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Using Lark, Anker Connects Teams in 12 Countries With a Customer-Centric Culture
A bellwether in consumer electronics, Anker has been bringing ubiquitous gadgets for people who need power at home or on the go. Anker owes its growth largely to its culture of innovation, which is also reflected in the way they work. Connecting Anker's teams across 12 countries, Lark is central to the company's efficient internal collaboration.
"Lark has allowed us to 'walk the talk' when it comes to our management philosophy. It enables us to turn our ideas into reality, so that the daily behaviors of our teams mirror our ideals of how an organization should work."
Founded in 2011, Anker Innovations is the world's top mobile charging brand, with over 100 million customers in more than 100 countries. Today, Anker has expanded beyond charging technology into a number of consumer electronic segments, including premium audio, home entertainment, home security, robotic appliances, and the emerging smart home space. Anker Innovations and its key brands are driving unprecedented growth. In 2021, Anker Innovations sold more than 50 million pieces of products worldwide with a revenue of 1972 million USD, up 34.45% over the same period of time as compared to the previous year.
Employees work in different time zones with different cultures and languages, making collaboration difficult
The Anker team used a different product for every collaboration scenario (e.g. project management, customer relationship management). As a result, data was scattered in various systems, creating information silos
Employees from different countries are unable to meet offline, making it difficult to build a cohesive organizational culture
Turn cross-border collaboration into an efficient relay race
Anker conducts business across North America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and South East Asia, with offices in Shenzhen, Tokyo, Munich, Melbourne, and many more cities. Time zone differences made it difficult to find a time for everyone to meet together, and discussions sometimes dragged into days.
Therefore, employees must take advantage of asynchronous communication, which is made possible by Lark. For example, employees in the US organize their ideas into a Lark Doc during the day. The next day after they wake up, they will receive numerous comments from their colleagues in Europe in the doc. In this way, collaboration can be seamlessly passed on from one region to the next, like a relay race, and Lark is their perfect relay baton.
When it comes to cross-border communication, something as simple as authorizing a doc to a chat group can slow down the whole process. In the past, Anker had separate tools for chat and docs. When a doc was sent to a chat group, permissions had to be authorized manually. If a colleague forgot to grant the permissions, it would have taken another 12 hours for others to request and obtain authorization, due to time zone differences. Now, using Lark, once a doc is sent to a group chat, everyone in the group chat is automatically granted reading, or editing permission. This dramatically reduces the need for unnecessary back-and-forth communication, and speeds projects up.
Even though Lark Docs has reduced the number of meetings, sometimes meetings are still necessary. Scheduling across time zones used to be a pain. Employees had to conduct mental arithmetic to find the right slot for meetings. Now, on Lark Calendar, they can view multiple time zones side by side, so that it's easy to see when it's afternoon in LA, it's late night in London.
What's more, employees from different countries have different proficiency levels in English, often creating language barriers and misunderstandings at work.
Thanks to Lark's auto-translation, every chat, doc and meeting can be instantly translated into their native languages with one click. This also enables colleagues from different cultural backgrounds to express themselves confidently, creating a sense of participation and belonging.
Speed up internal processes and be more customer-responsive
Browsing Anker's products, you will notice that most of their products have a review of 4.5 stars or higher, which is exceptional for a consumer electronics brand.
This can partly be attributed to the fact that Anker treats the voice of its customers as their single source of truth—even for their internal workflows. Customer feedback is relayed and processed internally with agility, and Lark is key to this customer-centric approach.
Before, issues raised by customers were managed on various disconnected platforms, resulting in a lot of back-and-forth and copy-and-paste. When an issue was finally noticed and resolved, days might have passed.
Using Lark's open API, the Anker team now connects all their existing third-party systems (such as BI tools and CRMs) with Lark Docs. Team members no longer have to toggle between multiple windows or copy and paste data manually. For example, the data team can insert Tableau charts into Lark Docs directly. The sales team can write up customer information in Lark Docs, which gets automatically synced into Anker's CRM and shared with the management.
Anker also integrated its own issue management system with Lark Docs to create a unified issue tracking platform. When a colleague resolves an issue or has context to share, they can simply write the information in the doc. The latest progress is automatically synced to their internal issue management system. What used to take hours now only takes 10 minutes.
Thanks to Lark's open capabilities, Lark Docs have become bridges connecting Anker's various systems, breaking information silos, and speeding up processes. Lark helps Anker turn "customer centric" from a slogan into everyday business processes.
Build an innovation-oriented culture
In the consumer electronics industry, "Continuous innovation is a life-or-death issue," CEO Steven Yang says. Without constant innovation, a company, however successful it might be, loses its competitiveness in no time.
Anker must keep developing new products and finding new markets. Colleagues from different geographies and cultural backgrounds need to be mobilized to contribute to this great cause. Building an innovation-oriented organizational culture is key.
To that end, Anker conducted a company-wide hackathon, which utilized Lark every step of the way.
Lark Announcement was used to publicize the competition. All employees received a notification in their chat feed
Lark Survey was used to collect information from participants
Lark chat groups were created to send updates of the competition
During the Hackathon, each group organized and presented their ideas in Lark Docs. Others gave feedback through commenting
The hackathon was broadcast via Lark, so that employees everywhere could watch and participate virtually
As a company, Anker puts a lot of thought into how they should operate and work together as a team. However, before Lark, it was difficult to turn those ideas into practice. Using Lark, "customer-centrality", "constant innovation", "efficient collaboration" are no longer just empty slogans or principles. They are embedded in the everyday actions of Anker employees, because the tools we use shape the way we work.
Feeling inspired? Contact us to schedule a customized demo, and see how Lark can help your company implement these best practices.