When most people think about streamlining in the manufacturing industry, their thoughts turn to equipment and staffing rather than business technology. Sometimes, though, adjusting internal processes on the office end can translate to increased productivity for every aspect of the business.
American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO) discovered this when they detected an internal slowdown, and Innovative Architects showed them how the Microsoft.Net Framework could help.
Like many companies in the manufacturing industry, ACIPCO maintains a large and ever-changing intranet and knowledge base for employees at every level. Previously, the IT department oversaw maintenance of this content. They were responsible for receiving new or updated documents, editing them and loading them onto the company’s intranet.
Because several individuals were handling these duties with no unifying framework, it was difficult for the IT staff to detect duplicate content or even establish a naming convention for files. The result was a confusing system with a server full of documents that were misnamed, outdated and very challenging to navigate.
Maintaining this system was also incredibly time-consuming for members of the IT department. Hours that they could have spent making improvements to the office infrastructure were instead devoted to editing, formatting and uploading documents created by users in other departments.
Innovative Architects Helped ACIPCO Find the Right Business Technology Solutions
When Innovative Architects took a look at ACIPCO’s situation, the Microsoft.Net suite of applications seemed to offer the obvious solution. Rather than funneling every piece of documentation through the IT department, employees with knowledge to contribute could instead be empowered to update the intranet themselves, and this could even be accomplished without intensive computer training.
Today, ACIPCO employees can access templates and create documents in Microsoft Office, then share them on the company’s intranet via Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint server and the Microsoft.Net Framework. Not only has this opened up the IT department to focus on other aspects of business technology, but it has also created an organized platform where documents are easy to find and kept up-to-date by those in relevant departments, who better understand each individual piece of documentation.
When thinking about increasing productivity in the manufacturing industry, internal content management may not be the first upgrade that comes to mind, but the ripple effect of an updated IT infrastructure reaches every corner of any business. With the IT department freed up to perform IT tasks and the remaining departments empowered to share their knowledge and information, increased productivity is the inevitable result.
If you think your company could benefit from a more streamlined infrastructure, contact Microsoft business technology consultants at Innovative Architects today to learn how we can help.