Amsted Rail has built a legacy of success that spans a century. The globally-integrated manufacturer keeps the world moving by helping railroads haul heavier loads over greater distances through better performance and dependability. With more than 10,000 employees and a global facility footprint that stretches across nearly a dozen countries, Amsted Rail relies on operational agility, workforce communication and lean processes. All three are vital to ensuring the company delivers on its promise to give customers the best in reliability, performance, and value.
Amsted Rail is in the heavy industrial business. The company uses lean principles to optimize internal processes, boost efficiency, and improve workplace performance. In 2016, Amsted Rail embarked on a journey to eliminate costly waste practices driven by both legacy machinery and a dispersed, under-informed workforce. The problem was that at the time, the company had an outdated, newsletter-based corporate communication method that was redundant, time-consuming, and wasteful. What’s more, employees were not always reading the information. The result? Their efficiency at work suffered — a problem the company was trying to solve by sending out the newsletters in the first place. The management team at Amsted Rail was ready to make a change and digitize their internal communications with Beekeeper.
- Outdated communication strategy trying (and failing) to reach frontline workers with newsletters
- Paper-based HR processes managers have to manually keep up with the employee life cycle
- Manual COVID screening screening every employee each morning was time-consuming and tedious
- Digitized internal communication improved efficiency and connectivity
- Beekeeper’s Forms technology employees now can easily fill out their information from their mobile devices
- Streamlined screening process pre-screening employees with a digital survey
Optimizing Internal Communication through Digitization
Amsted Rail decided to partner with Beekeeper in 2019 to create a mobile collaboration platform that reaches, connects, and engages employees wherever they are. When the global pandemic turned the world on its head – a year later, Amsted Rail was ready to adapt.
Amsted Rail’s goals were:
- Eliminate wasteful workforce practices impacting workplace efficiency
- Maintain business agility by connecting and informing frontline employees regardless of their location
- Establish an efficient process for safely welcoming employees back on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Improve the employee experience and empower and engage frontline team members
Implementing Beekeeper’s mobile app allowed the Amsted Rail team to transform their internal communication strategy to prioritize efficiency, connectivity, and information. Through Beekeeper’s “Streams” capabilities, Amsted Rail posted exclusive, company-related information that employees could easily access anywhere, anytime using their mobile devices.
The company also leveraged Beekeeper to optimize internal HR processes. This included new job postings and field safety checks previously reliant on outdated, manual, paper-based procedures.
Despite those important strides, the most critical support came two years later, as the company leaned on Beekeeper to help ensure agility while weathering the evolving COVID-19 environment and resulting remote work environment. The Beekeeper app helped Amsted Rail keep employees informed throughout the pandemic and ultimately welcome them back to work through integrated screening tools.
Here’s how the team at Amsted Rail did it.
One of their key use cases was leveraging Beekeeper as “an employee screening portal” (their words) to safely bring their workers back AND streamline operational efficiency during COVID.
When Amsted Rail resumed operations and welcomed their employees back to work during COVID, they quickly realized that they needed a more efficient way to conduct daily health screenings. Employees waited in their cars in the parking lot, while their security guards manually screened each worker. The process took two hours each morning.
Then, Amsted Rail implemented a self-assessment health survey and made the link accessible to all employees via the home screen in Beekeeper. They even took it a step further and integrated this health survey with their internal security system. Now, once the survey is submitted and the employee passes the health screening, the doors to the building automatically unlock to let them in. Both their employees and their security guards rejoiced.
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Two years later, Amsted Rail achieved an active employee user base of 96%. The team credits their achievement partially to Beekeeper’s ability to integrate with security software. This enabled the company to implement a safe and seamless employee screening process during the pandemic.
Additionally, Beekeeper helped improve the employee experience at Amsted Rail. Prior to implementing Beekeeper, the team utilized multiple in-person channels to receive employee feedback. COVID-19 changed that completely. As a result, the company pushed employee feedback through Beekeeper’s app. Today, Amsted Rail team members share instant feedback using polls and other engagement capabilities.
Most importantly, Amsted Rail adopted a digital communication strategy aligned with its lean-oriented business goals. This has led to a better-informed workforce and less wasteful processes. With the mobile communication tool, employees are more engaged, connected, and motivated to do their best jobs. At the same time, managers are better supported with a flexible, time-efficient productivity tool that enables them to communicate with employees more efficiently.
Today, the company supports an effective internal communication strategy that prioritizes:
- Keeping employees informed with the last company news and information;
- Equipping team members with instant access to important documents and materials when and where they need it; and
- Enabling staff to perform as efficiently as possible.