Panalpina Group and Diligent Boards: Driving more effective meetings

The supply chain expert’s management boards are faster-and better-informed thanks to digital communication of board materials.

CHALLENGE

The Panalpina Group — bespoke supply chain solutions

The Panalpina Group, based in Basel, Switzerland, is a leading provider of supply chain solutions, combining core products of air freight, ocean freight and logistics to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made, end-to-end solutions. The Group employs around 16,000 people worldwide and operates a global network with some 500 offices in more than 70 countries.

To keep this thriving company running smoothly, Panalpina holds regular meetings with groups including the board of directors, the executive board and the extended executive board. Altogether there are 25 people who rely on comprehensive and up-to-date corporate information to make informed decisions in meetings. To meet the needs of the different boards, the company had a team of 10 administrative staff who worked for up to two full business days to compile and print paper-based board packs. The manual nature of the work made the inevitable last-minute changes a nightmare to manage. Distribution was another issue, as many of the executives were located in far-flung locations. And securely disposing of the mountains of paper produced as a result of the meetings also proved daunting.

APPROACH

An intuitive and efficient solution

Panalpina vetted a field of board portal solution providers to find a secure alternative that would make day-to-day work easier for both the secretariat and directors. After a thorough evaluation, the decision to opt for the Diligent BoardsTM solution was reached in December 2012. What was the deciding factor? Diligent’s board portal proved to be the most comprehensive of all the competing solutions. And the simplicity and intuitive operation of the iPad app was a feature that made Diligent stand out among its competitors.

Uptake of the Diligent Boards solution was immediate. And the time and effort saved was remarkable. According to the assistant to the chairman of Panalpina’s Board of Directors, “The difference between our old and new process is dramatic. Today, thanks to Diligent, our meeting documents are compiled by a single person and a task that used to take several days can now be completed in one or two hours. The time saved is phenomenal, particularly when you consider that depending on the month, up to six meetings can take place. Updates can be included quickly and easily, and the user receives an immediate notification of the content that’s been changed.”

RESULTS

A solution with a snowball effect

Today the Diligent Boards solution has snowballed throughout Panalpina. In fact, a number of ancillary decision-making committees have adopted it. “Diligent Boards makes our day-to-day working life much easier,” noted the assistant to the chairman. “And makes work more enjoyable.” After the switch to Diligent, Panalpina’s board members take the ease of access to information for granted, readily preparing for meetings on the road without having to transport large paper packs. “Nobody misses the old paper documents because the Diligent Boards solution allows our meeting participants to write comments, highlight items and read documents as if they were papers in a folder—without the inconvenience and waste associated with paper.”

  • Nobody misses the old paper documents because the Diligent Boards solution allows our meeting participants to write comments, highlight items and read documents as if they were papers in a folder
  • Assistant to the Chairman of Panalpina’s Board of Directors

    —without the inconvenience and waste associated with paper