Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are popular with production facilities for managing day-to-day operations and processes, but they often fall short. Information can still fall through the cracks, communication can be patchy at best and transparency can leave a lot to be desired. Combining an ERP system with a task management tool, however, allows you to hit the sweet spot by drawing on the benefits of both. The result is a marked increase in efficiency and productivity, and considerable savings in terms of time and money. By introducing the task management tool MeisterTask, Swiss system assembly specialist VERWO AG has managed to streamline workflows, stop email overload and significantly reduce the number of meetings – becoming much more agile in the process.
VERWO AG, located in Reichenburg in Switzerland, specializes in system assembly and is a competence center for specialized services in the areas of components, systems, process optimization and strategic and operational procurement.
Beatrix Garai, Application Engineer at VERWO, was responsible for introducing MeisterTask to the firm in early 2020. She recognized that a complementary task management tool would enable VERWO to optimize general workflows and processes and increase transparency and efficiency across the organization.
The Challenge: Greater Transparency, Increased Efficiency
“We were slaves to Excel spreadsheets and email reminders. We decided we needed to increase transparency and make it clear who was responsible for what.” As an experienced project manager, Garai came to the conclusion that “we needed to fundamentally change our approach in order to increase efficiency.”
Philipp Loch, Head of Supply Chain and Operational Excellence, also agrees. He explains how the company’s task management strategy urgently needed updating:
MeisterTask: Delivering on Form and Function
VERWO shortlisted a number of tools, some of which were already being used in the company, such as MS Planner. But it was MeisterTask that came out on top.
MeisterTask was first tested at upper management level and then green-lit for the team leads to try out. This second successful round of testing and evaluation led to the purchase of licenses for 90 users, which has since grown to 140. “Every workstation now has access to MeisterTask,” says Garai.
Users were able to get on board with MeisterTask very quickly thanks to the availability of different project templates configured by VERWO. Templates make it easier for users with less experience of digital software to get on board with the tool straight away. For example, the columns and tags in new project boards were preconfigured. Recurring tasks also appear in new boards, allowing project managers to simply update the task with project-specific information.
MeisterTask: An Agile Tool for an Agile Environment
Why would a production facility need to use a task management tool? And how does a tool like MeisterTask dovetail with an ERP system? Philipp Loch explains:
Example: a worker is having a problem with their machine and tells their supervisor. If the problem cannot be solved immediately, a task is created in MeisterTask and handled by the team. Loch: “An ERP system is a dinosaur compared to MeisterTask. It’s just far less agile. We have come to realize how helpful an auxiliary task management tool can be for a production facility like VERWO.”
Fewer Emails and Meetings
MeisterTask has revolutionized the way VERWO works. Managing tasks in MeisterTask has streamlined communication to such an extent that the volume of emails has been reduced by roughly 50%, according to Beatrix Garai and Philipp Loch. The number of project meetings has also been massively reduced, as Loch explains:
Driving Digitalization and Agile Methodologies With MeisterTask
Now that MeisterTask is being used to handle task management, the team at VERWO feels well equipped to achieve its ambitious goals.
MeisterTask is fundamental to the digitalization and future-proofing of existing processes.
Learn more about agile project management with MeisterTask in this blog post.
The implementation of MeisterTask is just the first step in VERWO’s digitalization strategy. “Everyone who is working with MeisterTask, from management to individual teams, has reported a significant increase in transparency and productivity,” says Garai. The Swiss company is a prime example of how a production facility need not compromise on its software landscape: properly implemented, ERP systems and task management tools can work beautifully together.