Quaker Chemical Customizes BrightWork to Meet Corporate Needs

June 17, 2016 by
Ruari O'Donnellan

Quaker had a poor history of effectively utilizing project management systems as they suffered
from traction and user adoption issues. Lack of project management knowledge and tools that required the entry of many required fields also contributed to these challenges.

John Dennis, Project Manager at the time, knew there was a need for a transformation in the Quaker approach to project management across all four of Quaker’s global geographical regions. As he spearheaded this initiative, John initially looked at the possibility of Quaker designing their own Project Management Information System (PMIS) within SharePoint but it was proving too expensive. John began researching
online for an alternative solution and found BrightWork. Not only was BrightWork economical, John “discovered BrightWork had 98% of everything we needed.”

Deployment of BrightWork was quick and seamless

Quaker began and continues to use three BrightWork templates; Lite, Standard and Structured. The templates provide a starting point from which they can be customized, (further simplify and / or expand information requirements) although John admits there are actually very few required fields. The ability to scale back on the required fields for project set up is seen as the chief contributing factor to the successful user adoption of the tool within the organization. From a Project Management Office (PMO) perspective if a project is a PMO related project BrightWork is utilized.

Quaker has customized approximately 20% of the BrightWork tool to suit its needs. They have evolved their templates over time and have created and customized many fields to suit both the company and end user’s specific needs– region, location and sub projects – to name just a handful! As many of the regular users are “excel fluent” the task landing page for a project is some version of a datasheet (spreadsheet like view) with the first columns being the most relevant to project management. With the help of their Customer Solutions Architect, Jonathan Weisglass, Quaker was able to modify the “out of the box” reports and create their own metrics that displayed specific Quaker project benchmarks.   They created a number of portfolios including one for the CIO and another for the PMO. They can track the number of projects being worked on at any given time under each umbrella and their status.

Quaker Chemical’s Task Landing Page

From Maturity Level 1 to Maturity Level 2

Quaker created their Project Management Office (PMO) just over two years ago with John as it’s manager. Applying project management principles, the PMO has moved rapidly from a Maturity Level 1 organization to Maturity Level 2 and is becoming a strategic partner within Quaker. This has been accomplished by utilizing an aggressive training program and effective management of global projects in BrightWork. While the principal focus remains on Information Technology projects, the PMO has recently begun managing projects in other functional areas. One example is the new Global Harmonizing System (GHS) for hazardous materials. The PMO, using BrightWork, is managing a project to transition 2,000+ Associates from a legacy email system to Office 365.

Quaker Chemical Corporation

Quaker Chemical Corporation is a $700 + million-dollar company headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, USA, with regional headquarter locations in The Netherlands, Brazil, and China. Since 1918, Quaker has developed and maintained long-term relationships with leading customers in fields like steel manufacturing, auto production, metalworking, and other basic process industries all over the world. Today, they have a global presence in 21 countries with 34 locations and have manufacturing facilities in many of the major manufacturing country in the world.

“Flexibility is one of the best things I like about BrightWork. The ability to remove certain bells and whistles when they are not needed, add categories and fields, or switch to a more advanced template saves not only my time but the time of the end user. A key to our success at Quaker has been adhering to the idea that we use only the amount of project management we need to get the job done.”

~ John Dennis, PMO Manager