Moved company to a 4-day work week because of increased operating efficiency
Adopted by 80% of employee thanks to its intuitive interface
Automated repetitive tasks to save employees time
Improved cross-functional collaboration across 15 countries
Awin is the world's largest provider of affiliate marketing. Headquartered in Berlin, the company helps advertisers and publishers partner together to drive sales. Services are tracked and paid for in the platform keeping interactions between both parties secure. The business model works so well that Awin has 15,200 international advertising customers, over 211,000 publishing partners and customers in over 180 countries. The company has more than 1,100 employees and around 870 currently use Asana to manage their work. Here’s the story of how that came to be.
Awin has only increased in popularity since its inception 20 years ago. But even with this track record, the team wasn't ready for the rapid acceleration prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects became larger, more complex and had tighter deadlines. Siloed departments relying on spreadsheets and email for collaboration was no longer effective. This model also didn’t lend itself to the vision Awin had of its future, a world where a four-day work week was viable. With a goal to optimise processes and adopt work methods that would enable trialling a 32-hour work week, Awin began the search for a single work management tool to use across the company.
Awin was no stranger to work management tools. Different departments used different tools to manage their work. However, this created silos and made collaborating across departments difficult. What Awin needed was a platform that would simplify organization and integrate with systems that already worked for the company like Microsoft Teams and Jira. At this time, Asana was already being used by 30 employees in the marketing team. Senior Marketing Manager, Alexandra Bietz, was a big fan of the platform and advocated for the platform to the entire company. Championing by the marketing team helped put Asana in good stead but the platform wasn’t chosen until other tools were tested and evaluated.
Asana emerged as the preferred choice because of its intuitive, user-friendly interface and the full transparency it would provide into work across the company.
Awin decided the best way to introduce Asana to the whole company would be to show concrete examples of its efficiency. The company piloted the platform with its German sales team who exclusively used Asana to manage campaigns leading up to Black Friday. A huge day in retail, Black Friday preparations involve a lot of communication, negotiation, and coordination. The sales team effectively handled all this in Asana and delivered very positive feedback about their experience.
With this win under their belt, Awin introduced Asana company-wide. Asana’s ease-of-use meant it was easily adopted by most employees. More tech-savvy employees immediately started using Asana’s automation features like Rules, and status update functions. Those who found using Asana more challenging started with basic task lists to get used to a new way of working. Extra assistance was provided by Asana’s customer success team who showed people exactly what they could do on the platform. Regardless of adoption levels, there was a huge increase in transparency at Awin which was immediately felt across the company.
Now Felix Witte, Head of Corporate Development and Strategy at Awin, is one of Asana’s biggest champions. According to Felix, no other platform has been introduced and adopted as quickly as Asana. "Asana offers a lot of little things that add great value when put together," says Felix. One of Felix’s favorite things about Asana is that meeting minutes no longer need to be recorded because employees are assigned their to-do's on the spot.
The automation and efficiency gains provided by Asana made it possible for Awin to pilot a four-day workweek. This exciting change made employees more motivated to better structure their work in the platform. The outcome has been that work is more streamlined and resources are used more effectively.
Here’s a few of the processes that have improved with Asana:
Global marketing teams are no longer siloed and collaborate easily with each other. Teams can report beyond local leadership. making it simpler to coordinate global campaigns and share knowledge.
Global projects with multiple stakeholders are much easier to manage. For example, Awin Access is a new product offering for smaller online shops. Launching this project involved different international teams with hundreds of subtasks between them. Asana made managing this a breeze.
New offers by Awin and its partners are easily communicated in Asana. There’s no need to send emails across the globe or use complicated spreadsheets because everyone can see what’s relevant to them in Asana.
Reporting is now automated and streamlined. Teams like Felix’s development and strategy department no longer have to chase down the same data for reports each month. Requests are automated and data flows in without anyone needing to lift a finger.
Overall, the increased transparency offered by Asana has been a huge win for Awin. Being able to see project plans end-to-end and visualize which tasks are dependent on one another has allowed employees to better manage their work and resources. It’s now easier for global teams to communicate and cross-departmental coordination has significantly improved.
Awin has now begun using Asana to map objectives and key results (OKRs). A project pioneered by Felix and his team, the entire company can now see how their work ladders up to achieve greater goals. OKRs have become an essential management tool and leaders at Awin will continue to explore how to use them, and Asana more generally, to keep empowering teams to do their best work.