Portlets Web-enable Critical Processes at ThyssenKrupp Budd

Plumtree-based executive dashboard, CEO update solution and plant scheduling app saving time and money for tier-one auto supplier

Plumtree-based executive dashboard, CEO update solution and plant scheduling app saving time and money for tier-one auto supplier

San Francisco, CA — August 20, 2004 — Tier-one automotive supplier ThyssenKrupp Budd Company has deployed employee-facing service-oriented applications using a solution from Plumtree Software as part of an initiative to Web-enable such critical processes as weekly production and financial updates, employee scheduling and asset management, helping the company to save time and money.

ThyssenKrupp Budd produces sheet metal stampings and assemblies, chassis modules and frame components, composite autobody panels and pickup boxes, gray and ductile iron castings and bumpers. Its products can be found on nearly 100 current model vehicles.

The company has deployed Plumtree's Enterprise Web Suite to 1,500 employees in the United States and Mexico. Plumtree said its technologies give ThyssenKrupp Budd an open framework for building applications that have Web-enabled critical processes.

As a result, ThyssenKrupp Budd estimates that it has saved thousands of dollars in printing and distribution costs, reduced human resources processing time by several hours per week and dramatically reduced the time it takes to get management an update from every company plant.

"Our industry is facing challenging times, we need to do more with less, and Plumtree's technologies are helping us to do just that," said Kirk Yaros, supervisor for Web development at ThyssenKrupp Budd. "Each of our manufacturing plants has its own set of tools and systems. With Plumtree, we are able to easily build a large number of targeted applications that span different tools and systems, saving time and money by automating hundreds of tasks."

Before deploying Plumtree's portal, collaboration, content management and search technologies, information silos existed among the various stakeholders within ThyssenKrupp Budd. Sensitive plant data could not be posted to the company's intranet because some plants were not allowed to see other plants' data.

Now, through applications built within ThyssenKrupp Budd's portal, employees across plants can securely share data with headquarters, collaborate on projects via Plumtree Collaboration Server and search for relevant information. ThyssenKrupp Budd built several service-oriented applications in their portal, including:

  • An Executive Dashboard: The executive dashboard allows executives and management to review monthly financials from SAP, financial forecasts in Excel files from accounting, and sales updates from plant managers. As a result, plant managers are held more accountable when reporting their performance, and executives can make more informed decisions.

  • A CEO Weekly Update Application: The CEO Weekly Update Application formats and streamlines the preparation behind weekly plant performance reports from 30 manufacturing plants via a workflow process and several customized portlets. Each plant manager enters eight performance metrics into a customized portlet that generates a report for a department secretary to review. Department secretaries use another set of portlets to review the reports, choose the right headers, add necessary notes and finalize it before submitting the report to the executive secretary. The executive secretary then chooses the relevant line items within the separate reports and routes a final report to the CEO. ThyssenKrupp Budd's CEO views the final report through an Executive Report Viewer after the application alerts him via an automatic e-mail. The CEO Weekly Update Application has not only streamlined a previously cumbersome, paper-based process, but it now stores a record of historical production data, allowing executives to look back and compare past performance.

  • A Scheduling Application: Previously, each ThyssenKrupp Budd plant had a time sheet at the front desk that employees would sign every day. Now, a scheduling application automates this process by allowing employees to check in and out via the portal. A vacation scheduler portlet also allows employees to request time off, routing the request to managers and human relations. Managers have a color-coded dashboard view of their direct reports' vacation schedule. As a result, time sheets have been eliminated, streamlining paper-based processes and reducing HR processing time by several hours per week.
ThyssenKrupp Budd considered a solution from its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider but found that it could only build an application based on that one ERP system. The company chose Plumtree because the provider's Enterprise Web Suite allowed ThyssenKrupp Budd to build service-oriented applications across multiple back-end systems and thereby leverage its legacy systems.

Through Plumtree's portal, ThyssenKrupp Budd could then manage those applications centrally. Plumtree Collaboration Server was chosen because ThyssenKrupp Budd could migrate from its costly, existing Web-based content management solution to Collaboration Server, saving money, while giving employees an integrated experience of collaboration within their portal, according to Plumtree.
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