Background and Needs
Seco Tools is one of the world's leading companies in the metal cutting processing. The business concept is to develop, manufacture and market products globally for metal cutting to customers who place high demands on quality, service and cost efficiency.
Seco has nearly 5,500 employees and operations in approximately 50 countries worldwide. Production is primarily located in Sweden, the Czech Republic, France and India. The company’s main office is in Fagersta in the heart of Sweden's Bergslagen district.
Seco Tools has worked with project management and portfolio administration according to established models over the past ten years.
A large and growing portion of Seco Tools’ development work is conducted in project form. Seco Tools has therefore determined that a full-featured project tool is required in order to handle all the projects that are initiated and conducted. A joint decision was thus made to improve portfolio administration, project management and the tools that were utilized as soon as possible.
The primary objectives were summarized as follows:
A company-wide tool for projects, portfolios and resources
A tool for portfolio administration with which various projects can be prioritized based on their contributions to overall objectives
A powerful tool for monitoring projects, progress, costs and resource utilization
A tool for the entire process, from the initial idea to monitoring target outcomes
A tool that supports and fulfills the needs of all stakeholders associated with project activities
Seco Tools established a project group that was tasked with surveying and evaluating the project tools on the market. The project group consisted of representatives from the Business Change and R&D departments. This was because the primary scope of implementation comprises projects for operational development and research and development.
Work began by sending an RFI to selected suppliers. Of these, Antura was one of the suppliers that the project group chose for further evaluation. A large number of evaluation activities were performed to determine which system best fulfilled Seco’s list of requirements and which supplier could be assessed as having the greatest potential for delivering a successful solution together with Seco.
Besides responding to a specification of requirements, activities in the evaluation consisted of letting Seco Tools visit several relevant reference customers to show the tool’s practical application in a wide variety of users, as well as to present a carefully considered implementation plan for the progressive implementation that Seco Tools wanted.
Implementation and Collaboration
The rollout of Antura Projects was divided into phases with an initial focus on projects conducted from Sweden and followed by projects conducted from other locations in Europe. The goal is to see an application for all projects as soon as possible – regardless of where in the world they were conducted from.
As a part of the implementation project, Antura focused, as is customary, on a number of important business-critical questions that needed to be addressed. Well aware that an organization is not changed by merely discarding one system in favor of another, Seco has placed considerable emphasis on process development, training, information and gaining support within the company. The roughly ten members of the project group have become important ambassadors for the new system, sharing their knowledge and experiences with other employees and future users.
"After an extensive and careful survey of the market and evaluation, the final selection fell to Antura, which best fulfilled the requirements placed by the stakeholder groups.” says Johan Hage, Project Coordinator, Seco Tools.
One success factor has been the ability to quickly migrate ongoing projects into the tool. The two project offices for Business Change and R&D have been responsible for migrating the projects into Antura Projects so that the project managers could take the baton without losing momentum in their projects. In the next phase, the focus will be on those who control resources.
“After three months of specification, configuration, migration and training, we were able to launch the system for all of the projects that were controlled from Sweden,” says Johan Hage. “The implementation now means that we have a common system for project management that is available to all units at the company, giving us a completely different overview of costs and resource availability than what was possible before Antura was implemented.”
The next major task is to implement integration with the Movex business system so that the project managers and portfolio analysts can easily access cost outcomes through Antura Projects. This will further strengthen the project managers’ and senior management’s control of assets spent.
An initiative is also underway to define and specify how the tool, and the information it contains, can be used to create a common overview of the investment portfolio for the entire company. This will facilitate strategic portfolio analyses, thereby increase the probability that the most appropriate projects are those that receive the funding and resources so that they can be carried out.
“We see our future with Antura as rather extensive. The next step will be to roll out the system at our foreign subsidiaries. The goal is for Antura to be the natural support resource for all projects – regardless of where in the world they are conducted from,” says Johan Hage.
We at Antura are very pleased that Seco Tools chose us and we feel that there is a strong common perception of the success factors for Seco to succeed with Antura Projects.
Antura’s project manager, Roger Sonebäck, summarizes the relationship with Seco Tools as follows:
"The leading representatives from Seco Tools have had a refreshing pragmatic approach, and ‘simplicity’ has been a guiding principle for the project. Seco is fully aware that even though they have acquired a fantastic system, the decisive successes are in the conduct of the project managers and project members. At the same time, decision-makers need to learn that Antura Projects must be considered as the Source, with a capital S, for all project and portfolio information. An easily accessible and easy-to-use system simplifies and creates the conditions for such conduct, but by itself it is not the sole solution.”