World leader in building materials, Lafarge Holcim develops products in five areas: cement, aggregates, concrete, plaster and asphalt.


Sharing best practices and expertise is crucial in their industry; it enhances the organisation’s capability for productivity, quality and innovation.

In 2005, Lafarge launched the knowledge management program; the group was saturated with platforms (over 600), the search and navigation were limited on the IBM Domino Database which centralised the valuable information and no contextualisation could be performed.

Through a network of Knowledge Managers present in 25 countries, nearly 3,000 practices covering 12,000 documents were captured over the next five years.

“Change Management does not happen in a blink of an eye. Each month, we send to everyone in the group a short video , promoting the culture of Knowledge Management and collaboration, it’s a marathon not a sprint”

– Jean-Luc Abelin, Knowledge Manager, Lafarge Holcim


In 2012 (prior the merge with Holcim), Lafarge wanted to replace the existing database with a solution that offered intuitive navigation, a powerful search engine and the management of multilingualism.
In addition, the division showed its willingness to establish communities of practice with a real network of experts.
The recovery of the existing base of 2,500 active best practices was mandatory. Also, the ability to interface with SSO seemed essential in order to create 35,500 potential users.
Given these requirements, choosing elium (formerly known as Knowledge Plaza) became evident. today the platform and tags are available in ten languages enabling a truly internationalized search and Lafarge base their collaboration on 3 platforms: elium, LO Village et Google Drive.

“You can share the best practice in the world, if nobody knows it exists, no one will use it”
– Jean-Luc Abelin, Knowledge Manager, Lafarge Holcim

Launch & Benefits

As intuitive as it might be, the platform alone was not enough to stimulate and anchor the new sharing habit. Lafarge, launched an enterprise wide communication campaign to encourage each employee to log on, read and contribute.

After 4 years, the platform has contributed to:

  • Improve individual & group performance
  • Creating & uncovering expert profiles
  • Accelerate the transfer of best practices
  • Reduce delays in implementation
  • Identify local best practices that could become standard for the group.