General Motors (GM) products move people and goods on almost every continent on earth. In addition to producing its well-known Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Isuzu, Vauxhall, and Wuling brands, GM actively pursues advanced research and development of vehicle electrification and high-volume, fuel-saving technologies. The company’s 212,000 employees work in 396 facilities, across 23 time zones, on six continents, and speak more than 50 languages combined.
Recently GM discovered that moving people and internal assets could sometimes be more challenging than rolling vehicles off the assembly line. With a large global footprint, over time the company had developed thousands of internal procedures and a range of information systems designed to manage specific types of data and workflows. As the company consolidated operations and moved employees, its internal requisition process was seriously affecting employee productivity. Complex and slow, the process created a deluge of backlogged requests and demanded a new solution.
For employees who were relocating, ordering—and receiving—phones or computers for their new workspaces could take up to five weeks. First, they had to navigate a complex set of back-end systems to find the online requisition form, which could take 10 to 15 minutes. And even though the form was online, the rest of the requisition, procurement, and delivery processes were manual. After the employee submitted the form, a purchase request typically required multiple levels of approval and generated additional documents. Several internal groups usually had to review and approve documents, slowing the workflow. In addition to the employee’s manager, the operations, network, engineering, finance, and telecom teams were often involved, depending on the item requested. Employees were especially frustrated with the process because they had no way to check the status of their requests or know when to expect the items.
Staff members involved in approval cycles were also overwhelmed. If a specified approver was out of the office, nothing happened until they returned. Requests could easily be overlooked in overflowing email in-boxes. The IT team was experiencing the brunt of the problem. Trouble ticket volumes were skyrocketing, with 300,000 equipment requests backlogged worldwide.
“Something had to be done,” said Vish Narayanan, Architect for General Motors. “We wanted to inject efficiencies into the workflow process and allow users to leverage their mobile devices, for anywhere, anytime access.”
GM found exactly what it was looking for with MobileForce Software®.