Founded in 1984, Xtrac is a world-leader in the design and manufacture of high performance transmissions and driveline components for top level motorsport and high performance automotive applications, including hybrids and electric vehicles.
Xtrac supplies transmission systems to virtually all the world’s top motorsport teams, including many of the major factory entrants. It also serves smaller teams, such as those racing in ‘one make’ championships using the company’s large range of lower cost transmission products. High performance automotive customers rely on Xtrac’s expertise in hypercar transmissions and its advanced technology for highly integrated transmissions found in high-performance hybrid and electric vehicles.
Xtrac is constantly developing new technologies and updating existing designs for customers. Employees are constantly visiting customers or supporting races and need to work closely with high performance automotive and motorsport clients around the world. As a result, the Xtrac team needed full visibility into projects when working remotely. This was a significant problem because the team relied on sharing Microsoft Project plans, files and documentation in static PDF format only. Remote employees had to transfer all files from the server to their laptop prior to leaving the office and thus had limited access to real-time information and no ability to share changes to their projects, schedules or resources.
Senior level management were also unable to view projects in their entirety or with the most accurate and up-to-date information. This hampered their ability to provide input and make decisions. This resulted in wasted time, causing delays and increasing costs for the company. Consequently, projects became weighed down by lack of oversight, limited collaboration and the resulting inefficiencies.
The Use Case
The project management team at Xtrac realised it needed to find a solution to best support its customers and give both project managers and executives a more accurate view into the constantly changing work data from its busy teams. They needed a way to ensure seamless access, editing and visibility of projects that both office-based and remote employees and executives alike could tap into regardless of their geographical location.
After a very competitive selection process, it became clear that Clarizen’s cloud-based solution was the best choice. The ability to retrieve data remotely and update projects in real time is critical for the Xtrac team, which needs to access product manuals and other data quickly and efficiently. Clarizen offered the accessibility, visibility and reporting that Xtrac required for all divisions and levels of the business.
Phil Smith, Project Analyst at Xtrac praised Clarizen’s ability to share information efficiently: “It was taking my boss nearly a full day to prepare for some meetings – now it is done in minutes.”
The reasoning behind choosing Clarizen was simple: the system ensured total flexibility and full visibility for all divisions of the business, allowing alterations to project schedules and budgets to be made immediately.
This was done by consolidating three different databases into the Clarizen system, allowing over 125 users working both in office and remotely to access all required company and project data through one seamless, flexible hub. This has increased productivity and dramatically reduced the delays in working remotely for all of Xtrac’s employees.
Smith praises the seamless integration of Clarizen’s software: “Prior to Clarizen, we had completely separate systems. We were using standard Microsoft tools for project management, and everything had to be put into a PDF format. Employees who provide race support at the track working remotely, had to print all their documents out days before meeting a customer. This was an inefficient way of working as it meant information was often out of date.”
“Clarizen consolidated all of our information and the benefits were immediate. Now our staff use Clarizen’s mobile app to pull up their data, which is updated in real time to know the exact status of all projects, tasks and cases. Bringing all that data into one place has meant the project visibility has been massively increased.”
The key benefits:
- Visibility: By consolidating old databases into the Clarizen system, all staff at Xtrac – from the managing director down – can now access all projects on-hand, ensuring 360 degree visibility of projects and tasks.
- Flexibility: Using Clarizen’s cloud-based service and mobile capabilities, Xtrac ensures it has immense flexibility and the ability to work out of the office more efficiently.
- Agility: The integration of Clarizen gives Xtrac the ability to access, update and make alterations to projects anywhere, at anytime. As a result, Xtrac has dramatically reduced costs and time delays in completing projects and tasks.
- Reporting: Clarizen’s software lets Xtrac track, report, and make reviews on projects and tasks much more efficiently than they could previously. Data is uploaded live and available for analysis and review in real time so executives can make more informed decisions.
“It was taking my boss a full day to prepare for some meetings — now it is done in minutes.”
- Phil Smith Project Analyst Xtrac