Sales, marketing, and import company increases data security and cuts operating costs with Microsoft 365 (eng)
A newly formed business composed of two trusted companies, Movement Group Nordic sells, markets, and imports products from around the world to the food industry in Sweden. After the merger, Movement Group Nordic needed to unify its communication channels and find a more comprehensive support system for its sales representatives in the field. By moving to Microsoft 365, Movement Group Nordic improved data security, unified communications channels, and increased productivity at a reduced cost.
Based in Malmo and Stockholm, Sweden, Movement Group Nordic specializes in providing sales, importing, and marketing services to brands looking to distribute their products to grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants across Sweden. Created when two companies based in Sweden merged, Movement Group Nordic is an established and trusted name in the region.
The recent merger, however, was not without the usual growing pains. The two companies, Movement Sales Partner and Movement Business Partner, had different business models and different solutions in place to facilitate their needs. While Movement Business Partner operates out of a centralized location, Movement Sales Partner employs a decentralized network of field sales representatives spanning the whole of Sweden. These field sales representatives operate in small, individually managed, product-specific groups.
The company faced a slow onboarding rate for new sales group members, which predominantly operated via email and IT solutions that were not approved for internal use, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and SMS groups. Also, while Movement Sales Partner had transitioned from onsite servers to Microsoft Office 365 back in 2013, Movement Business Partner had not. The business needed a unified solution that would improve communication channels, streamline operations, and provide robust security for mobile devices.
"With our employees spread across the country, moving to the cloud was a necessity. With Microsoft 365, we have increased our productivity, unified our communication, and reduced our operating costs".
- Emma Trygg, CFO at Movement Group Nordic
Moving to the cloud
With no internal IT department, Movement Group Nordic turned to its longtime technology partner WeSafe IT, a Microsoft Partner with gold competencies in Cloud Platform and Cloud Productivity for small and midsize businesses. Because of the close working relationship between the two companies, specialists at WeSafe knew right away that Microsoft 365 Business would help improve productivity, reduce operating costs, and support the company's mobile and office-based workforce.
The move to Microsoft 365 afforded Movement Group Nordic a premium opportunity to both revamp the company's use of already-implemented Office 365 solutions like Microsoft SharePoint Online and to adopt additional solutions like Microsoft Teams and Intune. Each of these new implementations have had companywide impact, with the most dramatic improvements being experienced by the company's network of field sales representatives.
A new online home in SharePoint
While Movement Group Nordic has used SharePoint since 2013, the company did not take advantage of features beyond the solution's basic file management and sharing capabilities. With the shift to Microsoft 365, the company embraced SharePoint more fully, creating a new intranet for both businesses through SharePoint sites. "All the information that our employees need is in SharePoint Online," says Emma Trygg, CFO at Movement Group Nordic. "We have company news, links, employee handbooks, and calendars. With our employees so spread out, it really is the best and most efficient way to share information."
This is also the first time that employees outside the main offices have had access to SharePoint. For newly hired field sales representatives, the change is a dramatic and welcome one. The onboarding process for a new employee takes place at the main office in Malmö, but it is an information-rich experience that lasts one full day. After onboarding, field workers had to rely on their management team to continue their education remotely. With SharePoint, these employees can refresh their company and product knowledge proactively.
Employees don't need to worry about opening documents outside their purview either because the company uses SharePoint to control access to sensitive information. "SharePoint Online makes it incredibly easy to manage who has access to each document, even with two companies," says Maria Hoffsten, Marketing Coordinator at Movement Group Nordic. "We can operate so much of it ourselves that we really don't need an IT department."
"All the information that our employees need is in SharePoint Online. We have company news, links, employee handbooks and calendars. With our employees so spread out, it really is the best and most efficient way to share information".
- Emma Trygg, CFO at Movement Group Nordic
Stronger relationships through Teams
With Microsoft Teams, employees no longer use a variety of unapproved tools for communications. Individual sales managers easily exchange messages with sales staff, and employees who move from one sales group to another quickly get to know their coworkers. "Each sales group has its own Teams channel," says Hoffsten. "They share documents, talk about everyday problems, and can reach out to us at the office much quicker when they need sales support or have time-sensitive questions. We've reduced the internal traffic of email conversation with Teams and because of that, saved a lot of time."
Sales groups use Teams to strengthen relationships. "Because we're spread across Sweden, we've instituted weekly sales meetings through Teams. Sales group members can see each other-it's more efficient and helps them build a sense of camaraderie. They meet face to face four times a year, and Teams helps them to keep up good group cohesion and team spirit in between."
Employees also share their day-to-day successes through Teams. If a field sales representative builds an attractive display in a store, they can share it with the group, and coworkers can leave votes of confidence, make comments, and share tips related to the image. These interactions help new hires get to know their products and the sales groups much faster than with the former unmanaged IT solutions.
"We use Teams to simplify onboarding," says Hoffsten. "Employees can see all the names and pictures of their colleagues. It's easier for them to be part of the team than it is through Messenger, where you have to share your personal profile on Facebook, or through SMS, where you don't see them at all."
"We use Teams to simplify onboarding... It's easier for them to be part of the team than it is through Messenger, where you have to share your personal profile on Facebook, or through SMS, where you don't see them at all."
- Maria Hoffsten, Marketing Coordinator at Movement Group Nordic
Improved data security with Intune
Because Movement Group Nordic relies heavily on placing its field sales representative in customer locations, phones and tablets are a necessary part of their work day. To help comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the company is implementing Microsoft Intune, a device-agnostic cloud-based management solution. Through Intune, Movement Group Nordic can create app protection policies that help keep company data safe.
If an employee misplaces their device, their account can be deleted remotely to keep company data out of the wrong hands. Additionally, if an employee leaves the company, their old device no longer needs to be sent to the main office for redistribution. Movement Group Nordic can ship the device to the next user directly, and a new user can then sign in to the device with company apps using their own credentials. They will have access only to the information they need for their position, regardless of who used the device last.
With unified communication channels, strengthened data management tools, and a stronger sense of teamwork, employees at Movement Group Nordic are now more capable than ever, whether they're in the office or on the go.