TomTom promotes simplicity in Slack to boost enterprise-wide productivity

‘Slack supports the workday from one place. It gives us more of our most valuable asset: time.’

Ricardo RosaDirector of IT and Digital Workplace, TomTom

Mapping technology has changed the world, empowering us to travel, explore and plan our route with confidence. In 2004, more people knew the name TomTom than the words ‘sat nav’, because the Dutch multinational company pioneered the first generation of satellite navigation devices for consumers.

The company has since evolved. It offers a broad range of products and solutions to allow all drivers to navigate more efficiently. It helps businesses to manage their fleet and logistics in a smarter way. It supports automated driving. And it’s harnessing the power of data to improve traffic management and location analytics.

TomTom aims to be the first company to map the world in real time, creating a digital mirror of the world as we see it. In fact, everything that TomTom does is designed to make life easier and reduce friction for real people – a culture that started on the company’s productivity and collaboration platform, Slack.

‘Catching up on Slack is ten times faster than going through emails. Everything you need to know is in one place.’

Rutger de VriesGroup Product Manager, TomTom

TomTom saves time for employees by leveraging Slack’s collaboration capabilities

TomTom has been using Slack for years. Today, its entire 3,900-strong workforce can be found on the platform. Up to 70% of staff are regularly active on Slack, with an 85% satisfaction rate.

‘We need our people to row in one direction to meet customer needs. Everything we do is tailored around their experience,’ says Ricardo Rosa, the Director of IT and Digital Workplace at TomTom. 

‘We have staff across the world with a diverse range of needs, so we need to give them a place to collaborate that feels natural and seamless.’

Ricardo RosaDirector of IT and Digital Workplace, TomTom

TomTom’s implementation is all about simplicity. Technology does the heavy lifting so that staff can focus on more complex tasks. It encourages employees to use the no-code Workflow Builder to automate manual work, collecting a library of user-generated workflows for everyone to use and adapt.

Every project has a dedicated Slack channel that brings together current and historical data. This provides all the context that new starters and existing staff need to have productive conversations about work.

Rather than scheduling a formal meeting, the team uses huddles for quick chats to keep momentum going and save time; the team estimates that these informal sessions take 50% less time on average than scheduled meetings.

And getting more time back is a win for everyone. As Rutger de Vries, a group product manager at TomTom explains, ‘Reading messages on Slack is so much faster than wading through emails. You can see what’s relevant, what needs to be actioned, and which project it relates to. When I came back from PTO, it was ten times faster to catch up on Slack than going through my emails.’

The team also enjoys the more playful look and feel of Slack, including making their own emoji to add a personal touch to communications.

Slack speeds up business decision-making by surfacing key information

TomTom’s vision is to pull as much functionality into one place as possible, and it’s using integrations to make Slack the digital destination of choice. In addition to the Slack for Outlook plug-in, the team uses Outlook Calendar to make sure that staff can work in Slack without missing any important updates.

It also connected other platforms to streamline tasks for specific teams, such as the integration with Workday. ‘Workday makes it super fast to request and approve annual leave. When you email someone to request time off, they need to contextualise it, manually check the team calendar and type their reply,’ says de Vries. ‘Now, we can approve requests in seconds from the Slack mobile app.’

Procurement approvals and contract management are also faster thanks to an integration between Coupa and Slack. Processes that once took five or six clicks can be done in one. Concur is another system that is connected to make life easier for the workforce. It speeds up submitting and approving expenses.

‘Slack is the heart of everything we do. We can test, play and chat to get the job done quicker.’

Rachael StuartProduct Manager, Digital Workplace Applications, TomTom

Slack powers engineering productivity by driving down incident management resolution times

Like many organisations, TomTom’s most advanced and engaged Slack users are its engineers. This group gave Slack a 91% satisfaction rate, which is 17 points higher than a competing collaboration tool.

‘Our engineers have used Slack for years. The integrations and automations they can build are gold,’ says Rosa.

With tight service-level agreements from automotive customers, there’s pressure on TomTom engineers to keep services running 24/7. By centralising Priority 1 and Priority 2 category incidents on Slack, they can resolve them 50% faster.

P1 incidents used to be handled manually, but now, automated workflows make sure that the right people are pulled into a dedicated channel to work on the fix in real time. Teams also use huddles to respond quickly and reduce the impact on the customer experience.

TomTom’s partnership with Slack underpins its vision for the future of work

To develop innovative new products for customers, TomTom needs to be proactive about giving staff the best tools for the job. Rachael Stuart is a product manager for the digital workplace applications team, which is responsible for promoting communication, collaboration and productivity.

‘Slack is at the heart of everything we do. It gives us a central hub to test new things, announce products we’re releasing and capture feedback from users,’ she explains.

The team used Workflow Builder to embed feedback loops into certain projects. Staff can simply click on a drop-down menu at the top of the channel and click to open the feedback box. Their comments are then posted in the relevant channel for admins to review. This helps to develop product roadmaps based on real insights.

TomTom wants to do more with data, and Stuart is currently developing dashboards to track metrics around Slack usage. This will help to identify which groups are using the platform regularly and which users need more support to get the most from it.

AI is also on the agenda, but as Rosa explains, ‘We’re considering how we can best use it as a propeller for productivity and collaboration. AI for Slack will make us smarter, more efficient and further simplify our processes.’

As TomTom progresses its roadmap, its strong partnership with Slack will help it to get there faster. ‘We’re moving from having thousands of vendors to three or four strategic partnerships,’ explains de Vries. ‘It’s really easy to reach out and get support from the Slack team. They’re invested in our success, and our relationship is going from strength to strength. We’re confident that together, we can keep empowering our staff to work smarter, faster and to feel more connected to their colleagues.’