Krones AG launches a project portal to improve collaboration
Headquartered in Neutraubling, Germany, the Krones Group plans, develops and manufactures machines and complete lines for process, filling and packaging technology, as well as intralogistics. Information technology and factory planning, as well as the company’s own valve production, complement the company’s product portfolio.
The project “Introduction of a project platform based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010” was launched by Krones AG to improve cooperation. Krones AG and R.K. Consulting GmbH mastered this challenge by setting up a cross-departmental project portal.
“The project “Introduction of a collaboration platform based on SharePoint Server 2010” was launched by KRONES AG to improve collaboration in projects. Together with R.K. Consulting GmbH, which had already supported Krones with the introduction of the new terminal server farm, the project was successfully implemented.“Bernadette Müller, IM Infrastructure Project Manager
A requirements analysis at the start of the project showed that individual project and information portals based on different technologies were used in parallel in the various departments of the group.
Communication and data exchange in crossdepartmental working groups or with external service providers and suppliers was mostly carried out via e-mail, SharePoint team sites based on Microsoft Online Services 2007 and FTP servers. There was no uniform communication process in the company.
The project therefore focused on the following challenges:
- Krones AG’s new project structuring was intended to create a global work template that would serve as a basis for all areas of the company.
- Different templates based on the global template should be created for the individual company areas.
- Employees should be able to network with external employees, service providers and suppliers
- Project rooms should be created for interdepartmental working groups and external staff.
- The company Krones AG should be able to further develop and adapt the system without programming knowledge.
- The workspace LifeCycle should be completely mapped by the system.
Krones AG chose R.K. Consulting GmbH as its implementation partner, whose implementation approach of “no code” solutions and extensive project experience in the area of project portals were convincing.
The objective was to provide all Krones AG employees with uniform access to projectspecific information. In addition, all employees were to be given the opportunity to exchange information across projects and with external parties in virtual project rooms, where they could work together. The aim was to set up a project platform based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
The solution should above all have an intuitive and easy to understand user guidance to all relevant contents of the work areas as well as to crosscompany contents. The project portal should be available to all employees worldwide and be accessible at any time from any company location, as well as from home or at the customer’s premises. With the introduction of a global project portal, a clear added value was to be created for the daily work routine, as well as a simple use and thus a higher acceptance by the employees.
A joint portal solution was implemented for efficient collaboration within Krones AG. There is no separation according to departments or company divisions, which makes cross-divisional virtual project rooms possible. The collaboration with external suppliers, service providers or partner companies was realised with a special provisioning and authorisation solution, so that external parties can have direct access without having to go through IT.
A start page shows the project manager all project rooms, announcements, documents, tasks and deadlines in which he is involved.
Since structures and processes in the company are constantly changing, the solution was implemented in such a way that the project manager can see the structure of a workspace and the can adapt linked processes to its needs without special IT knowledge.
This approach allows us to react very quickly to the needs of users. New as well as existing project rooms can thus be created without manual configuration effort with the same content and authorization structure.
In order to be able to operate the introduced platform at the highest level, selected third-party products were also used in the implementation in order to achieve infrastructural high levels of flexibility and efficiency.
With the introduction of the new project platform, KRONES AG has taken the first step towards improved cooperation. With the introduction of project rooms, all employees now have the opportunity to work together across locations.
Using a form, employees can apply for their own project rooms, which are approved by a committee and automatically created by the system. Project rooms can now be better managed by the administrators, while employees can use the Collaboration Manager to simplify the adaptation of project rooms.
A great benefit for the daily work is the personalized start page of the portal. The function of the aggregated project status is particularly popular. This is used in the controlling report as it can save a lot of time. Following the successful introduction of the project portal, the linking of the system with the current SAP environment is planned for the future. In this way, data from SAP can be used directly in the work areas for indexing documents.
In the future, the entire solution will use the collaborative possibilities of SharePoint even more comprehensively in order to make the employee’s daily work more efficient.