Open Line helps Faber Group with growth towards future success

Faber Group is an internationally-oriented organisation for providing sustainable pooling services and products. With more than five hundred staff, they focus on circularity, providing a full-service solution for clients and re-using resources. In this article, we explain how they arrived at their choice for Workspace 365 and what steps they took to launch their modern digital workplace.

Start of the search

Faber Group consists of several subsidiaries, which meant that they had partnerships with six different service providers. To ensure a future-proof IT environment, they wished to move towards a central IT infrastructure and sought a service provider who could support the implementation of a uniform way of working. In this regard, it was important to have a modern workplace concept allowing multiple divisions to operate under their own brand. Following a tendering process, they eventually arrived at Open Line with Workspace 365.

Tender: from traditional to future-proof workplace

In the final round of the tendering process, the three remaining service providers were invited to give a presentation. Faber Group were impressed by the way Open Line offered a combination between the traditional IT environment, a new infrastructure and a future-proof workplace. In addition, the environment had to be capable of facilitating the Faber Group’s expansion strategy.

“We dubbed this phase the beauty contest. The offer had to technically meet our requirements, of course, but the look of the digital workplace was also very important to us. The digital workplace, Workspace 365, made Open Line stand out even further and made our choice clear”, says Tom Peeters, Group IT Director at Faber Group.

Step 1: Merging the intranet and the digital workplace

The first step for launching Workspace 365 was to merge the intranet and the digital workplace. Faber Group had an intranet in the past, but it was hardly ever used. For that reason, they wished to renew it and incorporate it in the digital workplace.

“For our employees, Workspace 365 is the start of their day. They see their e-mails, agenda, videos, the latest news and can access all their applications from there. The great thing is that we can link it to other platforms allowing us to choose ourselves which technologies to use in the background”, according to Joeri van Etten, Marketing & Communication Advisor at Faber Group.

Within the workplace, news from SharePoint was the first to be made accessible. This provides all employees with insight into the news from the head office. As a subsequent step, news from the various divisions is also offered to those to whom it is relevant.

“Since launching the new workplace, employees can easily find information and we get almost no more questions about where to find certain documents or policies. We also see that the news is being well-received.”, says Joeri van Etten.

Step 2: Centralising IT and renewing digital workplace

The next step towards the state-of-the-art workplace was taken by transferring all infrastructure and the modern workplace to Open Line. Using the same partners and technology has many advantages, while retaining flexibility and corporate identity. This means each separate label within the Faber Halbertsma Group can have a personalised workplace, including access to relevant applications and news.

“By partnering with Open Line, we are able to do away with ‘insular automation’ altogether and move towards a single standard as much as possible. We are finding that this saves us huge costs in the long run by making everything less laborious and using the same standards within our group.”, says Tom Peeters.

Step 3: Offering any type of application on any device

People easily open all their applications within the workplace. In the workplace, they see only the applications relevant to their role. These may include locally installed applications, as well as virtual applications (Citrix-based) and web applications. Implementing single sign-on authentication methods allow users to access all applications with a single click, without having to log in each time.

Simplification of Microsoft solutions

Within the workplace, Microsoft solutions are made accessible to make them simpler to use. This enables employees to see news from SharePoint, easily search for teams in Teams and create documents from the workplace. This means employees can get used to the new solution quicker and can easily open, edit and securely share documents from any device.

Planning for the future

The digital workplace is constantly evolving. One of the projects they are now working on is to transfer even more divisions to Open Line and help all local brands to provide their own intranet within the workplace. “We are very happy with the workplace and the partnership with Open Line. We particularly appreciate the personal contact. This is because you can lay down everything in contracts, but there is always something that is not provided for. They are flexible in this regard and adapt quickly.” says Tom Peeters.

About Faber Group

Faber Group’s story began in 1891 when the Halbertsma family started producing wooden vats for butter. While the Halbertsma company flourished and gradually switched to the production of pallets, the Faber family set up a similar company in Assen in 1935.

When Faber was devastated by a massive fire in 1969, the company decided to shift its production focus to pallets. This turned out to be a great idea. In 1992, the two companies merged and became the Faber Halbertsma Group. Over the years, we have developed into today's family of companies, with a portfolio of sustainable pallet and pooling services and products.