Case Studies

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Bender Group Boosts Efficiency by Automating Paper-based Internal Processes

While a technology leader because of its products and services, Bender Group struggled with inefficient internal processes that could not easily be shared and that sometimes resulted in inadvertent errors and delays. In addition, the company wanted to capture employees’ valuable knowledge before their retirement. Bender realized it needed to optimize. With a heavy investment in Microsoft software, Bender looked at introducing a SharePoint 2010-based collaboration environment into the workplace. But the company determined that using SharePoint Designer would be time-consuming and too complex to handle on an ongoing basis.

Bender is a market leader for monitoring systems for electrical safety. For more than six decades, Bender has developed and produced top-quality products for the measurement and monitoring of electrical systems. The company has an excellent reputation and its products are used worldwide. Bender also supplies solutions and services to various sectors (e.g. hospitals, mining, the automotive industry, machinery manufacturers, ships and submarines, as well as e-mobility, wind power and solar power installations).

In 1971, Bender introduced the first electronic A-ISOMETER and the company staff numbered 28 employees. Today, Bender employs more than 600 people across the globe. The company is headquartered in Gruenberg, Germany and has offices, agencies and distributors in more than 60 countries.

Paper Process Slows Down Quality Management Team

Many of Bender’s internal processes, such as quality management, were inefficient. Bender’s Quality Management team evaluates the quality of the company’s products by capturing and analyzing all failure reports submitted by departments across the business. The team works to ensure that the high-quality standards Bender is known for are maintained. The paper process used by departments to submit faults was prone to mistakes and a typical submission took three to four days.

Besides improving its internal processes, the company wanted to retain the wealth of knowledge possessed by many employees fast approaching retirement age. Many of those employees have faithfully served the company since the 1970s and have a tremendous understanding of Bender systems and products that Bender wishes to retain to pass onto the workforce of both today and tomorrow.

The company implemented SharePoint 2010 but quickly determined that using SharePoint Designer would be time-consuming and too complex to handle on an ongoing basis, especially given that the team of key users lacked developer skills. Bender’s IT implementation partner IPI GmbH, also a Nintex partner, recommended that the best solution for the company’s needs was Nintex Workflow 2010.

Company Gains "Better Collaboration and Efficiency"

Nintex Workflow has helped with the company’s adoption of the collaboration environment across the business. Nintex Workflow is used to rename documents and images uploaded to the company intranet before they are published so that file names meet set naming conventions. To monitor the growth and usage of SharePoint, requests for new SharePoint sites are routed for approval. Once a site has been created, site activity is monitored and sites can be deleted after a period of inactivity. All IT helpdesk requests are handled by a SharePoint ticket system for which priority, notifications and escalations are all handled using Nintex Workflow.

Quality Management team members benefit from a submission process that now involves an electronic form, available on the company’s collaboration platform. Once submitted, the form is routed via workflow to the members of the Quality Management team. As a result of workflow automation, the team receives product failure reports the same day they are made and has the ability to accurately report and react on faults, says Oliver Böhmer, CIO of the Bender Group.

“The process has made those involved accountable as all members of the team can now see the causes of failures and consequently produced higher quality products as faults are solved quickly and moved back into production,” Böhmer says.

Initially, only the IT department had permission to create workflows, but Bender expects that ultimately more than half of its employees will actively use Nintex Workflow 2010 as they do SharePoint. The company also plans to extend workflow automation to more paper-based processes, including leave requests and product change management. The latter will involve 12 to 13 departments across the business, including sales, manufacturing and research, to evaluate product suggestions against product roadmap, practical application, customer satisfaction and commercial viability.

“We are well on the way to making sure knowledge is captured, processes are automated with an eye on long-term benefits, and our employees are actively part of defining these processes for better collaboration and efficiency,” Böhmer says.

We are well on the way to making sure knowledge is captured, processes are automated with an eye on long-term benefits, and our employees are actively part of defining these processes for better collaboration and efficiency.

Oliver Böhmer
CIO
Bender Group

Bender
Company
Bender Group
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Country
Germany
Industry
Industrial Manufacturing
Business Situation
Many of Bender's internal processes were often inefficient, furthermore, information important to a specific and sometimes greater audience could not easily be shared and made available. Bender wanted to move the company forward, gain efficiencies and help employees pass on knowledge within the company.
Solution
IPI GmbH, a Nintex partner, introduced into Bender a SharePoint 2010 based collaboration environment with Nintex Workflow 2010 to both capture employee knowledge and automate processes traditionally done via paper forms.
Benefits
  • Increased efficiency
  • Eliminated paper processes
  • Shared knowledge and collaboration
  • Increased quality management

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Bender Case Study


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