Submitted by: MCC International
Date: March 2000
Creating a common “vision” across diverse sections of a company while improving both the use of staff resources and the efficient delivery of IT solutions is a goal many major organisations strive for. At Wincanton Logistics, IT Process & Services Manager, Richard Parkinson, is making great strides towards achieving this. Integral to his progress was the choice of software from Fujitsu TeamWARE Group that is enabling Richard to pursue his major aims in a structured manner that delivers results at each stage of the planning, development and implementation process.
Although Richard acknowledges that Wincanton’s IT department was achieving its objectives in delivering workable solutions. Their methods, best practices and procedures were being carried out in specific pockets but not with a common approach to all [internal] customers. What he set about trying to achieve in-line with the strategy of Wincanton IT was the creation of a common set of procedures which would be made available to all “parties who are working on projects that involve an system delivery.
At Wincanton this can include a diverse array of projects, from a response to tender where IT systems are a competitive factor in the company winning contracts from an external company through to adapting a payroll system in-line with legal requirements.
This diversity of Wincanton’s IT projects reflects its business arena, which necessities the capability and skills to deliver a multitude of goods to a varied array of sectors. The principally UK-based company is in the top five third-party logistics operators in the UK, specialising in retail, manufacturing as well as industrial and commercial. Wincanton’s client base holds many household names and major high street stores, such as B&Q, Argos, Littlewoods, Woolworths, St Ivel, Heinz and many more.
Before choosing TeamWARE’s ProcessWise Workbench software solution Richard initiated a ‘Process Definition Project’ in January. “The methods of carrying out the build of a system needed to be made as understandable and common throughout the company so we embarked on this internal project,” said Richard.
Its aim was to reach conclusions that would enable Wincanton to improve its procedures and controls through a coherent approach to project management and change management by adopting a best practise approach, as well as ensuring the all-important support services were in place following delivery of solutions. According to Richard “seventy five per cent of IT is keeping the shop open.” After going to the market with a broad set of requirements Richard found that TeamWARE could help him to achieve this.
“We looked into business modelling tools and went for ProcessWise Workbench. We identified it as the market leader. It fitted and suited our needs and had the service back-up that we felt was a differentiator,” said Richard. “TeamWare was recognised as the clear leader and we were confident of the credibility of the company and its products.”
A key element for Richard in choosing TeamWARE was its ability to provide a high level of support through its sister-company DMR. “Buying a product that works is one thing but getting training, back-up, support and consulting to exploit the product is another,” he said. This consulting function has played a vitally important role so far in the implementation process at Wincanton. Over a four-month period of workshops, reviewing and more workshops the exact requirements of the company have been carefully honed. In what Parkinson defined as “quite a heavy process,” teams of IT staff were pulled in from all parts of the company to “unify thoughts and processes.”
Using DMR as part of the project team has been of critical importance in keeping the project on schedule and has highlighted the structured approach taken by Richard. He also acknowledges the flexibility of ProcessWise Workbench in helping him to achieve his objectives so far. “I would say that without the flexibility of the product and the skill of DMR, time on the project could have easily doubled it saved lots of money,” he said.
Parkinson’s next step is to introduce the ‘generic project model’ that has been created, to 30 project and service managers within Wincanton who will refine the model to help them achieve their own specific requirements. “We have bucketful’s of procedures around the business and with TeamWARE’s definition we have a framework to hang these on and for them to then be refined,” said Richard.
Following this process, Richard confirmed that the plan is to roll-out the refined models over a two-to-three month period in the first quarter of 2000. When these are firmly in place throughout Wincanton’s IT sections in each service area, Richard believes there will then be a ‘common vision’ that will create a better, common understanding of what IT can deliver an who is responsible. Staff resources won’t be wasted on knowing who to contact for back-up etc.
“It is also increasing the visibility of IT and that we understand our roles and responsibility,” he added. By mid-2000 Richard is confident that Wincanton will begin to see the real benefits of Process Wise Workbench when it will be introduced first within big-win client-facing service areas. “It is here that its benefits will begin to seriously feed through and bring in revenue longer-term as the IT teams become increasingly competent and confident in delivering solutions.”