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NGK SPARK PLUG – We Work Together

NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive suppliers and providers of technical ceramics, headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, with sales organizations and production facilities around the world.

The company’s automotive division specializes in ignition technology and sensor systems and supplies original equipment and aftermarket customers worldwide. The aftermarket product portfolio includes spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils, ignition leads and plugs – sold under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Lambda and exhaust gas temperature sensors, NOx sensors, mass air flow (MAF) and boost pressure (MAP) sensors, as well as speed and position sensors are offered by the company under the NTK Vehicle Electronics brand. 

NGK SPARK PLUG is represented on all continents and has 43 Group companies, 33 production sites and five Technical Centers.

With around 16,400 employees, the company generates annual sales of around 3.7 billion euros worldwide in the automotive and technical ceramics sectors.

The EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), which accounts for 27% of global sales, is managed by NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH, based in Ratingen, Germany. 

What was the Challenge?

The challenge for NGK SPARK PLUG was to improve communication between employees located in different countries, especially among themselves, but also with external employees.

While the headquarters in Japan had already been able to gain experience with Google Workspace since 2013, the branches in the EMEA region were still working with partially outdated and inconsistent communication systems. Cross-team collaboration and fast decision-making were thus slowed down even within a single location.

Better networking of all locations and standardization of the infrastructure was therefore the main focus during the introduction of Google Workspace. The different work cultures, infrastructures and time zones made project planning much more complex.

What is the Solution?

Based on the positive experience at the Global Headquarters in Japan, Google Workspace was quickly targeted as a solution for a modern way of collaboration, also for the offices in Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Africa.

The first phase involved a switch to Gmail, Calendar and the introduction of Google Meet and Chat in the company. Thus, the entire meeting organization was reorganized with room bookings and video chat solution in the meeting rooms. As part of the changeover, the Google Meet hardware was installed at the same time. Subsequently, the document management, which was previously mapped on-premise, was simplified with the help of Google Drive. In a final phase, document processing was completely migrated to Google Workspace tools. 

 

The introduction of Google Workspace has permanently changed the meeting culture at NGK SPARK PLUG. With our Google Meet hardware kits and the collaborative Google Suite tools, interactive meetings can be conducted as if we were in the same room, even if there are hundreds or even thousands of kilometers between us. This is how we can make the EMEA region a reality with our vision of “WeTogether”.

Damien Germès

President & CEO NGK SPARK PLUG Europe GmbH,, Regional President EMEA & Corporate Officer

How can Seibert Media support?

Under the motto “We Work Together”, NGK SPARK PLUG launched the project from Germany to optimize the collaboration of its subsidiaries in the EMEA region by introducing suitable software/tools. As a German Google partner, Seibert Media accompanied the introduction of Google Workspace at NGK SPARK PLUG in Germany, Poland, France, Spain, England, Turkey, Russia, the Middle East and South Africa. Together with the internal project team, all phases of the transition process were successfully completed. 

In order to make the changeover as easy as possible for all employees and branches, the technical prerequisites were created and a plan for change management was jointly developed.

Among other things, Seibert Media took over the migration preparation, on-site training of the Google Guides in Germany, England, France and Italy as well as further remote training for the employees in Russia, Greece, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and Dubai. The entire process was accompanied by communication measures such as posters, handouts, tutorials, info sites, giveaways and best-practice sharing. 

The combination of the NGK SPARK PLUG Project Management Methodology with the three-step rollout process of Google Workspace with Google Squad (project team), Google Guides (early adopters from the business departments) and the final go-live with the end users was instrumental in helping us complete the project on time, scope and budget.

Tim Völker

Head of PMO EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH

What results could be achieved?

The changeover of the entire mail traffic with the migration of 19 million e-mails to Gmail has significantly simplified the daily organization of internal and external communication. Enhanced functions, such as the delegation of e-mail mailboxes, allow even closer collaboration between teams, assistants and supervisors.

Google Chat has greatly accelerated internal communication and ensures more intensive collaboration between the various locations. With the help of Calendar, Google Meet and the matching Google Meet hardware kits, the complexity of organizing meetings was significantly reduced. Employees quickly recognized the benefits of a coordinated software and hardware solution and increasingly opted for time-saving video meetings. Just three months after the migration of the last employees, NGK SPARK PLUG counted over 10,000 meetings with a total duration of over 251,000 minutes.

By saving on the on-premise infrastructure for document management, costs were reduced and documents can be shared more easily with each other or with external parties. At the same time, this step significantly increased IT security through Google technologies.

The introduction of Google Workspace enabled us to modernize our IT infrastructure extensively. Numerous locally operated mail and file servers at various locations in the EMEA region were merged. This created a powerful backbone on which we can and will build further services.

Karl Schüle

Head of Infrastructure EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH