I discovered the power of the collaboration tool Smartsheet about a year ago whilst working for a large multi-national dairy. I was looking for a tool to help teams working on common process / project work better together and transform their business.
Let’s back track. Whilst working at Carphone Warehouse / Best Buy Europe 8 years ago, I managed a team to source mobile phone accessories (under the RocketFish brand) and sell to our colleagues in The Phone House stores in 8 European markets.
The challenge was as follows. If you dont have mobile phone accessories (cases, screen protectors etc) on the day your handset launches, you miss the commercial opportunity. Our process was quite cool. We worked with the handset guys – as soon as they saw the handset from the manufacturer, we would ‘borrow it to show a colleague’, when actually we would 3D scan it, and send the scan to our colleagues in China to produce a CAD model.
I was the centre of a hub – a Product team based in the USA, Manufacturing in China, and selling to 8 European markets. This project was complex, and the tool I used to help us all to share data and files was Basecamp. Quite cool. But it wasn’t quite good enough for all our needs.
Back to one year ago. So I was looking for a collaboration tool to help share key dates in a calendar amongst various departments and to track how well projects were progressing. I found a tool called TeamUp to help with Calendars – it was quite good, but not good enough. At the time I was working at Hatmill, the Supply Chain consultancy, and saw the MD Simon Dixon use Smartsheet for tracking Sales activity. I had a look at what it could do. Then I looked some more. And then some more. And then that was it. The Lightbulb moment. Smartsheet is the collaboration tool I have been looking for for 10 years.
Fast forward to yesterday. I have set up Cheetah Transformation in the last few months to help companies transform their key processes and projects by provide greater visibility, transparency and accountability to their teams and leaders. We use the Smartsheet work execution platform to help teams plan, track, report and automate their work. Yesterday, I gave my first days training to a new client – they want to transform the way they source products and had heard about Smartsheet – they asked me to help with their projects.
Let’s face it, project management training doesn’t sound particularly interesting, so I’m sure many of the 8 folks in the room for 2 hours of training were not that excited.
I feel very fortunate to be in a position to be able to share my experiences and knowledge (I am Smartsheet Product Certified but still have much to learn). Many people are still working in Spreadsheet / Email hell, wasting time manipulating spreadsheets, wasting time asking simple information from colleagues and not focusing on value added activity. I can talk about it all day.
But then you witness the lightbulb moment going off in your audience’s mind. “Can it do this?” and “Can it do that?” I had one conversation where someone discussed a current business process where they have to spend endless time adding entries and codes into a spreadsheet, and send back to a colleague (real low value activity). “Could Smartsheet help me with this? I wasted so much time on this.” Within 2 minutes, we had created a form, including a column where a unique number / code would be created, and take away all the manual low value activity. “This is amazing, I love it, I want to share this with my colleague. This will save us so much time. I have other so many ideas for how Smartsheet can help us.”
It’s not just me saying this. I attended the Smartsheet Engage conference in Bellevue, Seattle earlier this month, and the most over-riding feeling was how much the attendees loved Smartsheet. The quotes in the photo above are are all real. Meeting folks in the evenings, it was clear that Smartsheet was helping them (a) do their job better, (b) empowering them to make great change within their organisations and (c) elevating their career.
The world of work is changing. Are you? Work Different.
If any of the above story rings any bells and would like to find out how the Smartsheet tool could improve collaboration in your business, click here to book your free discovery call.