborate. Now ASSA ABLOY and Solteq are taking global teamwork to a whole new level. Why should there be supplier and customer sides in business if people can work as one team?
On an almost ordinary Thursday morning in Solteq’s Jyväskylä office in the Middle of Finland, you can sense some extraordinary drive and energy. The never-depleting coffee pot is almost empty and the noise level is a bit high. The reason is easily found in the meeting room in the corner.
The room is full of people talking and laughing – one almost shouts. The experts developing Assa Abloy’s eCommerce solutions and digital services have a kick off meeting of their new united team. There is Anthony from Connecticut, Thomas from Stockholm, Dawid from Wroclaw and some local faces – one big happy yet focused group of people fitting perfectly into one room.
In the best cooperation there is only one goal
Solteq and Assa Abloy have been working together for years building global e-commerce sites. Currently the team rolls out new local online stores but also develops the features and creates new solutions for upcoming business needs.
The cooperation has always been successful, but the supplier/customer setting has its limitations. Imagine the situation where the customer identifies and reports a problem to the supplier without knowing their resources. Additionally, the supplier’s expert assigned to the task might be working with the project for the first time. With no wider vision of the cooperation, it is hard to benefit from their deep expertise.
Just over a year ago, Assa Abloy’s Global eBusiness Manager Thomas Fihlman got an idea:
Why not change this setting? The people involved would benefit if they had the same view and attitude towards both everyday workload and bigger goals.
– We do not think that there are Solteq people and Assa Abloy people but one team enhancing the experiences of Assa Abloy’s customers. Common goals and ways of working will enhance commitment. The joint process has a huge potential to reduce overruns and delays, but of course it is also nicer for the people to work together.
Solteq’s Senior Consultant Jari Mäkelä thinks that this kind of cooperation is growing in the IT sector.
– The customers want to have a development team close, even working at customer premises. It’s easier to engage the specialists to the same targets. Anyhow, being at the same place is not possible in companies operating globally. This kind of global cooperation works much better when people know each other and feel natural to say “Good morning” in a common chat channel.
Global teamwork benefits from F2F meetings
During these early autumn days in Jyväskylä, the people from different parts of the world got to see each other.
Together the team members are rethinking and enhancing their ways of working together. One big theme is team communication – the fluent interaction as partners. The tools and practices play a crucial role when the team members are not physically in one place, but might even work on different continents.
Anthony Filardo, Assa Abloy’s Global IT Project and Implementation Manager, flew to Jyväskylä from Connecticut. Despite several flights and travelling hours, he wouldn’t want to miss it at any price.
– For me it was necessary to be here. It is awesome to meet people face-to-face, and everything just seems to go further more easily. We form a bond and establish relationships. Now all the names on my screen have faces and bodies so the digital interaction is much nicer.
– As one team we are more agile. The joint tools and discipline make us better. We are heading to a situation where distance or different time zones have less and less meaning.
3 tips to enhance your global teamwork
- Set the goals high and share them with the whole team.
- Rethink the best ways of cooperation and communication together.
- Organise F2F meetings regularly to form a bond and to ease the digital interaction.