How Policies supports tonies’ growth trajectory
Since summer 2022, Düsseldorf based company tonies has been using EQS Group’s Policies to organise policy and guidelines while making them accessible to all employees. In our case study, we look at why the company, which develops and distributes audio systems for children, decided to introduce Policies and the benefits it subsequently experienced.
Initial situation: New requirements due to rapid growth
Since 2016, tonies has been selling audio players for children. The Tonieboxes and their accompanying audio figures, called Tonies, quickly became popular. The company has grown swiftly since it was founded, and it has long been active on the international market.
Although tonies retains many elements of a start-up culture, it had nevertheless become clear that guidelines were needed whereby standards could be established and regulatory requirements would be applied to internal processes. These needed to be kept up to date and made available to all employees, particularly against a background of evolving regulatory requirements.
In order to meet the challenges associated with this process, tonies opted for Policies as a digital tool that simplifies the organisation and administration of company policies while providing employees with straightforward access to all of the necessary information.
As a listed company, tonies already trusted EQS Group’s disclosure service and opted for yet another tool from the Munich-based company in the form of Policies.
Requirements: Policies and the company’s hopes
The company wanted to find a solution that would allow guidelines and policies to be managed in a simple and secure way. Guidelines and policies needed to be stored centrally in one place while always being up-to-date and available to employees. At the same time, staff had to be able to countersign policies. While this step is not required for every policy, tonies nevertheless wanted to be prepared for such cases. In addition, the company understood that the introduction of Policies represented a pillar of compliance that was necessary to keep pace with the steady growth of the organisation. In this way, tonies was also able to signal to its employees that compliance is taken seriously and exemplified, which marks an important step in establishing an ethical corporate culture.
Policies guarantees IT security and data hosting according to the latest ISO 27001 protection requirements. It brings all policies together in a central library and also stores older versions so companies can keep track of them. When new or updated versions of policies go online, all employees are informed and they can also digitally countersign them with a click or upload (if desired). Thanks to the mobile version of the tool, employees can also view company policies on their smartphones while on the move. The compliance department can also create evaluations and reports within the software, such as the policies that are accessed by staff most frequently.
Implementation: How tonies introduced Policies
It took approximately half a year to set up and activate Policy Manager within the company. For tonies, it was important to think carefully about how the access rights to the system should be distributed – who would get the rights to set new policies? Furthermore, the responsible compliance staff had to familiarise themselves with the system, namely how to set new policies, how to manage different versions and how to handle the storage of older versions.
The implementation brought about a technical challenge. The company imported the data of users who are informed about new policies directly from its personnel system. EQS Group developed an interface for this so that the import of the data into Policies ran smoothly. During the rollout, tonies was in regular contact with an EQS Group expert who answered questions about the system and monitored the process.
While the technical connection was being worked on, tonies developed a procedure for communicating the new system to its employees. In the months leading up to Policies going live, tonies sent out emails highlighting the upcoming changeover and to guide employees through the transition in a transparent step-by-step manner.
An initial email explained the general functionality of Policies and how it simplifies the policy management process for both employees and the company. A second email went into more detail and announced a go live date for Policies. Again, some time later, another email announced that the switch to Policies would take place in conjunction with the presentation of the next policy. It also included instructions for logging into the new system. Finally, the new system’s functionality was explained again at a staff meeting.
How tonies uses Policies now
The new policy management system is in the compliance department’s domain and two employees currently work with it. However, because there are overlaps in other business areas, employees from other departments also have access.
Currently, tonies manages around 10 policies in Policies. Due to the company’s growth, more policies will be added in the near future. The policies are generally reviewed and updated once a year. With five new policies issued in 2022 alone, tonies continues its growth trajectory.