V3 Enterprise Mobility Summit: Used car dealer brand Auto Trader has embraced mobility to drive collaboration and flexibility in its Manchester office and across the business.
Adopting a hot desk policy, offering a choice of laptops, integrating Microsoft's Lync unified communication tool, and installing meeting room management software, has allowed Auto Trader to overhaul the way employees work on day-to-day projects.
Russell Warman, Auto Trader's head of infrastructure, told V3 that the company's mobility strategy was designed to enable staff from different divisions to work better together in the office, rather than simply to expand its existing remote workforce.
"Part of the reason for moving into our new offices in Manchester was not around remote working, but about increasing collaboration," he said.
"So we try to discourage people working from home because we felt we get better results and increased productivity from being mobile in the office and working together on things."
Warman explained that Auto Trader employees were given the opportunity to choose from a selection of laptops to get them more engaged.
These included the Apple MacBook Air, Lenovo X1 Carbon and selected ThinkPad and Dell models. The sales team were also issued with iPhone 5S devices.
Warman said that the IT team needed to provide staff with laptops that they would be happy to use without causing costs to escalate.
The team opted for ultrabooks with Intel i5 Core processors, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD hard drives, along with good battery life and touch-screen functionality, with the exception of the MacBooks.
Warman said that this bypassed grumbling from staff about wanting to use their own laptops in the office, which poses support problems for the IT team.
Auto Trader also adopted Condeco's digital screens and meeting room software to avoid the problems with room booking and availability commonly seen in companies with multiple divisions.
"One of the things we experienced in our previous office was that trying to find available space for meetings across multiple buildings was problematic," he said.
"We had a lot of problems with people not turning up to meetings. Rooms were being booked but not used."
Warman explained that the Condeco screens provide a visible indication of whether a meeting room is in use, and stops rooms being booked and left vacant.
"Condeco helps us speed up that process of booking the right room and making sure people aren't bounced around a lot," he said.
Auto Trader's approach has yielded visible results for the company in terms of productivity, according to Warman. "We are working at a greater velocity than we have previously," he said.
Increasing numbers of companies are likely to follow Auto Trader in embracing mobility as the technology improves.
Register for the V3 Enterprise Mobility Summit to see how the shift to mobile can transform the workplace.
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