Founded in 1898, Gerhard Lang GmbH & Co. KG, which is family-run for the fourth generation, has become a leading specialist in scrap and metal recycling with over 200 employees and a worldwide sales of more than 700,000 tons of metal. As a DIN EN ISO 9001 certified waste management and metalworking company, Gerhard Lang collects and recycles high-quality industrial metal waste in an area of 70,000 square meters. In accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001 standards the company supplies secondary raw materials to melting, trade and industry businesses. The service portfolio ranges from consulting, waste analysis and tailor-made recycling to diversion concepts and smooth disposal logistics.
Optimization of project organization between departments
By 2018, the operational projects at Gerhard Lang have largely been managed without dedicated system support. Thus, project-relevant information was often exchanged via emails and stored in external project folders. The media breaks caused by emails and separate filings have made the search for information in day-to-day business and the monitoring of ongoing projects as difficult as time-consuming.
Waste analysis is an important step in the recovery of secondary raw materials.
(Image: Gerhard Lang Recycling)
Considerations to manage the internal project organization between departments more effectively and transparently finally led to the decision to reorganize the task and project organization with an integrated project management, collaboration and communication solution. "In the first step we evaluated the requirements for our project management tool in order to provide us with the greatest possible added value for our operations," explains Plisam Ekpai-Laodema, IT Manager at Gerhard Lang Recycling. The future solution was supposed to be Web-based and mobile-ready, so people can access it regardless of their location and client. The data should also be hosted securely and DSGVO compliant in a certified European data center, with a 24/7 accessibility and >99% uptime. A German-speaking support was just as important as a fast response time, in order to be able to come with up immediate solutions in case of problems.
Trello, Taskworld and Meistertask in direct comparison
"In the next step, we looked at some leading solutions like Trello, Meistertask and Taskworld in an extended test phase to get an impression of how the individual functions are implemented and how we can handle the planning, coordination and management of our tasks and projects. We have compared the functions and evaluated the various approaches, including communication via the integrated messenger service, the timeline overview, project analytics & reporting and time tracking features. This gave us a good sense of how it feels to work with one or the other solution in our daily project business", explains the IT specialist. "However, since Trello only operated servers outside the EU at that time, the solution was not an option for us. At Meistertask, we missed project analysis and reporting. Ultimately, Taskworld offered us the most compelling overall package, which not only covered all of our important requirements, but also scored points through the multi-level communication. With Taskworld we started into live operation without any lead time."
The company buys almost all metallic production residues. Using innovative and intelligent methods, even problematic waste such as metal chips with emulsions is returned to the recycling cycle.
(Image: Gerhard Lang Recycling)
More targeted resource control
In the past, it was difficult to understand who was actually doing what, what steps had already been taken, and what the status of individual tasks and projects was - not to mention current inquiries, approval or coordination processes. "We were only able to see indirectly what our current open tasks are. Reliable resource and project planning could only be accomplished with great effort. Today we have a variety of different possibilities to choose from. Taskworld not only supports us in coordinating our teams and controlling our project processes. We can track the progress in real time and have a clear view of who is responsible for which tasks or which tasks have to be done with high priority. This enables us to approach resource planning much more effectively“, Plisam Ekpai-Laodema gives an example.
Time savings for the actual transaction
If an employee receives project-related information for a colleague in absentia, he or she is simply assigned to a task with deadline and all the necessary information - in urgent matters, additional employees can be directly onboarded. Upon return, the colleague gets a complete overview of everything that has happened in his absence - without having to gather all the information with great effort and having to transform these into tasks, deadlines or priorities. "We save a lot of time today with Taskworld, as the coordination processes, documentation, follow-up and research processes are done by itself to a great extent. We thus gain more freedom for the actual handling of our operational tasks. However, the greatest added value for our project work is the transparency and traceability at task and project level“, Plisam Ekpai-Laodema continues. "One of the greatest features is the user-specific dashboard: our employees do not have to see and follow all ongoing projects. The project manager deliberately unlocks only those projects and tasks, in which the respective editors are involved. Anything else that has no immediate relevance to the individual employee is automatically hidden in a comfortable way."
At the same time, the use of Taskworld significantly reduced the number of internal emails, as the employees were able to obtain all the information they needed through the system, and there was simply less coordination effort. Meanwhile, Gerhard Lang's employees also use it as a tool for self-organization beyond project work, for example, to keep an eye on deadlines or to ensure more reliable planning and efficient task management. Taskworld is now used across all departments and is also part of the day-to-day business of the management and department heads.