TECE is a medium-sized, family-owned company headquartered in Germany that produces sanitary and installation systems which have received numerous certificates and awards. With offices, subsidiaries, and sales partners worldwide, the company benefits from a high degree of vertical manufacturing and the adherence to demanding quality standards.
TECE wanted to establish an information management system as a central data repository. The aim was to align with their cloud strategy and seamlessly integrate with their CRM and ERP applications while also ensuring legal compliance.
Working with d.velop, TECE implemented a solution that provides access to critical business documents in Office 365 and SharePoint in the context of the relevant business object information (customers, suppliers, personnel, products, projects, orders, cases). This is achieved via an automated and standardized process based on existing CRM/ERP data. All information is accessible without leaving the primary applications, establishing complete information and documentation transparency across all subsidiaries and departments. Users can easily and quickly find documents and get a comprehensive view of all information. When information is effortlessly available, users are free to focus on what’s essential.
TECE is an international company experiencing dynamic growth. With more than 22 subsidiaries and production sites at 5 locations in various countries, information silos were part of the daily life of employees. Information was only shared interdepartmentally and solely with directly affected employees, restricting the availability of important information across the organization. This vertical communication in information silos made it impossible to facilitate complete transparency, resulting in time-consuming searching, duplication of effort, and a lack of synergy among various departments, which ultimately led to missed opportunities. One recurring example occurred on construction sites, when information was unavailable during important communication with business partners. TECE wanted and needed quick and easy access to information – no matter where or when.
Based on the availability issues with mobile access, as well as the usage across subsidiaries, the company pursued a cloud-first strategy. Ultimately, the goal was to enable a complete, legally compliant, and transparent digitization of all documents, as well as their archiving. The alignment of the cloud strategy with these goals enabled scalability, easy coordination, and cost reduction due to the provision of managed services. Processes and workflows, such as the procure-to-pay process, can be further improved because information is easily accessible. Additionally, information silos can be eliminated in a sustainable manner. Complete transparency produces concrete results in time and effort saved, both by improving coordination across departments and physical locations, as well as in ensuring that decisions are made based on the correct document versions.
The biggest challenge in the project was to migrate the existing solution where information was stored in SAP, Salesforce, and file systems towards Office 365 as the central, comprehensive location for information. In addition, that centrally stored information needed to be directly available via integration in SAP and Salesforce.
TECE relies strategically on SharePoint. The requirement to establish an information management system as a central document repository was fulfilled with the introduction of d.velop for Office 365. That repository organizes documents in file folders based on business criteria (by customer, supplier, order, etc.) and also stores technical data sheets and makes all of this available, in the right context, directly in an SAP or Salesforce process. The platform that d.velop created also enables legally compliant archiving and retention.
Strategically, the use of Office 365 enables online exchange and collaboration, for instance in projects with constantly shifting requirements that require information management across locations and business units. With full integration of all systems, TECE’s processes can be streamlined, and compliance and governance issues can be addressed in a comprehensive, strategic manner.
By introducing an information management system, TECE was able to reduce the inefficiencies associated with having multiple, isolated solutions. Instead, d.velop for Office 365 was used to make Office 365 the focal point for information stemming from strategically critical applications, including SAP as the ERP and Salesforce as the CRM. The greatest benefit for TECE is that every employee now has access to all relevant documents, anytime and anywhere. With more than 1.5 million digitalized documents per year, TECE is now able to access its information instantly – no matter whether it is stored in a customer, order, or supplier file.
With Office 365 from Microsoft we benefit from a powerful platform for information management. With d.velop for Office 365, we connect this platform to SAP ERP and Salesforce, achieve full transparency regarding our documents and business processes, and ensure legally compliant filing.
- Reinhard Wiggers
Head of Systems and Processes