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Connected we stand: how ATS’s collaboration platform unites people and data

Chris Corijn, ICT Manager ADMB

Industry: Industrial Goods & Services 


Cegeka believes that a ‘connected organisation’ boosts internal communication, spontaneous cooperation and knowledge and information sharing. It was happy to prove its point to technology group ATS. The SharePoint-based platform that Cegeka implemented at ATS is the start of an ongoing journey to enhance customer services, through better internal processes.

Doing away with information islands

Headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, ATS Group bundles the expertise of 13 businesses to provide its customers with turnkey engineering/automation solutions. No matter how many divisions are involved, every ATS project is supervised by a single contact person. In the past, it was hard for project managers to stay on top of their projects, as customer and project information was fragmented on different systems, on paper or even in the heads of their colleagues, who are geographically spread across the country.

“There were lots of documents and huge volumes of emails being sent out and never one single source to turn to for information or updates. While prompt access to real-time information is pivotal to provide the level of services today’s customers need,” says Chris Corijn, member of the ATS board.

The'Connected Organisation'

ATS wanted a central platform that would offer easy access to up-todate information, while also facilitating team collaboration. Cegeka helped develop and integrate the solution. “We met with a few other providers but Cegeka had already implemented our ERP system. We knew they are a good, knowledgeable team who understand our needs. Moreover, they had a track record in building ‘connected organisations’, like we wanted to become.”

The project kicked off with a proof of concept. ATS specified its needs and wants, which it then discussed with Cegeka. Cegeka translated the vision into a concept based on SharePoint 2016. Being part of the Microsoft family, the SharePoint solution would ensure seamless integration with ATS’s existing MS AX Dynamics ERP system.

Greater efficiency and better customer services

After a series of workshops to identify the actual design and architecture, Cegeka set up the group-wide portal and seamlessly integrated it into ATS’s other corporate systems. The platform was launched on 31 December 2016 at the ATS headquarters and is currently being rolled out at the ATS businesses across the country. Sensitive or division-specific data is protected through an authorization policy.

When ATS employees come into the office, they can now log in to the portal and see what’s new in their customized dashboard. The portal contains a plethora of information; from general company announcements – business- and people-related – to personalized overviews of tasks due, appointments, running quotations/projects, etc. In addition, it serves as an access point for customer and project information, as well as legal documents, contracts, courses, etc. 

Thanks to the intuitive, personal dashboard and easy navigation, users can swiftly consult the information they need at any moment. It helps them save time and offer better, more accurate customer services. Moreover, everyone is more engaged with the organization, as they are better informed about what is happening, in every field. 

Stepping it up with CRM

“Strong management support helped to quickly establish the platform as one of our primary communication tools,” says Chris. “Employees have embraced it enthusiastically.” Committed to taking customer services to ever-higher levels, ATS is currently also rolling out Microsoft’s CRM solution. The suite will, of course, work seamlessly together with the collaboration portal.

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“There were lots of documents and huge volumes of emails being sent out and never one single source to turn to for information or updates. The new platform now helps us share documents, communicate and collaborate much better.”


Challenges

  • Customer and project data were scattered along several standalone solutions
  • Not all relevant data was digitally captured: some only existed on paper, some only in people’s heads
  • There was need for a ‘single source of truth’ that was accessible to everyone, always up-to-date and which could be easily integrated with the existing Dynamics ERP platform

Results

  • Cegeka set up one central portal, based on Microsoft SharePoint 2016, for the entire ATS Group
  • Every office worker got access to a personal dashboard, with up-to-data information about the company, but also data on projects, tasks, offers, appointments etc.
  • Employees had more time to focus on their core tasks: provide customers with excellent service and accurate information

Solution

Collaboration & Communication Portals

Technology

Sharepoint