LU-VE empowers employee for advanced Project Management with Smartsheet ideas

LU-VE uses Smartsheet Control Center to collect ideas from thousands of employees, turning them into innovative Projects that have made the company a leader in AC and refrigeration products.

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employees connected across Europe


  • Manufacturing

Organization Size

  • Large (2000 - 9999)


  • Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

"Smartsheet has changed the way people work. LU-VE employees are excited to use it because they see how it helps them when dealing with Projects’ proposal and execution.”

Ugo Ceppi

Independent Business Consultant for LU-VE

Italian manufacturer LU-VE is in the front line of refrigeration and air-conditioning solutions, while putting people at the core of its success. In line with its guiding principle that, in essence, companies are people and ideas, the managers create a structured workflow to collect employees’ proposals, to convey them to a formal evaluation path and to turn the most promising ones into Projects. Scoring criteria are known and accepted, very relevant in an organisation of over 3,500 people spread across Europe, America and Asia.

“Each Group company had its way of collecting, structuring, and turning employee ideas into projects,” explains Stefano Mongardi, Project Manager and Deployment Specialist at Injenia, a digital transformation company supporting LU-VE in the implementation of Smartsheet. “So, it wasn't always clear to the top management what the Projects’ progress was in different plants and in different functional areas to drive a positive evolution.”

Photo courtesy of LU-VE Group

Allowing two to truly become one

The need for a unified strategy of collecting, sorting, evaluating, and sharing new ideas, and then of starting up and managing approved Projects became even more pronounced after LU-VE’s acquisition of the air heat exchanger division of Alfa Laval—a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation, and fluid handling—in 2019.

“Alfa Laval and LU-VE were two separate entities acting in different countries, with different languages, workflows, structures, and organisational cultures,” says Ugo Ceppi, an independent consultant working alongside LU-VE’s IT project team.

“To unify them, LU-VE needed a standardised strategy of collecting employee voice company-wide and a tool to consolidate dozens of projects across all subsidiaries.”

Photo courtesy of LU-VE Group

A tool to manage all ideas

LU-VE launched a hunt for a project management tool that would meet these objectives. “We started digging into different software, devoting time to test trial versions,” reveals Alvio Bernard, IT Project Manager at LU-VE.

“We concluded that Smartsheet offers a good balance of support and guidance and the freedom for project managers to customise the tool according to specific Project’s needs.” 

The company engaged Injenia, a Smartsheet Platinum Partner, to ensure a smooth implementation of Smartsheet Control Center. The project and portfolio management tool helps centralise, analyse, and automate project information. “Injenia’s support was essential because it helped us formulate the strategy and establish a workflow for collecting relevant data since the beginning,” says Ceppi. “The team understood our business use case, goals, and processes. We couldn’t have done it ourselves.”

Launching projects in a snap

Leveraging Smartsheet and project management expertise, Injenia’s specialists created a set of templates. They cover all project stages—called “gates” in LU-VE’s terminology—from planning to execution. The phase and details of each project are plotted on familiar Gantt charts. “We created six categories for project ideation: products, manufacturing, supply chain, sales, marketing, and infrastructure,” says Ceppi. “For each, we’ve assigned a category manager, who knows how to manage their area in Smartsheet.” 

Each template contains specific stages with mandatory steps and deliverables. Still, managers have the flexibility to add activities, set the budget and assign responsible people. “It only takes one click for managers to activate a project,” Bernard says. Mongardi adds, “From a simple sheet, they can create the project structure and easily involve stakeholders of different levels in the company.”

Photo courtesy of LU-VE Group

Small details, big difference

Control Center helps LU-VE keep an eye on project progress and budgets. “Smartsheet collects information about the money spent on each task,” explains Bernard. “The costs of tasks are then summarised so that we know how much money and time we spent at any given moment.” 

A centralised view of project details and easy information sharing through chat and attachments make collaboration more efficient and expedient than collaborating through phone and email. Even little add-ins like glossaries make project collaboration much easier. “Having people from different countries, backgrounds and subsidiaries means individuals may have different wording for the same things,” explains Ceppi. “A glossary allows us to avoid misunderstanding or confusion that sometimes occurs because of varying terminology. It helps our teams better understand and communicate with each other.” 

Photo courtesy of LU-VE Group

All information in one place, online

Smartsheet introduced a new way of project management within LU-VE’s teams while helping employees share ideas.

“Smartsheet has changed the way people work together,” says Ceppi. “LU-VE employees are excited to use it because they see how it helps them to share tasks, report progress and keep control.”

The tool is available online, which makes it easier for them to use it, too. “No installation is needed, and maintenance is really simple and fast,” shares Bernard. 

The platform's portability, flexibility, and usability convinced LU-VE to expand its use. “We have a huge number of requests from our colleagues, including integration with other tools,” says Bernard. “We are also working on implementing Smartsheet’s portfolio, dashboard, and portfolio reporting features in our system to maximise data transparency and create the best toolset for the management team.”

Photo courtesy of LU-VE Group