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Visual management is central for Icebug’s operations

Icebug is a company that has gained a lot from visual management and the use of Dreamler to visualize the work the team together. Here they share their 2 years of experience and ways of working with Dreamler, in the hopes that other companies might benefit.

Icebug is a Swedish footwear brand founded in 2001. The idea was born out of frustration for having to choose between the risk of slipping or saying no to favorite outdoor activities, so they decided to challenge the global footwear giants and create shoes for running and walking on slippery surfaces. In 2015, after an impressive growth trip (the company increased its turnover by about 30% seven years in a row), the need to be able to work in a structured and efficient way had become obvious. After trying a number of visual management and project management tools, Icebug chose Dreamler as the management tool for all their operations.

“We saw a tool that was visual, nice and easy to work in and had a low threshhold for everyone to get into. That was a huge benefit.”

Tom Nilsson, COO at Icebug

Like all footwear and fashion companies, Icebug introduces new products every season. The first mission for them was to map out their Seasonal Roadmap, which typically has a cycle of 2,5 years. Until then they had managed the process of design, production, marketing and sales using a combination of email, MS-office tools and meetings.

“I was shocked and understood that we didn’t have a good view on how we work together”

Tom Nilsson, COO at Icebug

Tom Nilsson assumed they had a pretty good understanding of what the Seasonal Roadmap looked like, until he gathered his colleagues to map it out with Dreamler. The first experience was eye-opening to Tom —  he realized they didn’t actually share a common picture of how they work together and the value-chains within the company.

“The value of using Dreamler as a paint brush in painting that picture was something I hadn’t really understood or even conceptualize at the beginning. But it’s huge.”

Tom Nilsson, COO at Icebug

Visual management template over Icebug's seasonal standard roadmap

Visual management template over Icebug’s seasonal standard roadmap

By using Dreamler to paint a shared picture of the work people at Icebug do together, they were able to better understand the workflow that creates value for their customers. The result was increased efficiency, as well as a clearer understanding for who delivers what to who internally.

Just painting this picture was not enough though for really good visual management — Tom wanted to turn that new shared picture into a shared efficient way or working. 

Icebug's Dreamler game board for visual management of daily operations

Icebug’s Dreamler game board for visual management of daily operations

To achieve this, the Seasonal Roadmap was repeated into an Operational Gameboard in Dreamler. This gives them the benefit of being able to see five parallel seasons at the same time. They can easily see an overview of progress and health, while still being able zoom down to the nitty-gritty of daily work on a single map. In this way, the overview is connected to the details — changing details affects the overview.

“I think the value of sharing a picture — even a picture of work you do together — can’t be overestimated. At least in our organisation, and we are still fairly small, that value came as a surprise to me.”

Tom Nilsson, COO at Icebug

Icebug would like to share their way of working with Dreamler and visual management with any company that is interested, especially apparel and footwear companies, including their Seasonal Roadmap. The seasonal process in most apparel and footwear companies are similar. There could be value in reusing and learning from the work Icebug have already started.

If you are interested in this offer, please contact me Mathias Gullbrandson – mathias@dreamler.com. 

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