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Delivering Rapid Innovation and Efficient Collaboration with Xtrac

Learn how a world-leading supplier of motorsport and high-performance automotive parts was able to improve strategic planning and increase their collaboration.

Published By Monica Ortiz
Delivering Rapid Innovation and Efficient Collaboration with Xtrac

When working with outdated systems and processes, teams across industries and functions face similar problems: duplicate work, siloed communications, no single source of truth, and a lack of tracking. This leaves companies unable to check the status of current projects and predict future work demands. One company, in particular, used to have these problems—Xtrac.

Xtrac was founded in 1984 and is currently a world leader in motorsport and high-performance automotive gearboxes and transmissions, supplying to known companies like F1, NASCAR, Formula E, and more. But first, let’s dig into some of the challenges Xtrac faced, mentioned earlier, and how Planview AdaptiveWork (formerly Clarizen) helped them come up with solutions.

The Challenges of Limited Communication and Outdated Information

The motorsport world moves quickly, which means Xtrac needs to work even more quickly to provide technologies and designs to their clients around the world. That kind of work environment requires a collaborative and easy-to-use project management and execution platform, but that’s unfortunately not what Xtrac worked with.

Without a single source of truth, the employees at Xtrac were jumping between multiple documents, report files, and more, most of which were static. If employees needed to go on the road to visit a client, they needed to download all of these files beforehand. Because the required server was on-premise at the office; by the time employees reached their destination, the downloaded information was already outdated.

This outdated and slow process impacted both Xtrac employees and their clients. Slow information transfer and miscommunication often resulted in wasted time and costs for the company that otherwise would have been avoided with a more efficient system.

By 2015, enough was enough, and Xtrac decided to take action by partnering with Planview.

The Implementation Process: Xtrac and Planview AdaptiveWork

After years of frustration and inefficiency, in 2015, Xtrac launched “Project X” and began onboarding 110 employees to the AdaptiveWork platform. With the new solution, they hoped to:

  • Ensure seamless access to information remotely and in-office
  • Provide editing and visibility of projects remotely and in-office
  • Work from a single source of truth for all client information and updates
  • Run their 24-month strategic planning, including heat mapping, and capacity planning
  • Remain functional on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices
  • Reduce unnecessary manual workloads

By implementing Planview AdaptiveWork, Xtrac began to address their pain points and needs. As part of the first step, all legacy systems were decommissioned, consolidating and importing all of the data and information into AdaptiveWork from three separate databases.

We spoke with Phil Smith, Project Analyst at Xtrac, to learn about his experience during this transition. He shared that prior to implementation, it would take “half a day to pull various documents together” to build a simple project overview. It would also typically take his boss a full day to prepare for project meetings.

With AdaptiveWork’s seamless, flexible hub, Phil and his team suddenly had all of the information they needed in one place. That meant they no longer needed to spend an entire day on reporting or meeting preparation. The benefits were immediate.

How Planview AdaptiveWork Helped Xtrac Communicate At Any Time with Up-to-Date Information

On the advantages and benefits Planview AdaptiveWork brings to Xtrac, Phil had this to say: “The biggest reason for choosing Clarizen [now AdaptiveWork] was it gave us the ability to own the solution. We had the ability to update information ourselves without any consultant fees. We now have the ability to have real-time access from anywhere in the world.”

With AdaptiveWork, Xtrac could list all committed and forecasted opportunities in one place, providing them foresight into the business and the ability to identify potential gaps or bottlenecks. Plus, by stacking up their roadmaps, they could drive actual resource projection and better understand possible overlaps between projects.

Capacity planning heatmaps were helpful, particularly for showing the team where they may have overcommitted in terms of output or team hours—allowing them to review and adjust as needed. For the first time, Xtrac could see their actual resource availability and opportunities to renegotiate expected client timelines.

When Xtrac employees aren’t at the office, they might be helping customers at the racetrack. Even remotely, Planview AdaptiveWork enables them to collaborate and move projects forward no matter where they are. And sometimes, that means fixing a problem right when it happens.

In 2017, an Xtrac customer suffered a failure during a race. A member of the Xtrac team took a picture of the damage and uploaded that photo to AdaptiveWork. The image sparked a conversation around how to solve the customer’s problem. The entire discussion was tracked in a single project, providing global visibility for anyone to access and contribute ideas.

Xtrac’s usage of Planview AdaptiveWork has only grown, expanding to over 150 users across three locations. Engineering design, production planning, commercial, and build and test teams all have access to this single source of information and are more collaborative than ever before. They can also rely on Planview for continued support as they expand and grow the business globally.

Product Portfolio Management Automotive Organizations

Automotive and OEM manufacturers across the globe work with Planview to connect their business from ideas to impact, giving a much-needed boost to helping them deliver what matters most. Learn more about how we can help your automotive business gain real-time visibility, proactively manage risks, provide flexibility to work out of the office, and deliver greater business impact.

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Written by Monica Ortiz

Monica is a leader in Product Marketing, responsible for the Planview Product Portfolio Management solution focused on solving portfolio problems through software. With experience at start-ups and large enterprises, she is passionate about transformations of organizations using agile processes and innovative, strategic approaches, ensuring our teams help customers continue to evolve how they plan and get work done.