Case study Louwman Group: From 30 individual solutions to one umbrella intranet

Louwman Group had the wish to create one intranet for all its 30 subsidiaries which were working in 30 separate intranet solutions until Valo Intranet was introduced. Their main objective? Increase in internal collaboration, communication and solidarity.

  • Industry: Automotive
  • Country: The Netherlands
  • Company Size: 1001 – 5000 users

Starting Point:

The Dutch family-owned Louwman Group is one of the largest automotive distributors in Europe, having 3,000 employees all over Europe and spread over 30 operating companies.

The challenge was to connect all staff with one central umbrella intranet, providing a seamless system for communications and knowledge exchange for all the operating partners.

Solution:

Valo’s Premium Partner Portiva recommended Valo Intranet because it acts as the perfect central hub for all internal communications.

As Louwman Group already uses SharePoint within the Dutch organization, Valo Intranet was a natural fit for them.

Benefits:

  • A central digital hub for all 30 subsidiaries of the Group
  • Each division can now be easily located
  • Staff can see company structure, divisions and contacts clearly
  • Engagement & information sharing with co-workers has improved
  • An integrated, modern intranet system – making communications a breeze

One intranet to connect Group-wide staff

Louwman Group, one of the largest automotive distributors in Europe, based in the Netherlands, is much more than a car importer. The company also provides mobility aids, making it the ultimate leader in the mobility sector.

This family-owned company, which is approaching its 100 year anniversary, has 3,000 employees in four countries, spread over 30 different subsidiaries working on diverse activities.

Their biggest challenge was finding an intranet solution that could connect all their staff centrally, providing one solution for seamless exchange of knowledge, activities, and pleasure.

With new intranet, Louwman Connected, all 30 subsidiaries are now able to access the same intranet.

Michael van Doremalen, Louwman Group’s ICT Manager, who was responsible for implementing a new intranet solution wanted to concentrate his efforts on finding a solution that would improve internal communications between the Group’s subsidiaries.

While searching for the perfect solution, Michael quickly chose Valo’s Premium Partner Portiva, a Dutch SharePoint specialist, as their implementation partner.

We were already using SharePoint within the organization. An important Valo Intranet benefit is that it fits perfectly on top of SharePoint. Besides that Valo is easy to use for the less tech savvy colleagues.

HR, Comms, Finance & IT in the center

After choosing Valo, the next big decision was to decide how to set it up. The company has a staff organization and six divisions which are subdivided into multiple subsidiaries.

They needed to work out who would lead the project, and how they could keep the identity of different subsidiaries at the same time as introducing one seamless intranet experience and environment.

Together Louwman Group and Portiva decided to set Valo up according to the structure of the divisions, making sure that services which are important to everybody such as HR, Communication, Finance and IT are in the center of the new intranet.

ICT Department now has its own site in Louwmans’ new intranet.

Teamwork & collaboration key to successful implementation

After the planning phase, the new intranet had to be built and the files from the former intranet had to be migrated to the new environment. This phase was huge and challenging and Louwman Group were keen to do a big part of the migration by themselves, guided by Portiva.

This began by Portiva facilitating a requirements workshop in order to gather requirements from all 30 subsidiaries. In phase two, both Louwman Group’s ICT team and Portiva started implementing Valo Intranet together. The final stage, the launch and training was left for Louwman Group to manage themselves.

After providing the in-house training, the Louwman Group’s 80+ intranet editors are now free to manage their own content and company pages, whilst sharing and collaborating with each other.

Thanks to Valo Intranet, we are now more organized as an enterprise and no longer act as a collection of individual limited companies.

Internal comms has improved since the launch

Employee feedback on Valo Intranet is very positive. More people are creating and sharing content. Plus, everyone now knows where to find others within the organization, making collaborative work more efficient. This entirely reflects one of the core values of Louwman Group: ‘Together we are Louwman’.

Valo Intranet became the connecting factor and has improved the way we communicate internally.

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