Clariant is one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, contributing to value creation with innovative and sustainable solutions for customers from many industries. The company operates in four Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Natural Resources, Catalysis and Plastics & Coatings, and employs over 17,000 people in 60 countries. Clariant’s corporate strategy is based on five pillars: increase profitability, reposition portfolio, add value with sustainability, foster innovation and R&D, and intensify growth.
Clariant’s IT organisation consists of three functions, i.e. Application, Infrastructure & Operation and Account Management teams. Prior to implementing the Clarizen solution, there was limited integration between the different tools that each team was using. This lack of integration gave them restricted visibility and in many cases, it was difficult to see what the interrelation of the different projects was and at what stages they were. “The biggest challenge we faced migrating onto one platform, was to understand the needs across the three functions, regardless of the tool we used,” says Joakim Barretto, Head of PPM, Group IT at Clariant. “We needed to bring together three different groups, using different tools and with different mind-sets.”
All in all, there are about 200 people working at any given time in up to 50 projects, across the world. Clariant’s Businesses Units and Services place high demands on Group IT and rely on IT solutions to achieve their goals, therefore it’s important to know how many projects are running, what are their interrelations, and at what stage of the demand they are on so that resources can be allocated most efficiently.
The Use Case
Group IT was looking for a solution that could easily be deployed and in a short period of time. Clariant is a Swiss chemical company with strong German roots, and many engineers. Unsurprisingly, they are highly structured and needed a tool that could easily be customised to suit their needs. A tool comparison took place, with strong focus for a Cloud solution, as part of IT initiative to increase experience in this area.
At the end of this comparison, Clarizen was chosen as it showed itself to be more flexible and easier to implement. Being a cloud solution brought additional advantages, allowing Clariant to ramp-up and down depending on the demand of users and licenses.
The solution development, implementation and training took just over five months. The company’s training programme was facilitated by a series of workshops and webinars developed by in-house staff. “The tool itself is not complex to configure. After on-site training, we expanded our reach by offering webinars to colleagues in Singapore, Latin America and the USA. This was very important for the internal buy-in of this new tool. Although this work was lead internally, the Clarizen Customer Success team was in the background the whole time, supporting us and making sure that any minor change could be implemented at no delay.”
The training phase is now complete. Buy-in has been positive and the feedback from users has been constructive.
Implementing Clarizen has delivered the efficiencies that Clariant’s Group IT was wishing for. While Clariant hasn’t quantified the benefits of the implementation, the IT organisation got a clearer handling of its demand and project portfolio.
Recently, Clariant took the decision to internally rebrand the tool Clarizen to “OurProjects”. “As a consolidated solution and with the potential to expand functionalities, we have come to realize that it’s more than just a tool, it’s OurProjects,” says Barretto. “Down the road we are convinced that OurProjects will allow us to deliver faster, better project information, with better transparency and harmonized processes.”
- Improved visibility and management of IT projects
- Greater transparency and efficiency, and improved allocation of resources
- Collaboration has increased within the IT organisation
- Improved collaboration and communication in geographically dispersed project teams
- Improved response times
“We clearly see an improvement in terms of the quality of work and the ability to do things both faster and better.” - Joakim Barretto Head of PPM, Group IT Clariant