Speed is essential when it comes to seizing opportunities and being successful in today’s quickly-evolving business environment. Yet, a recent study conducted by McKinsey shows that only 48% of leaders agree that their organisations make quick decisions.1
Speeding up the decision-making process was an objective for the management team at Röchling Group, a German plastic engineering company. It identified room for improvement in its existing meeting processes: collaboration tools not exclusively designed for meetings required enormous additional effort from executive assistants and slowed down decisions. ‘We felt that a dedicated solution was necessary to drive our business and keep up with the speed of our activities’, says Prof Dr Hanns-Peter Knaebel, CEO of Röchling Group.
Mr Knaebel and his peers made a thorough evaluation of different solutions: ‘We tested various available business management software and apps and felt that Sherpany offered the best user value to optimise workstreams.’ Let us now see the benefits of using our meeting management software.
As the main advantage of Sherpany, the CEO highlights that it brought agility into the decision-making process. He provided us with valuable insights on how agile meeting management works for Röchling Group. At its core is the agile meeting agenda: The members of the executive board contribute by proposing relevant topics. Their agenda is built in Sherpany while participants discuss and prioritise the items for the upcoming meeting.
Once the agenda is defined, Sherpany facilitates individual meeting preparation by offering easy access to meeting materials. Each agenda item has a responsible person, who can load up any supporting documents or other required readings to facilitate an action-oriented meeting. Participants can access these materials from any device (browser, tablets, mobile) and make personal annotations and comments. ‘All peers have the information for the meetings available at any time and share the same knowledge’, explains the CEO. The availability of documents and easy access to past meeting minutes makes preparation very efficient.
In the agile meeting process at Röchling Group, leaders discuss agenda topics in advance and sometimes even reach a decision on agenda items before the meeting. Hanns-Peter Knaebel: ‘Collaboration has become extremely efficient without losing any effectiveness.’ Sherpany also allows for formal remote decisions outside of regular leadership meetings through the ‘digital Circular Resolution’ feature. Knaebel highlights that ‘this saves enormous time’.
The CEO sums up the most important effect of agile meeting management at Röchling Group:
'Decisions can be made much quicker and do not have to be postponed for the lack of access to information.’
Although some discussions and decisions can be anticipated, Sherpany does not make leadership meetings redundant. ‘There are many tasks on the agenda of CEOs and other executives that can only be discussed in person whilst seeing each other – at least via a well-functioning video conference’, says Knaebel. Thanks to Sherpany, the leaders can fully focus on the remaining topics during the meeting and access all necessary documents needed for a well-informed decision.
Another important benefit of Sherpany, according to CEO Hanns-Peter Knaebel, is the increased efficiency of the new meeting minutes process. Sherpany MINUTES® offers minutes templates pre-filled with agenda items, which saves organisers substantial time in setting up the minutes and writing them. Soon after the meeting, the participants can approve the minutes with a single click. Moreover, the minutes also serve to review and keep track of decisions and tasks and to ensure that they move faster to the execution phase through clearly assigned responsibilities.
‘Sherpany has definitely helped to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our meeting planning, execution, and especially also follow-up utilising the minutes function’, summarises the CEO of Röchling Group. He adds:
‘We estimate optimisations in effectiveness and efficiency of approximately 20%.’
The software has also increased communication, coordination, and transparency between the executive board and the advisory board. The advisory board also uses Sherpany, which Mr Knaebel calls ‘an enormous benefit’. By using the same technology, all relevant information can be shared easily between the different leadership bodies. Prof Dr Hanns-Peter Knaebel is convinced: ‘Sherpany offers valuable tools to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all kinds of management meetings.’
This case study shows how agile meeting management improves efficiency in the decision-making process. Sherpany’s software supports organisations in making well-informed decisions faster and ensuring that decisions are executed on time. This agility is paramount in today’s quickly-evolving and competitive business environment.
About Röchling Group
The German Röchling Group, founded in 1822, is a plastics manufacturer who supplies various industries: their products reduce the weight of cars, make medication packaging more secure, and improve industrial applications. The Group employs around 11’000 people in 25 countries and generated annual sales of 2’14 billion Euros in 2018. To receive Röchling Group’s feedback regarding our software, we had the pleasure to interview the CEO, Prof Dr Hanns-Peter Knaebel. To know more about the Röchling Group, visit their website.
1 'Decision making in the age of urgency', by Iskandar Aminov et al., McKinsey, 2019.
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