‘Pontoon ON’, an Onboarding Innovation and a Pontoon Play Collective Story

Blog 30 Mar 2020 . Tim Meehan

It was March of 2019 and I was just getting my Pontoon sea legs under me.  A fellow I didn’t know, but would later consider a kindred spirit, Skyped me.  “Tim, this is Nolan Haughton, and I have a problem. Can I share my screen with you?” What he showed me was just about the scariest onboarding workflow diagram I could imagine. Turns out it wasn’t even the worst workflow he’d worked on. “Tim, the VMS techs leave our program teams with a lot of work and gaps we need to fix”.

You see, Nolan is a Six Sigma Black Belt and he, along with another Pontoon Black Belt, Akmal Gooman, were deep into a LEAN project to improve our global onboarding approach.  They’d defined the program and determined 45% of worker onboarding was prone to error and could be automated to improve speed, quality and experience.

Text Box: “Pontoon On”
What is Digitized Onboarding?
1.	Automates worker onboarding
2.	Email or text comms with supplier/worker
3.	Real-time statuses for hiring managers
4.	Document capture and retention
Why “Pontoon On”?
1.	Reduced cycle time
2.	Reduced onboarding error
3.	Improved compliance & governance
4.	More informed hiring managers
5.	Increases stakeholder NPS scores

That call led to a breakthrough Pontoon is introducing to the market early, because now is the time to do it. I’m excited to announce, “Pontoon On”, our global Digital Process Automation technology to streamline and centralize worker onboarding.  Our platform provides Pontoon with global visibility to all the workers we are onboarding, automates the process and improves quality, security and experience.  And while we could deliver this service on-site, our model is designed for off-site.

Of course, we never could have imagined COVID-19, but it seems fortuitous that work we began a year ago, would deliver an answer today.  And that answer is part of a larger service strategy to digitize all of our services. More on that later, back to Nolan.

Nolan had surmised that there was a substantial opportunity to improve onboarding. He had dug deep into the VMS tools and confirmed they could go just so far-which wasn’t far enough. Most importantly, the improvements would significantly improve our hiring manager, candidate and supplier experience. These are our key stakeholders. They are critical. And Nolan saw the frustration and opportunity.

Finding the answer to his challenge wasn’t simple so we built a team and worked to tackle it. Josh Winright from my team led the tech search and worked very closely with Nolan, Akmal and Pontoon Program leaders Cheryl Richoux and Casey Elmore to evaluate them.  Later, as the scale of what was possible emerged, my leader Laurent Benkemoun, and Nadia Schlatter our Global Head of Shared Services, agreed to sponsor our effort.  Finally, we needed to identify a project leader – enter Julia Saul to herd the cats and maintain momentum!

Over the next 9 months, our teams would meet over 100 times and investigate many tools and process approaches.  We expanded our scope from fixing one client’s challenge to challenging every client to innovate with us. We knew we had a winner when program teams started calling to ask: “When can my program get Pontoon On”? Don’t get me wrong, our program leaders are all disruptors, but in this situation, the results were spreading like wildfire!

We expanded our scope from fixing one client’s challenge to challenging every client to innovate with us.

We built a business case to disrupt and our President, Corinne Ripoche, loved it! So now we’re training more than a dozen Pontooners, from around the world, to be our “Builders”: Master “Digital Process Automation” experts, embedded in our programs.  

We’re implementing Pontoon On into programs right now. But with COVID, we must speed up. Are you ready to accelerate with us?

If you’re interested in discussing if Pontoon On could be a solution for your talent onboarding, speak with us live in the chat window below or email us at info@pontoonsolutions.com.

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