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Strottman is a leader in the design and manufacturing of Promotional Toys for “Kids Meals”, Retail Outlets, and more. The environment is so dynamic that information necessary for decision-making needs to be available quickly and requests of various departments need to be processed rapidly in order to meet their strict deadlines.

Several years ago, because of the company’s growth and independent spirit, it became apparent that Strottman was maintaining multiple islands of data in various formats (spreadsheets, file system, File Maker databases, etc.) with no centralized management of that information. Additionally, the company was handling over 50 internal requests for day for Creative, Engineering, Marketing and other work, all of which were being handled through manual processes and email. The manual processes and distributed nature of company data did not provide any tracking of submitted requests, version control of documents or ability to affectively manage increases in request volume.

Additionally, the company maintains 5 locations (3 in the US, 2 in Asia) and had to deal with time zone differences and distribution of information.

The Strottman Leadership team saw that this had the potential of growing into a larger problem as the company grew and as more documents and requests were added to the mix. Time is wasted as people try to locate someone who might have specific knowledge or track down the current version of a document or file. And people end up reinventing the wheel, because they do not know that another person has already come up with an idea, solved a problem or created a document. To change this behavior, the organization needed to cultivate an environment in which knowledge sharing is encouraged and rewarded, or even required.

Working with each department in the company, a team consisting of Strottman employees and an outside consultant developed a Communication and Collaboration strategy called the “ Know Way” system.

The goals of this system were:

Management and tracking of requests in real-time

Improved Quality and Sharing of company-vital information

Increased efficiency in work processes by enabling staff and management with accurate information

Consideration of distribution of offices and information

Using Microsoft’s Sharepoint technology as a foundation, the web-based system brought tracking and visibility to all of the Requests handled within the company. Employees could easily see what work was due from them and when, could reassign tasks to balance the workload, and could see what stage Requests submitted by them were in. Customization of the Sharepoint application brought greater value to the company by allowing requests to be emailed, copied and reported on.

The pay-off for the company and, in turn, for its clients was enormous.

“The ability to have all this information at our fingertips and to get a real-time snapshot of all the work that’s being done on a particular project has really made a difference in our ability to serve our clients and has put us ahead of other agencies” says Joe Smith, Director, at Strottman.

“Establishing a technology plan that takes into account not just today, but years to come, has already begun to pay-off” Says Andrew Oberweger, Strottman's Director of Information Technology.

For more information about this solution please contact Lisa Parris at
lisa@econsortium.net.

 

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