Company: ActiveIntranetCustomer: CrodaSubmitted by: ActiveIntranet
Croda International plc is a worldwide leader in the supply of speciality chemicals based on naturally occuring raw materials to the personal care, household, pharmaceutical and nutritional markets. Based in the UK, Croda now operates in over 30 countries and employs some 2400 employees in offices and plants throughout the world.
“The global development of our business resulted in operations developing independent technology around the world,” says Barbara Richmond, Group Financial Director with Croda International.
“Our aim, however, was to become one unified, international business. We required a solution capable of pooling all our networks, disparate data sources, stand alone systems and differing cultures to enable even our most isolated employees easy global access to one available resource. The benefit being to speed up communication as well as ensure that information is always up-to-date. We wanted a solution that gives our employees leading edge technology that is continually developed in terms of capabilities and ease of use. We wanted to tap the massive power of our corporate information by drawing together all the product details, technical skills and knowledge of our international operations. The aim was to empower employees with more information, and significantly reduce paperwork, administration and duplication.
“In the long term, Croda was also seeking to establish a framework for its eBusiness strategy. The company required an environment that facilitated more informed business decisions, but was also looking for a solution that actively involved its customers. By allowing intranet information to be shared through secure extranet access, a whole new dimension of supply chain efficiency and forward thinking customer service could be achieved.
Active Intranet™ was recommended by Croda’s website partner Magnitude, whose web design and project management skills provided the perfect foil for ActiveIntranet’s technical and training abilities. A comprehensive and easy-to-implement solution was formulated that was also flexible enough to evolve with the company.
Based on a single remote server, the new CrodaNet was so simple to use that it could be operated without the full time IT expertise. The result was that the intranet could be built, updated and maintained by any Croda employee possessing a reasonable degree of computer literacy.This is achievable because Active Intranet™ automatically converts over 60 different software packages to one standard html format. It means Croda employees anywhere in the world can access, communicate, update and maintain material instantly, without waiting weeks for a conventional web master to reformat documents. They can convene user groups, post documents, share problems and seek advice, quite literally, at any time.
And because Active Intranet™ employs low bandwidth technology and standard web browser architecture it can be accessed using industry-standard equipment from anywhere in the world.
Active Intranet™ allows Croda’s global network to share local, departmental and international information, encouraging improved teamwork, closer collaboration and a stronger sense of corporate identity. And because Active Intranet™ devolves day-to-day maintenance to the user, information can be constantly updated, allowing up-to-the-minute decision making and improved management control.By providing varying levels of secure access Active Intranet™ also strikes the right balance between devolved flexibility and corporate control. Its uniquely scaleable architecture has almost limitless potential for expansion and adaptation, yet is married to a template system that allows Croda to maintain control over the look and feel of the system.
The simplicity of the product’s architecture and a comprehensive package of training and support allowed Active Intranet™ to be implemented within just two months of the order being signed. Because it operates from a standard central source, no new software needed to be installed at the client end, and staff without technical programming skills were able to update the intranet after just an hour’s training. This massively reduced the high implementation costs often associated with new communication systems. Measurable cost savings are made in reduced fax, print and telephone charges, as well as reduced project management and staff collaboration costs.
By sharing information globally Active Intranet™ also ensures that research, problem solving and intranet development projects are done only once, eliminating the expense of unnecessary duplication.
By delivering improved performance in the management of business information, Active Intranet™ delivers a number of other key competitive advantages.The main business benefit as far as Croda is concerned is improved customer service. Simple, efficient access to information gives customer service operatives the ability to deliver faster and more informed responses on a far wider range of subjects. And, by extending access to customers through an extranet, a new degree of inter-active customer service can be achieved.
In a competitive economy, it is such customer service innovations that will hold the key to improved market share.
Active Intranet™ integrates the collective information of Croda’s wide-ranging international operations, providing dramatically improved access to information, a sophisticated internal communication tool and a platform for building customer service innovations. Thanks to Active Intranet’s flexibility and ease of operation the project was delivered rapidly with minimal training and implementation costs.
The Benefits to Croda:
- Implementation within 2 months of order
- Non-technical users able to update the intranet after an hour’s training
- A systematic corporate knowledge base, dramatically reducing duplication
- More up-to-date information for more effective management decisions
- Global collaboration, discussion groups and sharing of solutions
- A more efficient and competitive supply chain
- The foundations of an effective eBusiness strategy
- Extranet access options for a world of customer service possibilities