At the awards ceremony on Tuesday the ABSL Association presented awards to companies who had made the greatest contributions to development of the business services sector in the Czech Republic in the past year and had used innovative projects to improve the standard of provided service, customer experience, talent development and the working environment. The ABSL Diamonds Awards were awarded to projects in seven categories. The seven-member jury chose the winners from forty nominees.
The award in the Education category (best project in the field of education) went to the Siemens Company for its complex educational programme, which it uses to develop its employees throughout their career path. The business services sector is increasingly in-depth, utilises new technologies, which change business processes, and expands the scope of the provided services. This also results in new requirements for employee knowledge and skills and therefore the need for constant and effective education. In relation to this trend the Siemens Company created and implemented the Shared Services Academy, which includes over 200 educational activities provided by a 70-member team of internal trainers, in the form of in-class training courses, webinars or by means of e-learning. All educational activities are managed by the internal LMS (Learning Management System) and other technologies, such as virtual reality for example, are also used. Employees can register for up to 30 training courses a month, which were developed and are led by the employees themselves, which means a significant reduction in costs for company education compared to utilisation of external sources. Thanks to this academy, every employee receives approximately 60 hours of education a year, which is three times more than four years ago.
The award in the Business Innovation category (Best innovation) went to the Dimension Data Company, which successfully centralised technical support from 47 countries into two service delivery centres in Prague and in Bangalore last year. It was required to recruit 160 technical experts, who speak seven various languages and serve a total of 13,000 customers worldwide, in Prague in just 9 months. The centralisation project, called PACE 1.0, is one of the biggest transformation projects in the company’s history. It included completely re-designing processes with the goal of improving customer experience as much as possible. Customers are also able to share feedback on every ticket closed using a simple to use tool. The PACE 1.0 project also resulted in an 8 % increase in revenue year-on-year, higher quality employee education and 40 % greater service delivery metrics. In relation to this project the Dimension Data Company was awarded the global TSIA Star award by the Technology Services Industry Association.
The project by the Anheuser-Busch InBev Czech Company deserved the award in the Customer Initiative category (best customer project). The aim of this company was to increase the transparency of additional costs incurred during over-seas shipping and subsequent reduction of these costs. To make it happen the company developed the Accessorials Risk Management Dashboard in just 3 months capable of working with information from the carriers‘ systems and predicts the value of fees for delays, demurrage or storage of goods at harbours. The company also inspects use of transport containers and ensures their more effective use on a daily basis. Thanks to this initiative the company managed to reduce additional costs related to over-seas shipping by more than 50 % between 2017 and 2018.
The Zebra Technologies Company received the award in the Value Creation category for its project focusing on the development and motivation of employees. As confirmed by many renowned companies, the investments into the education and development of the employees yield greater effectiveness and employee satisfaction. For that reason, the Zebra Technologies Company created several opportunities for developing the skills of their employees. These do not only include a wide spectrum of external and internal training, but also the opportunity to gain experience in a different position via a short-term or long-term job rotation, participate in new projects such as robotization, gain experience in the internal audit department (and learn about the practices of a global company) or in the international branches of Zebra Technologies Company. The results of this two-year experiment are very positive – employee attrition has fallen by 50 % and is significantly below the market average. At the same time the satisfaction of both the internal customers and the employees increased.
The KBC Group, Shared Service Center CZ Company won the Business Excellence category (best project in the field of quality) when it used an innovative method to reduce operating costs considerably. In 2018 the company focused on the possibility of using RPA at its business services centre in Brno. As well as reducing the error rate and increasing effectiveness (robots work up to 10 times faster than humans) the KBC Group, SSC CZ also managed to reduce the work load. The robots can do the work of 27 full-time employees, who can then use their time to carry out more complex processes thanks to this automation. About 30 employees are involved in robotisation process projects in the field of developing, implementing and testing the robots. The KBC Group SSC CZ is now dealing with 54 processes within its organisation with the help of its RPA Competence Centre. The SSC RPA CoC team also provides support to other entities within the KBC Company and therefore increases the effectiveness of the entire group.
The Atlas Copco Company won the Employer Branding category (best project in employer branding area) by realising a successful rebranding campaign focusing on existing and potential employees, partners and local communities in relation to changing its name from Edwards Services to Atlas Copco Services. The chief motif of this campaign was the motto: “First in Mind – First in Choice”. As well as major social events in celebration of the change in name, and regular sports, leisure or education activities for employees, the Atlas Copco Company also focused on establishing awareness of the brand among students and potential employees by means of school presentations of experiments using vacuum, attendance of job fairs, competitions for the best diploma thesis or collaboration with local communities for example. The Atlas Copco Company’s rebranding activities received a positive response from the media and social network followers. A total of 59 employees started work for the company in the past year on the basis of recommendations by current employees.
The Johnson & Johnson Company received the award in the Innovative Workplace category (innovative work environment). Last year this company moved its offices from three various locations in Prague into a new modern space, the appearance of which the employees themselves were able to influence. The goal of the entire project was to offer employees an innovative work environment, which promotes collaboration and creativity and also offers employees facilities for relaxation, well-being and leisure time activities. As a result, emphasis was placed on smart and effective work methods, a healthy life style, ecology and health when creating the offices in which over 1,200 employees are based. The results received a positive response from the employees themselves and also received praise from the media.
“We would like to thank all the companies who nominated their projects for this year’s ABSL Diamonds Awards. Each of them is truly a great contribution, not only to the company itself, but also to its employees, customers and partners,”
said Jonathan Appleton, Managing Director of the ABSL Association, and he added, “All the winners and everyone who took part deserve our congratulations. I believe that the awarded projects will become a great inspiration for our entire Czech sector and show the amazing success stories that are achieved by our Czech business services centres”.