Carmeuse achieves smarter HR management with Asana

Asana Case Study - Carmeuse - Collage
  • Carmeuse Logo
  • Headquarters
    • Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • Employees
    • Approximately 4,700 employees worldwide

Asana's Impact

  • Streamlined the way projects and collaborative work is done across a global workforce with one centralised place for information.
  • Reduced administrative manual work by creating transparency around OKRs and next steps.
  • Improved work efficiency and increased visibility of project progress.

A 4,700 strong organisation, which operates globally and with core competencies in mining, equipment and engineering solutions, Carmeuse has stood the test of time. It’s 160-year history is built upon the foundations of trust, integrity, and collaboration. And yet as the company’s Human Resources (HR) Project Manager, Koen Trappeniers, explains, “One of our business challenges was to mature how projects and collaborative work was being done.”

Globally around 70 people work in HR, mainly located in North America, and 10 countries across Europe. Both Koen and the Group HR Director - Organizational Development, Laurent Peeters, recognised there were operational efficiencies to gain from breaking siloed working and adopting common tools. In addition, a reliance on traditional spreadsheets created an enormous amount of ‘work about work’. Research from the Anatomy of Work Index shows that 60% of our time is spent on work coordination, rather than the skilled, strategic jobs we’ve been hired to do.

“I was sometimes spending up to 40% of my time on communication, recommunication, communication of the communication, reporting preparation and project status. I knew something needed to change”
- Laurent Peeters, Group HR Director - Organizational Development

One tool for better work management

To modernise the way HR managed its work, Laurent and Koen wanted to facilitate better collaboration and avoid duplicated effort—something the Anatomy of Work Index found costs employees 236-hours per year. Koen put forward four tools to be evaluated based on his previous experience, with a strong recommendation for Asana.

“Asana is much more than a project management tool or a collaboration tool, it takes care of work management
- Koen Trappeniers, HR Project Manager

Stay better connected with Asana

Laurent and Koen knew it was important to involve their HRIS Team (IT) colleagues from the start to avoid siloed ways of working, create mutual understanding of the business requirements, and agree on a single tool to secure sign-off.

Keen for a simple roll out, they implemented Asana quickly with an initial core group of 10 people. This allowed them to see how well it was received and gauge how to drive adoption. As Koen explained, “We started really small, quite natural and let it grow as we go.”

Koen and Laurent then moved to embed Asana within the current working practices so it was more widely accepted. “Initially we focused on joint initiatives, so everything for the project review board was tracked and reported on in Asana,” said Laurent.

Carmeuse believes it launched Asana at just the right time. When COVID-19 hit, Asana was in place, which kept everyone engaged and connected while working apart.

A recipe for success

An intuitive tool

“I like a list view, but some other people prefer a board or calendar view,” said Koen. “In one-click Asana displays different visualisations of the same data, as well as shows the timeline with dependencies.”

“You can begin using Asana the minute you log in. Everybody remarked that it was a beautiful tool and easy to use, which made adoption very easy.”
- Laurent Peeters, Group HR Director - Organizational Development

The thriving community

To extract the most value, Carmeuse took advantage of training videos from the Asana Academy. Koen also shared, “I’ve turned to the Asana Community to find ideas directly from other people who are working in the platform.”

A dedicated leader

"Koen helped the team connect, use, and organise their work in Asana so it didn’t become ‘just another tool’,” said Laurent. “In terms of adoption, having a champion help lead the rollout has been great.”

Executing the work that grows the business

The flexibility of Asana means the HR team uses it to manage all the projects in its talent management global activities, regardless of whether they’re ongoing initiatives or a one-off project:

The HR team uses Asana to track its corporate objectives and OKRs. “It gives us visibility into when something is due, what needs to happen, and where it stands,” says Koen. “The people involved, and also our HR leadership team, receive notifications when milestones or key tasks are completed, so they automatically get the oversight they need.”

“We couldn't have achieved the level of focus and the performance we did last year without Asana.”
- Laurent Peeters, Group HR Director - Organizational Development

“We also used Asana to manage a big return on experience project,” said Laurent. “It managed the different project phases—from analysis over the retention of certain improvements, through to setup, testing, and on to production. And we could assign actions to teams in different functions and regions to ensure we had everyone's input."

Each quarter Carmeuse uses Asana to manage the next release for Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud. As the company’s ERP, which automates back office processes and day-to-day activities, Carmeuse couldn’t afford for a single step to slip. The strict process involves activities that must be performed, validated and approved within a specific timeframe. For example, after a review of the release notes, every new feature must be analysed and tested before it is released into production. Furthermore, the process becomes more complex as it requires sequential steps, resources, and cross-functional collaboration. “We needed a systematic approach and Asana templates gave us the structure we needed to do everything right and on time,” said Koen.

Asana Case Study - Carmeuse - Team

From day-one Asana has proved its worth

“Asana improves the way we tackle projects. It’s not just about completing tasks, but a mindset of how we become more efficient at storing information and making it visible,” said Koen.

Laurent added, “Asana reduces the time you spend on interaction, validating documents, revalidating documents, and sending documents.” At a time when the Anatomy of Work Index showed that 87% of respondents work nearly two hours later every day, he is happy to exclaim, “I finish my week earlier with Asana!”

Asana brings the business together

Laurent and Koen are keen to take advantage of Asana’s existing integrations, especially with Microsoft Teams to connect conversations to actionable work in Asana.

Additionally, the duo wants to extend how Asana is used within HR. Already, they are discussing how recurring tasks within Asana would foster closer working relationships across the wider business.

“Asana helps us to explain where we are to the people doing the project, as well as convince stakeholders when we need buy-in. Everyone has visibility of everything.”
- Laurent Peeters, Group HR Director - Organizational Development