Changing the way people work at a 178-year-old company may seem daunting for many, but Guilherme Cruz, CIO at Wilson Sons, one of the largest maritime, port and logistics operators in Brazil, was excited to take on the challenge. Here, Cruz shares how he helped Wilson Sons, which is rooted in solidity, ethics and diversity, introduce new technologies to boost efficiency and teamwork.
Q: How have you encouraged your team to collaborate and work more productively?
We are always looking for opportunities to improve our processes and better manage large projects using technology. We’re constantly encouraging our employees to use G Suite in their daily work to be more creative and strategic. For example, our finance department relies heavily on Google Apps for organization and collaboration. Teams in different offices use Google Sheets to share the status of client projects and make sure everyone’s on the same page. These reports are updated in real time in Google Drive, eliminating the need for long email threads with huge attachments. We’ve improved our team performance by giving employees access information in a fast, accurate way.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your transition to G Suite.
When we introduced G Suite in 2012, we migrated more than 2,500 accounts in only one month. Employees quickly recognized the opportunity for greater communication, organization and creativity. Our employees commented on the collaborative nature of Google Drive, which allows them to access documents wherever they are — even when they’re traveling — and communicate with colleagues without the headache of multiple email attachments.
Our IT team did whiteboarding with five key departments to identify current work processes that were inefficient or frustrating, and we designed new solutions using G Suite to ease those pain points. We identified low-hanging fruit and ensured fast adoption of the tools by making sure employees understood how to use them to work more efficiently and collaboratively. We also saved nearly R$ 400,000 ($106,662) by removing file servers and eliminating the need for 8 local backup sites.
Q: How has Wilson Sons shifted to work with a future of work mindset?
Since introducing G Suite, my team has been more flexible and has worked more efficiently. We can work together wherever we are as long as we have a device and Internet access. We’re providing our employees with simple tools to use at work that feel like the tools they use in their personal lives. Working in the future means doing things faster in a more connected manner and using technology to boost efficiency. We’re looking into how we can use robotics and Internet of Things devices to increase productivity and make work in the port better and faster.
Q: What’s unique about how Brazilian companies work compared to companies in other countries?
Brazilian companies are used to having to adapt and change in the face of crises. For example, with the dollar rising, my team had to think creatively about how we can shift our projects and make strategic moves while staying nimble. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but we have a competitive advantage because we’re not afraid to adapt to crises and changes.
Guilherme Cruz, CIO at Wilson, Sons
Change Management, Collaboration, Innovation