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Transitioning a global contract during a global pandemic 

foto fabriek Nestle

In the early months of 2020, ISS successfully navigated the challenges of transitioning Nestlé’s facility management services to ISS. Despite the pandemic, we helped ensure a smooth transition and still managed to complete in record time. 

Managing the transition of a major global contract is no easy feat – especially during a global pandemic. We caught up with Hilde Scholten Linde, Senior Transition Manager at ISS in the Netherlands, to find out how our transition team tackled challenges, restrictions and regulatory requirements to deliver a successful transition for Nestlé during COVID-19.

A strong partnership

In the spring of 2020, right at the height of the pandemic, Hilde and her team began the process of transitioning all of Nestlé’s facility management services to ISS. This process involved consolidating 75 suppliers into one and transferring Nestlé employees to ISS.

In close collaboration with the client, our transition managers were able to build a strong rapport with the Nestlé team and ensure a smooth changeover.

“Everyone was involved,” says Hilde. “Work-stream leads from all areas of our business – from finance to People & Culture – worked together to make a plan based on our discussions with Nestlé.”

Using ISS’s proven Transition Process Framework, we were able to keep the workplace running at its full potential – from sales to transition to operations. The team had weekly calls with Nestlé and ISS global management to share information and report on high-level actions and risks. This meant any issues were resolved quickly and efficiently, all with minimum disruption to their daily business.

“We had a constructive and enjoyable collaboration with the customer from start to finish, which played a major role in the success of the transition. Our teams worked in partnership with total transparency and a strong mindset to succeed,” she says.

Overcoming COVID-19 setbacks

The team worked proactively to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, constantly adapting to dynamic scope changes to pull things together in a short space of time.

“Transitioning during COVID-19 was certainly an interesting process,” says Hilde. “It limited us in the sense that we were not able to see each other face-to-face or perform site visits, so it was very difficult to get to know the buildings and come up with a plan as we normally would.”

The team worked together to find solutions such as taking the onboarding process online and aligning with stakeholders to get detailed data on each site. Hilde asserts that while the process didn’t come without its setbacks, ISS was able to help Nestlé maintain normality – virtually.

“It was a steep learning curve, and everything was done at a distance, but it worked out extremely well in the end.”  

We couldn’t have done it without the great support from the whole ISS organisation. They showed a will and a drive to succeed, despite all the COVID-19 restrictions and other challenges we faced.

Nestlé spokesperson
A Nestlé spokesperson also had this to say about the cooperation: “We couldn’t have done it without the great support from the whole ISS organisation. They showed a will and a drive to succeed, despite all the COVID-19 restrictions and other challenges we faced,” he says. “Their knowledge and experience, as well as the entire transition process, was very positive for the Nestlé team.”  

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