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When automotive parts supplier Inteva Products acquired another company in 2011 and expanded its workforce and operations to nearly 20 countries, the company took a proactive approach in building a culture that revolved around employees seeing more of each other.
The very nature of the automotive parts manufacturing industry mandates such an approach. Sourcing materials, research and development, and engineering all require collaboration across borders, oceans, and time zones, and it’s not always easy to connect. It’s also not very cost-effective or efficient to send people to plants, facilities, labs, and technical centers whenever a project stalls or a design process requires different expertise.
Balancing the need to integrate a dispersed workforce with the cost of travel and subpar communication tools — all while accelerating business efficiency — was a real challenge for Hodges and Michigan-based Inteva. That’s when Inteva CIO Dennis Hodges discovered a video-first unified communications platform built for global organizations just like his.
“The nice thing about Zoom is, it doesn’t matter where you are,” he said.
Many of the parts Inteva sells are standardized, Hodges said, but some require more design consideration. A dashboard has to fit a certain car, for instance, and the design often requires custom work and collaboration among materials suppliers and Inteva engineers, who can’t always be on-site.
Implementing a culture of collaboration and innovation, then, means people need to see each other and work on projects together in real time. But the communications environment at Inteva was sprawling, to say the least, and the gaps in capabilities didn’t promote the requisite agility for a company that was continuously growing.
“The biggest challenge for us is, how do we add more people and do it cost-effectively?” he said. “Audio conferencing just wasn’t solving the problem.”
Hodges said the company used various tools for audio, screen sharing, and chat, and had just a few conference rooms that could support video. After years of pumping resources into the management of those solutions on the front end, just to field mounting support tickets on the back end, the CIO decided to get behind video-enabled meetings using Zoom’s video-first unified communications platform.
Hodges likened the Zoom platform offering to “collaboration as a service.”
“We now have video, audio, chat, and screen sharing all in one tool,” Hodges said. “People feel more connected, and everybody’s addicted (to Zoom). ‘I’ll Zoom you’ is just something people say now.”
Perhaps the biggest benefit for Inteva Products, according to Hodges, is how easy Zoom has made collaboration. He pointed out the immense advantage Zoom solutions can provide a leading automotive parts supplier like Inteva.
“We’re testing out Zoom Rooms right now, and our engineering groups can throw up a picture of a part and have people working on that part at the same time, all during one meeting and all on the DTEN unit. It’s transforming how we collaborate.”
But Hodges also recognizes the host of other benefits that Zoom provides Inteva:
Hodges has been so impressed with the Zoom platform and the resulting culture of collaboration at Inteva that he’s looking to implement more Zoom Rooms, has Zoom Phone penciled in at the top of his wishlist, and continues to extend the Zoom platform to as many Inteva locations as possible.
“We’ve built two or three new facilities in the last 12 or 13 months, and they’re all using Zoom as the primary tool. Our new office in Shanghai also has two conference rooms built for Zoom.”
The bottom line for Hodges: Zoom helps enable a stronger company culture and ultimately, a more productive business in an industry that thrives on efficiency.
“We work as a team more, and people feel more connected.”
Read the full case study to learn how Inteva Products enables a culture of collaboration using Zoom.