Case Studies

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Leading Cash and Carry Standardizes and Automates Operating Procedure

FEGRO/SELGROS is a leading self-service "cash and carry" wholesaler with more than 10,000 employees and 80 wholesale warehouses. It offers food and non-food items to restaurants, caterers, retailers, and other food professionals throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Wanting to standardize and automate its paper-based processes it turned to partner Fritz & Macziol. Working together, the companies applied Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow to build a system to create and update the company's standard operating procedures with enforced reviews and approvals. Then they turned their attention to automating the procedures to provide greater transparency and improve efficiency.

Business Needs

Business procedures are critical to the success of any business. They're invaluable tools when kept up-to-date and when employees are confident they know how to access, use, and apply them.

FEGRO/SELGROS had developed a set of standard operating procedures (SOP) to cover many employee activities. However, it lacked a system for updating these procedures.

In addition, many of the procedures required employees to print out forms and circulate them to managers for approval. These paper-based approval processes were slowing decision making and decreasing productivity.

FEGRO/SELGROS saw an immediate need to implement an intranet to store the SOPs and provide an easy way for employees to access them. As it considered additional operational requirements, management realized that the project was an opportunity to go beyond just storing its procedures online to simplifying and automating them.

Applying the Right Solution

FEGRO/SELGROS decided to use Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for its intranet solution to provide the access and version controls that it needed. It turned to Fritz & Macziol Group, an international technology services firm, because of its reputation in Germany as a premier SharePoint consulting company. During the review and initial scoping process for the SharePoint project, Fritz & Macziol suggested that FEGRO/SELGROS could get significant value from the project if they used Nintex Forms to switch from paper-based processes to electronic forms and Nintex Workflow to automate processes within SharePoint. "We recommended Nintex Forms for this solution because the forms are easy to program and are completely integrated with SharePoint," says Patrick von der Heydt, Senior SharePoint Consultant, Data Center Services at Fritz & Macziol.

The SharePoint deployment began in November 2011 and by March 2012 Fritz & Macziol turned its attention to the SOPs. In only two months the partner developed a Nintex Forms solution to manage how procedures are created and updated. After changing the procedure and updating the change history, users can start the approval workflow in Nintex Workflow. The workflow converts the approved document to a PDF and publishes it on the Intranet.

The form used for this project to select a procedure is very sophisticated and uses JavaScript and jQuery to implement dynamic filters and actions. The selection form filters the available procedures based on the functional area selected and the type of procedure. Any procedures that have been checked out will not be available for editing. The form automatically fills in the credentials of the user making the change and the necessary approvals. If the user selects a new procedure, then the form selects the appropriate template for the new procedure.

After this initial project, FEGRO/SELGROS began to use Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow to automate a range of standard operating procedures. "Once we understand the process, Nintex Forms makes it easy to design a form with the drag and drop interface in the browser," says von der Heydt. "Then we can integrate it with a Nintex Workflow to create the application."

What We Gained

Using Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow to manage and automate its SOPs has helped FEGRO/SELGROS provide a more structured and productive environment for its employees.

  • Improved Processes - FEGRO/SELGROS now has more reliable processes that are well documented and easy to execute. Escalations and tracking are built into Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms so items are not lost in a pile of papers. "Instead of waiting days for an approval, we can now usually get one in a few hours," says Elena Schneider, IT Project Manager at FEGRO/SELGROS.
  • Easy-to-find procedures - SOPs are now in one place and employees can find them quickly. "Nintex Forms integrates well with our SharePoint Intranet, so it is easy for our staff to find the correct form and then follow through the entire procedure," says Schneider.
  • Easy Customization - Using an easy-to-use graphical interface, workflows can be quickly redesigned or added. Plus, deploying the updated process back to the server requires no downtime. "Updating a form or workflow is as simple as dragging items around on the screen," says von der Heydt.

FEGRO/SELGROS will expand the solution across the company to as many as 5000 employees. The company sees huge potential for additional gains by automating procedures in other departments. With Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow, FEGRO/SELGROS is becoming a more agile company that is better able to serve its customers.

Nintex Forms integrates well with our SharePoint Intranet, so it is easy for our staff to find the correct form and then follow through the entire procedure.

Elena Schneider
IT Project Manager

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Food Wholesaler
Business Situation
FEGRO/SELGROS used paper-based processes with no central control over procedures. It was difficult for employees to know if they were using the latest version and it was impossible to track the progress of a process or ensure its completion in a timely manner.
FEGRO/SELGROS implemented Nintex Forms and Nintex Workflow on a new Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 intranet site. It then standardized and automated processes that enable its workforce to easily and effectively track the progress of work items.
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Increased visibility into processes
  • Enhanced security and reliability

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Fegro Selgros

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