Zumtobel Group Lights Its Way to Market with Planview Enterprise

About Zumtobel Group

The Zumtobel Group is a leading international provider of integrated light solutions. Based in Dornbirn, Austria, the family-owned company has been developing and delivering innovative and unique light solutions for more than 50 years. Today, the Group boasts a workforce of 7,300 employees around the world, with production plants on four continents and sales organizations and representatives in more than 70 countries. As a global player in the lighting industry, Zumtobel develops solutions that create a whole new world of visual experience, “lighten” the load in the workplace and enhance communication and safety – but which also acknowledge its responsibility towards the environment.

The Challenge: Murky Product Lifecycle Management at Zumtobel

Since its founding more than 50 years ago, the Zumtobel Group has evolved into one of the leading providers of light solutions and is continuing to expand its business around the world. Like many global companies, Zumtobel strives continuously to optimize its strategic business initiatives. This includes structured and well planned project management in the areas of product development and innovation - the only way to drive growth and success in today’s increasingly competitive global market.

The company has more than 10,000 products and successfully manages hundreds of innovation projects year over year. It was therefore crucial to Zumtobel to achieve optimal structuring and distribution of its global resources. This would in turn support improved product lifecycle management: the planning and control of the development and launch of new products and the management of all development projects.

Zumtobel wanted to enhance the performance and reliability of its product innovation division as it brought products to market. It needed a central solution that would provide improved visibility and control over projects, activities, resource assignments, and capacity management. Zumtobel opted for Planview Portfolios®, the market’s leading portfolio management solution. “Planview is the right partner for us. The company offers a tried and tested solution and years of experience and expertise that enable us to manage the challenges faced in today’s market,” said Paul Hoch, IT Manager, Zumtobel Group. “It was particularly important to us to get a company on board with a local presence, so that there would be no language barriers to our success and at the same time ensuring on-site customer support.”

„Planview Enterprise zahlt sich aus. Mit dieser Lösung konnten wir unser Projekt- und Prozessmanagement verbessern und den gesamten Prozess einfacher und benutzerfreundlicher gestalten.“

– Paul Hoch, IT Manager, Zumtobel Group

The Solution: Seeing the light with Planview Portfolios

Planview Enterprise is helping Zumtobel achieve its goals. It empowers the company to identify and analyze risks, drive strategic priorities and KPIs, evaluate alternative investment scenarios and much more.

By leveraging Planview Portfolios, Zumtobel can optimize project and resource efficiency globally. Project managers and team members can effectively scope, schedule, and execute all work processes. Flexible dashboards and analytics tools provide fast insight into the status of portfolios, projects, and resources.

Zumtobel is using Planview Portfolios to manage more than 200 projects worldwide, all of which are available in project lists and can be represented in high-level overviews right down to granular details. This gives Zumtobel an unprecedented overview of its current projects worldwide, enabling it to significantly boost performance by improving operational planning and execution across the enterprise.

“With Planview Portfolios, we have made a real quantum leap in our planning and analytics. It is now much simpler to collaborate on, coordinate, and codify project resources, finances, and global development,” continued Hoch.

Users of the Planview solution have access to a wealth of information. Because Zumtobel wanted to enhance user experience, delivering a clear, role-based user interface, the company opted to create a “management cockpit” to visually focus users on their core tasks and objectives. These modifications were quickly executed in collaboration with Planview. Now users can more effectively plan by accessing and entering essential information directly from the project overview page.

“We felt it was important for users not to get lost in the wealth of data that Planview Portfolios offers – so we wanted additional information to be displayed in separate windows, which allowed users to remain on the overview page,” said Hoch. “We defined our requirements - and Planview made it happen..”

Zumtobel also uses Planview OpenSuite™ to enable data exchange and integration of Planview Portfolios and other enterprise systems, such as SAP®, Microsoft® SharePoint®, and the IT scheduling systems of the test laboratories. The SAP data exchange, for example, allows actual project costs to be determined in Planview Enterprise and automatically passed on to SAP, reducing project managers’ time spent duplicating their efforts across systems. With the interface to the test lab system, project managers simply enter their preferred dates for a product test in the lab system, which sends it to the globally distributed test facilities. The response is sent back to Planview Portfolios automatically; depending on lab capacity, the date is automatically confirmed or an alternative date is provided, thus streamlining the whole process. In addition,Zumtobel is currently working on an interface to SharePoint to further enhance cooperation and project collaboration within the company as well as with external partners.

Enlightenment and Expansion

The benefits of the Planview solution are already being realized at Zumtobel.

“The integration of strategy and project management in a single platform enables us to efficiently allocate and dynamically manage resources to optimum effect. However, the introduction of a new system always represents a challenge – the greatest of which is change management. It therefore makes sense to focus initially on classic project areas, the everyday, routine side of projects,” commented Hoch. “It is imperative that our management supports the introduction of the solution and clearly defines the goals to be achieved.”

Having firmly established Planview Portfolios in the product innovation division, Hoch and his team are now pressing ahead with the integration of Planview in the area of IT project portfolio management. “We need to demonstrate the benefits of the solution for users - that is the best way to expedite acceptance and anchor the solution in the execution system,” continued Hoch. “Thankfully, Planview Portfolios is extremely intuitive with a low learning curve. In the IT division, we have created a methodology training course on the subject of project planning, which demonstrates all the advantages of the solution. It has been a great success”.

The IT manager is delighted with Planview Portfolios and sees great advantages in bringing it to other divisions in the future. “We have still not fully exploited the potential of the Planview solution across our enterprise – there are many other divisions at Zumtobel that can also gain from the multiple benefits this solution has to offer.

A Bright Outlook

The Zumtobel Group looks forward to working with Planview and its portfolio management offerings in the future. “Planview Enterprise pays for itself. This solution has already helped us improve and streamline our project and process management, making the whole process easier and more user-friendly,” said Hoch. “This is just one of the reasons why we are striving to extend it to other areas of our company, such as Finance and Accounting, as soon as possible.”

Hoch sees the future of portfolio management in the evolution from project management to a planning tool. “By increasing project visibility, and correlating this information with other company data, we are empowered to analyze trends and developments, providing us with effective portfolio roadmapping capabilities. Change drivers, like the economic climate, regulations, and market conditions, require agility - the ability to respond quickly and effectively - and that is only possible if a company has enterprise-wide visibility into corporate processes.”