Väderstad unified by new intranet

Farm machinery company Väderstad has built a new Omnia-based communications platform and digital workplace serving every unit of their global operations. By significantly enhancing cross-linear collaboration and internal communications, this new solution is helping Väderstad create a more unified and even stronger company.

– Our new digital workplace and communications platform have radically levered our ability to strengthen and unify our worldwide operations. The group-wide Omnia-based intranet and Teams application will substantially improve internal communications and collaboration between our employees in all units throughout the world. Internal communications will become more transparent and visible to everyone and, for the first time, the same information will be simultaneously accessible to all employees wherever they are around the globe, says Mikaela Jensen, Project Manager Digital Platform at Väderstad.

Well-structured global platform ousts email culture

Väderstad manufacture soil cultivation and seeding machinery and sell their products throughout the world. With headquarters in the Swedish town with the same name, Väderstad has manufacturing units and offices in 14 countries and more than 1500 employees. One of the company’s largest markets is Canada.

In late 2019 Väderstad initiated a communications improvement and digitalization project with the aim of creating a group-wide and state-of-the-art communications platform. Their primary goal was to strengthen consensus, innovation, and business growth through better communications and collaboration together with enhanced employee access to common resources, documents, company news, and other information.

– The motto of the project is One Väderstad – One Digital Workplace, reflecting the twin objectives of unifying the company and simplifying daily operations by making it easier to collaborate and access digital tools and information. On account of a decentralized information and communications structure inherent in our previous platform, it was difficult to efficiently distribute and share information and knowledge with everyone. It was furthermore a time-consuming and arduous task just finding information and documents. Many employees consequently often felt left out of the loop as to what was going on in the company and the directions we were taking, Mikaela explains.

Internal communications were mostly handled via email, and group-wide information basically consisted of a CEO statement being emailed to employees once a month. It was also up to each individual unit manager to decide on how communications in their respective units should be structured.

In planning the company’s communications improvement project, Väderstad chose Omnia as its new intranet platform.

– We had numerous reasons for choosing Omnia. In the first place, Omnia offers outstanding integration support for Sharepoint Online, the foundation stone of our new digital workplace. It was also important for us to select a platform that could efficiently and without glitches handle third-party application updates, such as Microsoft’s. Omnia proved to be the least vulnerable platform in this respect, Väderstad’s CIO Anders Karlsson clarifies.

In order to create a more efficient document structure with enhanced accessibility, Väderstad decided to implement an Omnia-based Document Management System. This new document system also serves as a platform for a new Management System, in which the Process Modeling Tool 2c8 is used to graphically link the processes to corresponding documents.

– The new intranet was launched worldwide in June 2020. Teams and OneDrive were implemented in 2019. Coupled with our new document management system, these solutions form the basis of a powerful, global, and transparent digital workplace. It’s a well-structured communications platform, enabling all our employees to smoothly and easily collaborate and access information and resources, Anders concludes.

Synergy and enhanced knowledge-sharing

According to Mikaela Jensen, an important objective of the new digital workplace is to stimulate internal dialogue and knowledge-sharing and in doing so to encourage innovation.

– Väderstad is a large company, bursting at the seams with invaluable knowledge and experience. Our new intranet and Teams will facilitate increased knowledge-sharing and cross-linear collaboration via online communities and other structured knowledge areas.

One of the key challenges of the project has been the creation of personalized navigation and communication structures. Another has been the implementation of smooth platform access for employees in the production units since they are constantly on the move and without their own computers.

– It’s easy to configure targeted communication and user-centric navigation in Omnia. The mobile interface does, however, require some adaptations since we need a number of specially designed functions. We might install shared computers in order to solve the accessibility problem for users in the production units. When all this is fixed, we’ll have a communications platform that for the first time ensures that every employee receives and can readily access business-critical information, Mikaela underlines.

During the autumn of 2020 an extranet, targeting Väderstad’s partners and resellers, will be added to the intranet platform.

– Having all communications on the same platform boosts our efficiency and creates synergistic effects. Much of the intranet’s content can be also be published in our partner portal, thereby reducing the work involved in the creation of content and keeping the sites up and running, Mikaela concludes.


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