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Case Study – Vynova

Synergistic Solutions – Achieving Meaningful Change with Digital

Vynova

Vynova is a Europe-based PVC and chlor-alkali company, a leader in the production of commodity plastics and chemicals. . Vynova products play a key role in manufacturing numerous industrial products and consumer goods that improve the consumers’ quality of life.They are committed to responsible environmental practices and environmentally conscious chemical manufacturing. Vynova Group is the result of a 2015 merger of several chemical manufacturing companies. Vynova employs approximately 1,200 people at its various sites across Europe, and generates annual revenues of more than 1 billion €.

Goals

Before partnering with NOVELDO, Vynova had already begun several initiatives to cultivate collaboration across its sites and businesses. The different corporate cultures and heritages of the employees called for new ways of communication and alignment after the group had been unified under a common umbrella. The biggest buy-in for this effort came from CEO Stefan Sommer, who pushed the entire organisation towards digitalization. Sommer had a vision of Vynova’s digital future, and supported efforts towards a meaningful and sustainable transformation.

Vynova looked to NOVELDO to serve as an agent of change. By conducting both an initial digital readiness assessment and a competitor analysis using the IMD digital transformation model, NOVELDO identified several areas of opportunity where digitalization measures could have a positive impact, both internally and externally. These assessments were conducted using data collected from examining key areas of the organization via a series of interviews and workshops with Vynova’s high-level management.

NOVELDO then helped Vynova establish goals for an implementation program for digital change,  aimed at preparing the company for the future. These goals focused on two primary areas of opportunity within Vynova essential for ensuring long-term business stability and success: team empowerment and customer delight.

In order to improve agility and collaboration inside and outside the company, as well as brand and industry reputation, NOVELDO proposed a suite of projects focusing on improving talent engagement and customer delight. The main goals of this project were:

  • Build more successful and knowledgeable teams using digital tools
  • Strengthen Vynova’s place in the chemical manufacturing industry via digital branding
  • Improve the flow of knowledge inside the company through digital knowledge management
  • Develop a unified digital corporate identity and digital branding
  • Create consistent, cohesive corporate messaging using inbound marketing, website design, content marketing and social media marketing
  • Use employer branding to convey a positive, inclusive and forward-thinking message to current and future employees
  • Delight current and future customers using new digital touchpoints

The challenge

Team empowerment

The chemical manufacturing industry is traditionally risk-averse, and therefore slow to adapt to change. This limits its capacity for flexibility and quick, reaction-based, or iterative change. Additionally, the variability associated with digital prototyping and A/B testing is traditionally considered to represent uncertainty.

NOVELDO’s challenge was not to alter this mindset. Safety and risk mitigation are core tenets of chemical manufacturing. Rather, the team aimed to help Vynova understand that the risk mitigation mindset had drawbacks when applied to business processes. NOVELDO also sought to serve as a digital change agent for Vynova’s company culture. This ensured that the foundational elements that have made it successful are preserved, by using a classical approach to digitalization.

Vynova faced several barriers to achieving their goal of transforming their internal structures. The understanding and level of participation in digital culture varied greatly amongst members of the workforce.

Parties vying for digital change within the company did not foresee the scope and magnitude of such a project.

Additionally, Vynova was the result of a recent merger and had not yet achieved the unification they had envisioned. Differences in corporate cohesion and within company culture had not yet been fully reconciled.

Lastly, teams operated independently of one another and lacked access to  collaboration tools that would enable them to function as a unified force.

Customer delight

Vynova sought NOVELDO’s assistance to place a stronger focus on attracting and delighting their customers. NOVELDO initially facilitated workshops aimed at redefining goals for the brand, based on the company’s current and future needs. NOVELDO identified this as an area of opportunity to outline a strategy for Vynova’s external communications. NOVELDO and Vynova set out together to reposition Vynova’s brand, improve recognition of the company as a trusted and reliable partner, achieve differentiation in a commodity business, and attract the next generation of professionals. It was also vital that efforts to increase external impact aligned with internal team empowerment initiatives.

NOVELDO had to demonstrate that a clear marketing roadmap and supporting campaigns would benefit Vynova’s image in a meaningful way, bringing unity and a fresh face to the company. Vynova needed proof of concept in order to refocus their efforts. Several key performance indicators were thus defined in order to increase buy-in and measure the project’s progress.

NOVELDO’s strategy

The NOVELDO team used their proven process to outline a strategy for action. First, in-depth management-level interviews identified the company’s challenges both internally and with its customers. In conjunction with interviews, competitor research and benchmarking were conducted to align Vynova with industry standards. NOVELDO developed and presented a gap analysis, and subsequently translated the proposed solutions into tangible, digital actions.

“The great thing is that a company like Vynova, coming from a commodity industry, is able to challenge itself and therefore starts to become an evolved version of itself, bringing it to the next level in terms of modern ways of working.” – Sebastian Schieke, Managing Director of NOVELDO

NOVELDO first identified and prioritized quick wins, areas where Vynova would see immediate benefit. The company sought to increase their team’s empowerment and potential for innovation, as well as to increase the enjoyment of engaging with their customers and suppliers. Once Vynova was able to see the benefits of these quick wins, they were more open to further positive change.

Throughout the process, involvement of key stakeholders was crucial to success. The collaborative style of NOVELDO’s eye-level consulting also helped facilitate strategies such as knowledge management, employer branding, brand building, buyer persona workshops, and workflow definition. Working in so-called “waves” with the relevant leaders also allowed for project agility and greatly improved employee and team support.

By clearly defining a plan of action for enhancing customer service and company collaboration with digital, NOVELDO actually gave Vynova more control of their outward image, branding, goals, as well as their communication channels and recruitment potential. This detailed approach also helped Vynova and NOVELDO develop a collaborative and open relationship that fostered productive communication.

The solution

Based on the initial data collected during the Digital Readiness Assessment detailed above, NOVELDO proposed a series of solutions which laid the foundation for a new form of team collaboration throughout the firm, and for external communication with all market participants. The use of modern tools built to enhance work efficiency was essential in positioning Vynova as a strong industry presence.

NOVELDO worked across two channels simultaneously. The first channel focused on client-facing change, meant to transform Vynova’s external impact on both its surrounding community and on the industry as a whole. NOVELDO and Vynova together developed:

The second channel of transformation included the introduction of extensive collaboration tools and processes aimed at empowering Vynova’s employees to become more efficient, innovative and productive. Vynova and NOVELDO together put in place:

Achievements of the partnership

In collaborating with Vynova and helping them reach their team and customer goals, NOVELDO achieved several goals. By rolling out both a state-of-the-art marketing platform and an internal collaboration platform, NOVELDO gave Vynova the tools to continue innovating and growing with digital strategies. The solutions and training that NOVELDO implemented empowered  employees and teams through increased mobility, support, and the expansion of the collaborative digital workplace beyond offices and desks. Migrating to the cloud-based SharePoint system was an important step in implementing Vynova's digitization plan. This allowed Vynova to join the constant cycle of improvement and expansion typical of cloud-based services.

At the same time, introducing and using HubSpot’s Marketing Automation platform helped both NOVELDO and Vynova identify key customer insights that measured the effectiveness of new marketing activities against customer interaction. Tracking these insights increased internal buy-in for digital marketing concepts and implementation. The HubSpot platform also transformed Vynova’s facilitation of communication with external stakeholders through workflow automation. Most importantly, implementing these solutions in partnership started a conversation within Vynova regarding constant improvement. This will continue throughout the company, even once the engagement has concluded.

NOVELDO has benefited from this professional relationship. The experience has broadened NOVELDO’s experience within this industry, and challenged NOVELDO to inspire digital thinking.

Benefits to Vynova

Vynova is now in line with industry standards in terms of their use of digital technology, having improved company processes by empowering their teams using digital tools. It has also become a more attractive workplace to current and potential employees. They now have both a digital marketing strategy and a source of ongoing marketing support, including efforts that contributed to Vynova winning the 2018 Best Polymer Producers Awards for Europe.

Furthermore, Vynova has reduced travel costs and greatly transformed the way important documents are processed, indicating that they are taking ownership over the changes NOVELDO helped them implement.

Lessons learned

NOVELDO has several important takeaways from its work with Vynova. High on the list is the importance of proper industry-specific branding, and learning from industry standards to help clients build upon those standards and appear more innovative to their stakeholders and peers. Working with Vynova has strengthened NOVELDO’s values as a company and a consulting team.

Synergistic Solutions – Achieving Meaningful Change with Digital

vynova