Anton Langeler | IT Director | O'Neill Europe
I can tell you a story. I visit a country, and then I walk to all the departments. There was sitting a person, a sales rep, like so [puts head in hand], writing on paper. I feel, with my whole body, she was not happy. Then, directly, my challenge starts, because she was looking to data, writing data. I said, “What are you doing?” “I write figures from our list on paper. Then I write it in a collection book.” “How do you come into this?” “It is a 46-page document. I should figure out what are the best, and then I try to find it in my book.” “What is the next action?” “The next action, I put it in the system because headquarters needs it.” I said, “How long do you work with these figures?” “I need two days.” “Two days? Are you doing that alone?” “No, I do it only for my division; for women.” “How many other people?” “Seven—all the sales reps.” I said, “That is seven people? Two days? How often?” “Each month. And they would like it more.” I said, “I'll make your life so easy. I can solve it within five minutes.” They are surprised. “Anton, that is not possible.” I said, “It's absolutely possible!” Then I started a list. I tried to sort it differently. Based on that, I presented it within five minutes on the screen. She was so surprised. But also, I was surprised. I think—and [this] is my biggest challenge—we have such good solutions in place and maybe it is not reachable for a person on the floor. How can we bring this brilliance we've already developed, maybe for another functionality, to others? The only thing [is], if you see people thinking, struggling with a lot of data, you can help them a lot. Based on that, it was not only solved for this country, because we have 34 countries. I can tell you, within these five minutes, we can do such a lot. Now, is it saving these 14 days only for one country? No. Now we need these people to get more information, so that we make better and better solutions, and we do better things with the same data. They are so happy, and the productivity will be much better. Only open your eyes, as IT; look what really happens. What is the strongest point of IT and CIOs? We have people in our team; we have knowledge about the whole company, because we have design, we have a merchandise company. We have, in O’Neill Europe, 34 different countries. We have many retailers, and we in IT can work [for every one]. If you see something, make an alert. Bring this information together and try to find a solution.