Modern tools boost efficiency
With Teams, Schneider Electric employees gained a single workspace to find, store, and access information. To keep projects organized, Aubin set up channels for each FP&A project or by project teams, including tabs that provided quick access to Office 365 apps such as Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint.
FP&A team members are more efficient when working on tight deadlines, multiple projects, or coming back to work in the morning. Previously, if Aubin and his colleagues had a two-hour window of time to continue work on an in-process project, they would spend up to 30 minutes of that time gathering data. ”I used to scratch my head and think, ‘Okay, I’ll look for all the emails that have been sent on this topic recently,” he says. “Where is the latest file? On the file-sharing service? On my laptop?’ In Teams, I don’t ask these questions—files and conversations are saved to their project channels where they are easy to find.”
Now the FP&A team stores project-related email in a Teams channel for easier access. To ensure that everyone collaborates on the same thread and avoids creating side discussions, Aubin forwards project-related email messages to Teams and uses the @mention feature to alert the group or specific team members. “With other means of communication, there’s always a risk of leaving people out,” says Aubin. “With persistent chat in Teams, project information is available in one place, and people can catch up easily.”
Aubin is also pleased with how modern tools have changed the process of creating the company’s quarterly business reviews. Thanks to efficiencies gained from working in Teams, we finished the most recent report earlier than expected, without the usual long hours and late nights. “I used to spend the day before the business review working hard to complete the report,” says Aubin. “But this time, I was visiting a Microsoft campus to learn and share best practices with peers instead. I anticipate having more room in my schedule for activities like these in future, to help the FP&A team realize more benefits from our tools and processes.”
These new capabilities help Aubin’s team convert Schneider Electric financial data into business intelligence much more efficiently. “By using Teams, my colleagues in FP&A can help Schneider move ahead faster while gaining more time to focus on strategic activities and improvements,” says Aubin. “Working smarter means we have time to concentrate on getting ahead instead of trying to keep pace with deadlines.”