ABSL DIAMONDS – Winners 2020

Business Innovation

In the Business Innovation category, NEORIS Czech Republic and CEMEX were awarded for their comprehensive CEMEX Go digital transformation project, the goals of which included improving the customer experience. The project is not only about optimizing and digitizing the business processes, but also about transforming business models, organizational roles, and the overall way of operation of the traditional producer of building materials – CEMEX. CEMEX Go, developed by a team from the Czech Republic and Mexico, is now available in 21 countries and processes more than 55% of all CEMEX sales worldwide, representing more than 1.5 million deliveries per year. The popularity of the solution grew significantly during the anti-COVID-19 measures as the 100% paperless agenda and digital signatures allowed customers to handle their orders electronically, even via their smartphone.

Customer Initiative

In the Customer Initiative category, Dixons Carphone (now known Currys PLC) earned the award, providing finance, HR, logistics, customer support and IT services from its Brno center to its electronics parent company. At the same time, however, they are also involved in innovative projects, robotics and the development of an e-commerce platform. The pandemic caused a significant increase in the company’s online sales, which changed the way we communicate with customers, leading to a tripling of the volume of interactions with the customer line in Sheffield, UK. On congested lines, which operate from 6 am to 6 pm, customers often had to wait 60 minutes for the operator. The Brno team identified areas of queries that could be solved much faster and more efficiently with the help of RPA (robotic process automation), where the customer just fills out a simple form and practically immediately gets the answer needed, 24/7. The whole project from idea to implementation took only 5 weeks. Today, the robot can work as 110 full-time workers, and thanks to its scalability, its capacity can be further increased.


In the Education category two companies received awards. The first is Novartis, which succeeded with its comprehensive #wearecurious educational initiative, which offers educational opportunities not only to employees but also to their friends or families, including children. The trainers include both internal experts and external specialists from the world’s top universities and educational institutions. The key topics cover the development of skills in the field of digital technologies and artificial intelligence. The highlight of the initiative was the Curiosity Month, a month of more than 200 interactive webinars with hundreds of participants. The initiative also includes education in the form of audio books, podcasts, online courses and programs where experimentation and innovative tailor-made solutions are created. The Prague team of Novartis played a significant role in creating the global educational program. In total, approximately 20,000 employees took part in the training and spent more than 45,000 hours learning in September alone.

The second Diamond Award in this category goes to Kiwi.com for an educational initiative focused on using internal trainers instead of relying on external ones. The initiative includes 3 company-wide programs that Kiwi.com introduced at the end of 2019 and during 2020. The first is Mentoring, which brings together internal mentors and employees of the company who are interested in professional development in cooperation with their more experienced colleagues and provides them with support in the form of online workshops and consultations. The second program is the Expert Train, which trains future in-house trainers in teaching methods, preparation of curriculum or educational materials. The third program is Leadership Essentials, which focuses on managers training. This program was originally designed to be face-2-face, but due to the pandemic it was transferred to the online environment. The education in the company is managed with the help of a Learning Management System (LMS) and uses internally created educational materials and digital tools. In 6 months, more than 300 employees participated in the individual programs. These included not only employees from the Czech Republic, where it was established, but also from other global branches. The result a reduction in the cost of external trainers and courses as well as greater cooperation and creativity across teams.

Employer Branding & People Engagement

In the Employer Branding and People Engagement category was awarded Zebra Technologies, which takes care of financial and marketing processes, customer and technical support and order and contract processing for the world’s leading supplier of technologies and solutions in the field of barcode readers and printers, RFID or mobile computers. The company organized a large campaign promoting the employer brand of Zebra Technologies and motivating employees using both global and local elements. In addition to promoting new offices in the center of Brno reflecting the current needs of employees and measures against the spread of COVID-19, the company organized also a traditional global Talent Untethered Week, which was moved to a virtual environment due to the ongoing pandemic. All 7,000 employees of the company were able to participate in interactive workshops and courses through the online platform ZEN (Zebra Education Network) and the whole event received twice the participation and a better response than in the previous years, during which it took place in the form of physical courses. The Zebra bikes project was also a great success, as part of which all residents or visitors of Brno can borrow a bike from the Nextbike bike-sharing operator for free for 15 minutes at any time. The idea arose from the fact that many people were concerned about using public transport due to the spread of the coronavirus. In the first 3 months alone, since the start of this project in June 2020, Zebra employees saved as much as 1 ton of CO2.

Community and Citizen Support

In the Community and Citizen Support category, SAP received an award for its Meet and Code initiative, which hosts educational and inspirational events for children and young people across Europe to teach them about technologies and help them acquire the digital skills needed for the future. The initiative also aims to support non-profit organizations dedicated to education and awareness in this area. SAP in the Czech Republic is developing the initiative not only in the form of grants, but also by preparing educational content and involving volunteers who are engaged in both organizational and educational activities. In 2019 alone, over 80 workshops were organized for 2,246 young people. Fifty of them were supported by a grant awarded in total to 37 schools and non-profit organizations. The other workshops were organized during the Month of volunteering by SAP employees. From the company’s Prague and Brno offices 54 trainers took part in the activities training 564 students. In 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic all activities took place online but the number of workshops and students is at a similar level.

Innovative Workplace & Remote Working Strategies

In the Innovative Workplace and Remote Working Strategies category 2 projects were awarded. The first Diamond Award goes to Mercedes-Benz Parts Logistics Eastern Europe for the implementation of modern office space in the Aspira building in Prague 5, which respects the preferences of employees and the innovative approach of management. At the same time is in line with the latest corporate design. The offices, to which the company moved in August this year, were established during the COVID-19 restrictive measures, and yet completed on time. With the opening of the new offices the employees were invited to return from the spring period of home working back to working from the office. From the beginning, the new environment met one of the main goals of the project – to create a long-term base with a high quality for a company that supports the flexibility of its employees coming from different parts of the world at all levels, whether it is office use, growth or remote collaboration. For this purpose, the top modern technologies are used and integrated into the office. The natural heart of the company is the lounge zone with a pleasant and nearly home atmosphere where employees can eat, relax, discuss their ideas with colleagues and work.

The second Diamond Award in this category was handed over to Anheuser-Busch InBev, a global beer and soft drink supplier based in Belgium, whose Prague center developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic within a few weeks an application allowing employees to flexibly reserve office space while adhering to recommended social distancing. The application called Book My Seat (BMS) can be very easily used from mobile device or via a web interface. It allows the company to control the occupancy of offices and at the same time in the event of the spread of the virus easily track the contact between people while of course strictly adhering to GDPR principles. Through the application, employees can also order to pick up a monitor and other IT equipment in case they decide to work from home. The latest functionality of the application is augmented reality, which will allow the employees to easily navigate in the company in the form of a Pokémon Go game. The company subsequently wants to use the data collected by the application to make the use of office space more efficient.

Value Creation

In the Value Creation category was awarded BlueLink International CZ, which belongs to the AirFrance-KLM group and provides customer services from Prague to its clients-customers from various industries, mainly from air travel industry and the sale of luxury goods. Over the past 18 months, the company in cooperation with its customers focused on improving the quality of customer support and receiving the “Excellence de Service” award for Air France’s Platinum Service line and the “Elu Service client de l’Année” for Transavia.  Both awards confirm the high standard of services and customer support provided by BlueLink. Emphasis is placed on the satisfaction of the end customers and the internal processes on the part of the client, as well as on the commitment, teamwork, and satisfaction of BlueLink employees. In the first phase, the end customers were also involved in the project. They shared their feedback and suggestions for further streamlining and improvement of services. Thanks to this initiative, BlueLink has helped its clients to strengthen ties with end customers and increase their attractiveness. At the same time, it improved the motivation and efficiency of work teams and ensured further business development at a time of a huge decline in air traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Special award for fighting COVID-19

Comdata received a special award for fighting with COVID-19. The company responded immediately and flexibly to the government’s call and supported the emergency lines 112 and 1212, which collapsed under the volume of inquiries. 60 operators helped to the line 112. Trainings for them were organized twice a day, because working on this line is extremely demanding, both in terms of the speed of the necessary solution as well as due to the mental stress the operations have to cope with. The waiting time of any call must not exceed 4 s. Another 50 operators from Comdata supported the national line 1212, which was established on March 15, 2020 to provide information about COVID-19. Operators from Comdata and the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank, which processed government support programs for companies and entrepreneurs, helped in parallel.

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