Woven Planet is supporting Toyota Group’s evolution in becoming a mobility company that develops innovative software-defined vehicles, advanced driver assistance, active safety features and automated driving technology for both personally owned vehicles (POV) and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platforms. Toyota Group works with Woven Planet to help drive digital transformation, accelerate this work and break down silos – and they are doing exactly that with the help of Slack.
Woven Planet envisions a human-centred future where world-class technology expands global access to mobility, enhances the capabilities of drivers and empowers people to thrive. It achieves this with a unique global culture that weaves modern Silicon Valley innovation with Japanese-quality craftsmanship.
‘Innovation and craftsmanship complement each other well. We believe that they’re our defining characteristics and strengths,’ says Jack Yan, Woven Planet’s Vice President and Head of IT.* ‘By leveraging these strengths, we’re committed to working on digital transformation for society and pursuing safety, promoting clean energy, improving well-being and allowing people to live, work and enjoy themselves to the fullest.’
The organisation’s goal is to optimise the digital environment and provide the world with new experiences by closing data gaps and unlocking its value, making it easy for anyone to access information. According to Yan, it could not do it without Slack. Since adopting Slack in 2021, the organisation has been able to share information with corporate groups and partner companies and consolidate their knowledge. Also, by incorporating various go-to applications into Slack, such as video conferencing, work efficiency has improved. ‘We’re always focused on digital-first efforts, so Slack is vital to creating this kind of digital culture,’ Yan says.
‘By connecting these groups through Slack, it will be possible for each organisation to reap the full benefit of their defining characteristics, while still joining the automotive industry as part of One Team.’
Forming One Team with Slack to break down silos
Before Slack, many Toyota Group companies used digital communication tools that were customised for each organisation, which often led to inefficient communication, problem-solving and decision-making. Now the companies using Slack Enterprise Grid can quickly and easily communicate with external organisations in channels, keeping information searchable and secure. Slack also eliminates needless tasks and improves productivity, thanks to the platform’s integrations with various apps and in-house services.
With Slack, Woven Planet connects various corporate groups and partners to all of its communications and information. It refers to all the groups that it collaborates with collectively as One Team. Bringing One Team into one communication platform in Slack creates an optimal environment for getting more value from each group’s data.
Woven Planet extends this way of working across Toyota Motor Corporation’s global offices, subsidiaries and external partners, allowing these groups to join One Team. ‘One Team doesn’t necessarily mean that all teams are uniform. Each brand still maintains its own unique culture,’ Yan says. ‘By connecting these groups through Slack, it will be possible for each organisation to reap the full benefits of their defining characteristics while still joining the automotive industry as One Team.’
Creating a more productive and pleasant experience at work
Slack makes it easy to share information in advance of a meeting, so you can jump right into the discussion. Meetings can end earlier, and the time that you save can be used more effectively. And by integrating frequently used apps such as Google Workspace with Slack, there’s no need to switch screens or applications for each individual task. This greatly improves productivity by preventing employees from getting distracted from logging in and out of several tools. Even the company’s IT service desk and HR training educational content are integrated into Slack, streamlining internal business processes.
‘Woven Planet Group makes ample use of Slack. In fact, I barely use email; I focus on Slack for my day-to-day work. I’m the third-most active user among our employees,’ Yan says.
And, as a global company, Yan says the translation tools and emoji available in Slack are essential to quickly grasp information and better convey messages across cultures. ‘One of the primary examples of our initiative to revitalise communication is using the global cross-sectional channel, #happy-moments. Put in place by our CEO James Kuffner, the channel allows members to post private, non-work-related posts.’ Kuffner will even share his own family photos in the channel.
‘Slack not only enhances productivity, it provides a sense of community and opportunity for digital pursuits, making the workplace more enjoyable,’ Yan says.
‘Slack not only enhances productivity, it provides a sense of community and opportunity for digital pursuits, making the workplace more enjoyable.’
Applying ‘kaizen’ to build a more connected Toyota Group
Toyota Group is committed to practicing kaizen, a Japanese term that means ‘continuous improvement’, to drive innovation across the entire automotive industry. Adhering to this philosophy, Woven Planet’s goal is to increase customer satisfaction across One Team by creating a digital transformation plan that values the connection between people in the digital world.
In the future, Woven Planet will analyse data to measure its employees’ transparent communication and cross-collaboration so that it can improve user experience and promote Slack’s usage. In addition to onboarding partners and Toyota Group’s other businesses, it wants to amplify collaboration across departments without having to invest in additional technology. ‘We’re encouraging all Toyota Group subsidiaries, business divisions and partners who haven’t yet been able to join Slack to do so,’ Yan says. ‘Our focus is not only on productivity, but also realising Woven Planet’s vision, “Mobility to Love, Safety to Live.” For that reason, we’d like to continue to develop our partnership with Slack.’
*As of May 2022.