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Merkle RMG Takes Innovation to New Levels with Smartsheet Certification

When Jann Schultz joined Merkle Response Management Group (RMG) as VP of Client Services, she quickly realized her teams weren’t working as effectively as they could be. With version-control issues and a high volume of their work stuck in spreadsheets, they needed a cohesive platform to improve processes.

Industry

  • Technology

Organization Size

  • Medium (50 - 999 employees)

Region

  • North America

Use Cases

  • Employee Training

To really understand what the commitment was from a learning perspective, I took a step back and completed the five introductory learning modules. I believe if you're going to ask your team to do something, then you need to lead by example, and I quickly discovered how easy Smartsheet would be for my team to learn.

Jann Schultz, VP of Client Services, Merkle Response Management Group (RMG)

Merkle Smartsheet Council 3
Photo Courtesy of Merkle

 

When Jann Schultz joined Merkle Response Management Group (RMG) as VP of Client Services, she quickly realized her teams weren’t working as effectively as they could be. With version-control issues and a high volume of their work stuck in spreadsheets, they needed a cohesive platform to improve processes.

“I came on board a little over a year ago and spent my early days really assessing needs, considering both the procedures and tools that my teams were using,” said Schultz, “If I heard one more person say, ‘Oh, we have that on a spreadsheet in the share drive,’ I was going to pull my hair out.” She began searching for a platform to help streamline processes related to their growing portfolio of over 200 clients at Merkle RMG, one of the nation’s largest direct-response processing and fulfillment companies.

Schultz selected Smartsheet to help improve visibility and communications across her two teams — account management and new client implementation — as well as with their clients,

“I was very excited to implement Smartsheet, and rapidly began to provide licenses to my team members. I sat back and thought, ‘Wow, such a great tool! This is going to be awesome.’ But I quickly realized the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality wasn’t working.” says Schultz. Like most busy teams, hers were hesitant to adopt new processes and technologies.

Rethink to Rebuild 

Schultz recognized that the team needed a jumpstart to incorporate Smartsheet into their daily activities. “I decided that I needed to do a reset, and rethink how I was going to introduce and approach the use of Smartsheet across my team.”

With the Smartsheet Center of Excellence as part of her Enterprise plan, Schultz identified five modules within Center of Excellence to tie to her team’s yearly performance goals. “To really understand what the commitment was from a learning perspective, I took a step back and completed the five introductory learning modules. I believe if you're going to ask your team to do something, then you need to lead by example,” says Schultz, “and I quickly discovered how easy Smartsheet would be for my team to learn.”

After landing on her learning requirements, Schultz began to put her plan in motion. “I held a kickoff meeting that I called ‘Sweet Treats and Smartsheet’. I armed myself with doughnuts and candy, and began to set expectations for what I wanted to see from the team going forward.”

With the baseline performance goal set to complete the five introductory modules in the Center of Excellence, Schultz invited the team to go beyond that and become a Smartsheet certified user. “The first four certified users would receive a $50 gift certificate, so the race was on!”

 

Merkle Smartsheet Council 1
Photo Courtesy of Merkle

 

The "Council of Champions"

In order to mobilize and encourage her team, Schultz formed an internal Council of Champions comprised of staff members who had participated in the Center of Excellence modules early on.

“I brought the Council of Champions together because they clearly had an interest and were intrigued by Smartsheet,” says Schultz, “They set up office hours to make themselves available to their peers, so that team members who were working to complete the modules or go the extra mile to become certified had an internal resource to turn to.”

The internal Council of Champions has helped expand the knowledge and awareness of Smartsheet at Merkle RMG. They recently held an information session for operations management to demonstrate how Smartsheet could help to increase efficiencies for their teams, as well.

“We were able to provide the managers with short-term licenses and let them test out Smartsheet’s capabilities. We have continued to provide the licenses and the operational staff has started to develop their workflows and processes in Smartsheet,” says Schultz, “As we’ve expanded use across the organization, we encourage them to participate in the Council of Champions office hours, and additional training so that they can develop their skill set and discover additional ways that Smartsheet would be useful to their team members.”

A New Level of Sophistication

Schultz now has 15 certified users on her team, and all 25 team members have completed the required five modules in the Center of Excellence. “I have a very high level of knowledge and skill across the team, thanks to these programs,” she says. “I think they have really opened up a new understanding of how to use Smartsheet and apply it across the business.

“The new client implementation team has moved from old-school Excel spreadsheet project plans into very nice project plans and dashboards within Smartsheet,” says Schultz, “and the account management team has developed really delightful client dashboards that are templates now being used across the team for consistent communication with clients.”

As the team has grown, the Center of Excellence continues to be tied to their performance goals. “Certification has become part of our team culture, it’s core to our onboarding and really helps new users get up and running,” says Schultz.

“Smartsheet Certification has brought a whole new level of sophistication to my team. Instead of asking people to do things, they are coming to me with innovative ideas and new ways they can use Smartsheet to streamline their work.”

Learn more about how the Smartsheet Certification program can help you expand your knowledge here.

 

Merkle Smartsheet Council 2
Photo Courtesy of Merkle