The Novum team needed 24-7 access to up-to-date contact details. Travelling between offices without a quick way to put names to faces was intimidating - and the Mexico City office specifically needed a way to account for everyone in event of an earthquake.
Novum Energy is a physical supply and trading company that has been privately trading oil and coal for almost 10 years. To enable them to move a wide array of products, the Novum team is spread out across four offices, multiple continents, and ten countries – including some fully remote staff who work from home.
A few years ago when the team reached around 25 people, it became difficult to keep track of people’s cell phone numbers and where they were located. Contact information seemed to be changing all the time.
We needed something that everyone had access to but was updated by one person so it was always up-to-date.
Having previously worked at larger companies that had custom-built directories or intranets, Chris took to Google and came across Names & Faces.
Trading is a dynamic industry and the Novum team rely on being able to contact one another fast. Their most active Names & Faces users are typically the Operations Managers - who need to call owners of ships and vessels - and Traders. The company relies heavily on Names & Faces: “Other than saving numbers on your phone it’s the only mechanism we have for getting hold of each other.” says Chris.
Aside from mobile and landline calls, they rely on WhatsApp and email as well as a chat service that is recorded by the intercontinental exchange.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Novum Energy has embraced Zoom for video calls but Chris notes that the pandemic hasn't significantly impacted their ability to communicate because people were already set up to stay in touch remotely.
With many of the Novum team travelling between offices fairly regularly, Chris says they all really like having the photos so they aren’t “walking in completely blind” and know who they are about to meet or see again.
Why the distributed team? Trucking across the border has dictated some of the office locations but the spread is mostly because Novum hire where they find talent:
“The benefits of tech is that people can work from home on a permanent basis. We have two people in the UK that work from home in London and Cardiff with a VPN.” says Chris.
Because Mexico experiences earthquakes, Novum activated Check In from Names & Faces.
Check In is a simple, live way to account for people in a crisis and Novum have it set up and ready to run for their Mexico City office. Thankfully, they haven't had to use it yet but that it is ready and waiting gives Chris and his team peace of mind.
Interested in building a visual list of your people? Learn more and get started.