Alex user feedback from a site director

Marc Ackermann, site director at CAWE tells us about his experience with Alex. For him, Alex allows simple direct access and vision of all the strengths, weaknesses, and risks that we can have in the skills of our teams.

Can you introduce yourself?

“Hello, my name is Marc Ackermann, I run the company CAWE FTB Group, located in Strasbourg. We are a subsidiary of the Rentokil Initial group.
CAWE has 3 activities: we develop, we produce and we sell professional clothing. So CAWE is a manufacturer of professional clothing, whether it’s for hospitals, industrial manufacturers, services, security…
In these 3 activities, we first have a large research office of about twenty people, who have all the jobs related to the manufacture of professional clothing. Which includes technical drawing, patronage, a prototyping chain with workshops.
Then we have all the activities related to the production of these clothes, such as supply, sourcing of materials, monitoring of production in Tunisia or in Eastern Europe.
Finally, we have sales teams, who monitor the commercial development, prospecting, and sale of these products or internal or for external customers.”

What are your challenges?

“The particularity of this activity is that, with around 45 people in the Strasbourg group around these 3 major centers, we have almost 40 professions. This led us to ask ourselves a lot of questions about versatility and the ability to respond to needs or peaks.
This need for versatility has almost exploded with COVID.”

How was it before Alex?

“So on the subject of versatility, every year as part of the usual skills’ management requirements, and in particular with iso 9001, etc…we had set up versatility matrices by department, that we were developing with the managers. We were still doing it the old way, with complicated Excel tables that we had to copy and paste each year.
So it was time to try to have a slightly more agile, flexible, and quick approach to the skills we have in each service.”

What has changed with Alex?

“It was at that time that we took this challenge with an online software which also has the advantage of being quick and straight to the point. And the focus that I currently have with the managers is to define in each department, the key skills, even if there is a small difference perhaps in the terminologies, but the final objective is always the same and that is to see what are the key functions of a department, the key skills and identify the level of mastery that we have in each skill, the number of people in primary or secondary backup.
Then to have this vision of being able to program, plan and to develop skills within the company. It is possible to do it on every skill of the company, it is also possible to do on interpersonal skills, and on legal skills that are related to the safety and legal obligations of the whole company.
Here is in a few words what led us to choose Alex, it was for us the simplest and most effective way to deploy internally a tool that allows all managers, but also top management, HR, support service, to have this matrix vision of the skills and functions that are expected by department. And then planning when they have to be added or programmed.”

Are you in Alex?

“Yes, because we realized that there are specific functions linked to management which are functions that are political in a sense. But that means that the fact that, for example, the monitoring that can be done in networks on important subjects is part of these skills.”

What is the best benefit?

“The first benefit is simple and direct access and vision of all the strengths, weaknesses, and risks that we can have in the skills of our teams. Which doesn’t exist nowadays if you don’t have it in a simple software. That is to say, if you have to open files, if you have to search in directories, it is not the same thing, with Alex in 2 clicks you will be able to see what you have, the training plans that you have planned, the warnings that you have already issued, and that each manager has issued, it is an undeniable strength!”

The final word

“As a leader, I realized that in times of problems and crisis, the key is the autonomy of the actors and their versatility!”

We would like to thank Marc Ackermann, and the whole team at CAWE for all of the feedback that help us continuously improve Alex!

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