Grothbolagen takes the next step on the digitalisation journey with WeSafe
Grothbolagen is a group of companies active in land contracting, health, real estate and development, all working to contribute in different ways to the benefit of society. In connection with a company acquisition, Grothbolagen came into contact with WeSafe, which is now an important cog in the work towards increased digitalisation throughout the group of companies.
Former IT partner lost sting after takeover
Carl Groth, together with his wife Lillemor Groth, is the founder of Grothbolagen. After the sale of a previous company, they decided to do more of what they are really passionate about - helping companies to develop and modernise. Carl tells us:
- We acquire companies in mature industries where there is a high level of expertise and skill in what they do, but where there is a need for modernisation. Here we can contribute with our development and leadership skills, while allowing the companies to continue to run their core business in-house. The companies will keep their names and run their operations, but we will provide support in those areas that may be a little lagging behind - IT and communications, for example.
Grothbolagen had a long and successful cooperation with an IT partner. But since they were acquired by a much larger IT company, Carl felt that much of what they previously thought was so positive, disappeared.
- Everything became so complicated, big and expensive. It went from being a gang that we actually knew and had worked with for many years, to constantly adding new contacts and contact routes. Many people we had enjoyed having contact with even chose to leave the company. Service was negatively affected and at the same time prices went up.
"WeSafe is accessible in a way that makes us feel confident that there is always someone there to help us if something goes wrong - they act quickly when the unexpected happens"
- Carl Groth, founder of Grothbolagen
More effective communication creates the right conditions for shared values
When Grothbolagen acquired the company Park & Vatten, Carl was recommended to contact WeSafe. Park & Vatten had used WeSafe for a long time and were very satisfied with the cooperation. A dialog was initiated and after initial discussions, Grothbolagen chose WeSafe as a supplier for the implementation of Azure Virtual Desktop for access to the company group's various business systems. However, they quickly realized that this was just the beginning and a collaboration for increased coordination of the companies' communication was initiated. For this work, Microsoft Teams is the starting point. Carl explains:
- Our companies are very production-oriented and so softer values get overshadowed; how you present yourself as a company, what you stand for and which customers you want to work with, for example. For us at Grothbolagen, however, it is important that our values, which are very much characterised by contributing in various ways to the improvement of society, permeate our operations. To convey this message, we need to find ways to make all companies feel part of the family we have created. Teams will be a key point of departure for doing this.
Common structure for cooperation across company borders
Together with WeSafe, a common internal communication structure in Teams has been built for all companies. This contributes both to the easy transfer of information across the different businesses and to the coordination and efficiency of communication and administration. Carl again:
- Within each company, the different departments have their own communication channels - one for finance, one for communication, one for business development and so on. This allows us to use the same structure for all companies and makes it easier to take part in ongoing discussions. Admittedly, the companies do very different things in their respective areas of activity, but they still face the same challenges - human resources issues, customer issues, coordination, market presence, government contacts and so on. The exchange is therefore very fruitful. Instead of each company having its own resources for finance and administration, a few employees can manage the work for all activities. It also becomes easier to collaborate and exchange knowledge with each other across company boundaries, in roles that could previously be quite solitary.
"Some IT vendors you meet are so technical in their approach and the distance to the staff in our companies becomes so great, that they end up speaking completely different languages. WeSafe puts the conversation at the right level while being friendly, humble, forward and knowledgeable"
- Carl Groth, Founder of Grothbolagen
Towards digitisation - step by step
Although the collaboration with WeSafe is based on the work with IT solutions, Carl wants to highlight the spirit that WeSafe brings:
- WeSafe is accessible in a way that makes us feel confident that there is always someone there to help us if something goes wrong - they act quickly when the unexpected happens. I also find that they are very professional in dealing with our companies and in this way they become an extension of the Groth companies. They reinforce what we want to stand for and when meeting with newly acquired companies, where they explain how we work with digitalisation, they help to create a positive image of us as a whole. Some IT suppliers you meet are so technical in their approach and the distance to the staff in our companies is so great that they end up speaking completely different languages. WeSafe puts the conversation at the right level while being friendly, humble, forward and knowledgeable.
Carl sees the implementation of Teams as one of many steps on the journey towards digitalisation and stresses that this is only the beginning. He concludes:
- There is so much functionality that is included in the Microsoft licenses you already have and it is a very small part of what you use. Being able to attend the webinars that WeSafe holds to learn more is a good starting point to then discuss further about what would be appropriate for us to do next. Step by step, this is how we move forward on our digitalisation journey. An ongoing work that never really ends and that allows us to constantly evolve and improve.