Schnitzer Steel, Inc. manufactures Human Resource workflows 60% faster with Nintex Workflow and Nintex Forms

Streamlined Human Resource processes save nearly 200 working hours for employee performance reviews

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., is one of the nation’s largest recyclers and manufacturers of metal products based in Portland, Oregon. Until recently, the company’s business processes involved Microsoft SharePoint Designer-based workflows, InfoPath forms, Excel tracking documents, manual email approvals and paper signatures. Onboarding an employee could require six types of approvals and coordination among five managers.

“The forms and workflows were highly complex,” says David Dean, SharePoint and Office 365 Architect at Schnitzer Steel. “Errors could creep in, stealing managerial and employee time from other tasks. It was often difficult to tell where a process was stalled.”

The pain was particularly strong in the Human Resources department.

“It seemed as though the HR forms went into a black hole,” says Andrew Buchanan, HR Business Partner and Project Manager at Schnitzer Steel. “Responding to questions from managers about the status of employee changes was time consuming and at times difficult.”

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Schnitzer Steel Industries is one of the U.S.’s largest recyclers of ferrous and nonferrous metals, a leading recycler of used and salvaged vehicles, and a manufacturer of finished steel products.

Business Situation

Schnitzer Steel’s corporate processes and forms — such as those for Human Resources — involved spreadsheet files, which consumed time and resulted in poor visibility into processes.


Schnitzer Steel adopted Nintex Workflow for Office 365 and Nintex Forms to enhance HR processes such as hiring and performance reviews, as well as processes throughout the company, including compliance, auto and metal recycling, and point of sale-generated alerts.

Nintex reduces process time and complexity

Those time-consuming and difficult questions became faster and easier to answer when the company discovered Nintex. Schnitzer Steel has given the Nintex treatment to processes from compliance to recycling management and point-of-sale (POS) notifications. Among the HR processes enhanced by the Nintex platform are employee onboarding, status changes, and performance reviews.

“Because Nintex gives us greater insight into workflow status, we are now able to proactively collaborate with business leaders, confirm expectations, and quickly circle back when changes are completed,” Buchanan says. “Nintex enables us to provide more impactful communications to our business leaders and HR partners.”

When David Dean, SharePoint/Office 365 Architect at Schnitzer Steel, needs to change the form, he can implement that change himself in a few days from dev/test to production, a lead-time reduction of two weeks.

“I’m saving 60 percent of my time on development and turnaround of changes,” he says.

Schnitzer Steel’s HR department also automated the performance review processes with Nintex Workflow. Dean, the SharePoint architect, developed the complex workflow in just three weeks, just 60 percent of the time it might have taken before Nintex. And that’s just a fraction of the total savings that the company gains from this Nintex workflow.

Buchanan estimates that managers save a total of 175 working hours by using Nintex Workflow for their performance review process. For HR business partners like himself, who review each form, it saves 25 hours—per business partner.

Buchanan expects to add 360-degree employee reviews—reviews of qualifications for stretch-assignments and promotions, goal setting, in addition to traditional merit pay increases—to the roster of Nintex HR workflows and Dean expects the company’s 11 Nintex workflows to more than double over the coming year.


Reduces workflow development time by 60 percent
Saves 175 hours of employee time and 180 hours of managerial time implementing reviews
Reduces time necessary to check reviews by 75 percent
We will continue to leverage the capabilities of Nintex and push the boundaries of automation.

We will continue to leverage the capabilities of Nintex and push the boundaries of automation. In partnership with Nintex and our resident SharePoint expert, David Dean, the opportunities for automation are truly endless.”

Andrew Buchanan, HR Business Partner and Project ManagerSchnitzer Steel Inc