With three centuries of experience in transport development, Siemens Mobility have become a global leading brand within the industry
The three mobility trends that are shaping the mobility environment are: climate change, population growth and digitalization. Siemens’ global operations teams and external consultants need to collaborate when working on bid plans and tender documentation.
With increasing bid activity and a drive for quality and efficiency, Siemens looked for a trusted, secure, and globally accessible collaboration solution.
We spoke to Ben Dobernecker, Business Development and Bid Management Director at Siemens Mobility to find out how Huddle hit the mark.
Three Centuries of Siemens Mobility
Siemens were founded in 1847, launching the first alarm bell system for rail signaling.
From there, they became instrumental in shaping road and rail transportation. In their three centuries thus far, they have launched many firsts: from the first electric railway and electric streetcar in the 19th century to fully automated and conventional trains being deployed in mixed traffic on shared track sections and the first autonomous tram in the 20th. Every innovation in between has catapulted the company to greater achievements at ever increasing speeds.
With great ambitions and goals, Siemens state “We are global entrepreneurs, trusted by our partners to pioneer transportation, moving people sustainably and seamlessly from the first mile to the last.”
Siemens look to constantly innovate in their core areas: rail automation and electrification, intelligent traffic systems, related services, and turnkey projects – to shape the future of mobility.
To be world leaders, you must be able to work at speed without compromising on quality. Siemens Mobility have a history of excellence and wanted to take their large scale, complex transportation bid development to the next level. Siemens looked to address challenges including version control, collating feedback, and accessibility.
Our Infosec team worked directly with Huddle to make sure they would meet our security standards. Our security reviews are rigorous, so it is credit to Huddle that they were able to meet our requirements.
The Challenge of Control and Security Before Huddle
Version control was the greatest issue bid teams faced which drained a lot of time and resource. It took central bid teams a two hour call every week to collate updates on all the changes. “The biggest challenge was people downloading documents from SharePoint and editing them offline.
We often had multiple people working on the same document simultaneously without knowing it, which resulted in multiple versions. We had to dedicate resource just to managing all the feedback received via email and SharePoint and to maintain an accurate record of the status of each bid document.”
Rather than dedicated resources and lengthy meetings to help manage deadlines and document creation assignment, we now create tasks in Huddle and assign them directly to bid team members who receive [automated] reminders when tasks are due.
Ben went on to explain, “Our bid teams routinely involve 100+ members, who produce complex bid submissions containing up to 6000 pages across 150 documents. Our bid responses are a combination of customer specified templates and documentation we create ourselves. Each customer has their own idea of how a response should be structed, so every bid is different. It would take days to put these huge documents back together into a single up-to-date version.”
With employees and external consultants located globally, Siemens faced multiple challenges trying to standardize the tools and processes used for bid responses. “We were relying on SharePoint, internal network drives and email to collaborate on documents during the bid process, but restrictive security policies limited access for regional teams, while poor version control in SharePoint and limitations with sharing large documents over email were impacting bid quality and efficiency.”
Secure and Efficient Collaboration Sealed the Deal
It was clear that poor version control and the lack of a globally accessible solution restricted Siemens Mobility’s efforts to optimize their bid activities. After the challenges faced with SharePoint, Ben and his team evaluated Huddle as a potential alternative. Ben stated, “Huddle’s approach to version control, where a single up-to-date version is always presented, immediately grabbed our attention.”
Ben went on to talk about the features that put Huddle above other products that were under consideration, saying, “We evaluated Huddle’s approach to access and permissions management. Our bids can contain very sensitive customer information, so we had some concerns about whether a cloud-based solution would meet our needs. But Huddle’s Workspace and teams model meant we could easily segment access, not only on a bid-by-bid basis, but also by different sections of each bid.
“Our Infosec team worked directly with Huddle to make sure they would meet our security standards. Our security reviews are rigorous, so it is credit to Huddle that they were able to meet our requirements.” Huddle ticked all the boxes - version control, permission levels and a high level of security.
What solidified Ben’s decision that Huddle was the perfect option were our collaboration and task management features. “I love the collaboration features in Huddle. When providing feedback, it doesn’t get lost in my inbox. Every comment and approval stays with the specific document in Huddle, so everyone sees the same feedback in one place. Notifications when new comments are made are really useful for keeping everyone in the team up to speed with progress.”
How Siemens Mobility use Ideagen Huddle
Ben told us how they have been using Huddle and the benefits the team worldwide are seeing. “With a high cadence of bids, and different people involved, maintaining the high standards we expect was being hampered by a lack of access to the best examples from previous bids, so, we use Huddle to maintain a library of our best proposals. “When a user is editing a document, it is locked, so other users can see it is being worked on, and the Office Online integration means users can edit a document simultaneously, so everyone’s edits are automatically consolidated into the latest version.
“Rather than dedicated resources and lengthy meetings to help manage deadlines and document creation assignment, we now create tasks in Huddle and assign them directly to bid team members who receive [automated] reminders when tasks are due. Managers can check progress by dropping into a bid Workspace and checking the status of each task.” Siemens Mobility have also adopted Huddle’s mobile apps which makes a real difference for a team that are on the go. “We use Huddle’s mobile apps too, so people can quickly open and review bid documents while out of the office, which has reduced delays in the review and approval process.”
Since we adopted Ideagen Huddle, we have been successful in winning over 90% of our bids.
Thousands of hours saved and a 90% win rate
Siemens Mobility saw tremendous savings in time as well as reducing version control issues and frustrating problems when granting access to reference proposals. Since adopting Huddle, Siemens have seen significant efficiency gains,
saving around 1000 hours per bid. This has allowed bid teams to increase the quality of their bid responses and truly present them as masters in their field.“
The standardized structure we have implemented in Huddle means people spend a lot less time searching because they know documents will be in the same place every time, and they will always be working from the latest version.”
Huddle has been greatly beneficial to the Siemens Mobility’s bid team who also introduced the platform into their execution phase after winning a proposal so that they can collaborate with their clients on documents.
Ben concluded, “Since we adopted Huddle, we have been successful in winning over 90% of our bids. […] it has made a huge difference.”
Create a system for successful bids and proposals
Huddle has helped provide Siemens Mobility with a 360° view of bids and proposal responses in a central single source of the truth.
They have been able to produce quality bids that has won them more business whilst creating a controlled, transparent, and collaborative culture.