Weiler: The full suite of Microsoft tools for maximum effectiveness
The broad range of Microsoft tools provides nearly everything that a modern organization needs for everyday work. And we certainly get the most from them when using them as part of the ecosystem in which they constantly connect and collaborate. This is exactly how we overcome our challenges at Weiler Abrasives, the manufacturer of solutions for cutting, grinding, cleaning and surface finishing.
The start of the renovation and the digitalization project
In 2018 Weiler Abrasives decided to gradually introducte of new technologies, a process that is still ongoing will continue for some time in the future. They wanted to automate many different procedures that were still being managed manually. This made work time-consuming, and information was not available to all the stakeholders.
The first step was the upgrade the dated intranet system. The client tackled the issue earnestly, forming a special project group to define all the required guidelines for designing the new intranet portal in SharePoint, only then deciding to contact us for the implementation. We were quickly able to find common ground, and got to work, gradually working in other Microsoft tools for personal productivity and business analytics.
Jure Gorjup, CIO at Weiler Abrasives discussed the scope of the completed and ongoing projects: “We have had an excellent relationship with Stroka Business Group for several years now, working together on developing our intranet in the SharePoint Online environment. As part of this project, we digitalized several smaller processes, such as the guest management app eVratar (eDoorman), the CRM system and various workflows (e.g. confirming the CEO’s decisions, requests for services, etc.). We are also preparing highly complex reports using Power BI, which makes it easier for the company to data mine and utilize the results in decision-making. They also presented us with and later implemented the solutions Power Automate for process automation and Power Apps for developing simple apps. All of these tools together form the major Microsoft Power Platform.”
How Weiler Abrasives is taking advantage of Microsoft tools
It often happens that in order to obtain the required data we spend a lot of time or must include a lot of people in the process. SharePoint makes it possible to simplify work. Its basic task is to make it possible for each and every employee to quickly access all the key information they need.
At Weiler, SharePoint is essential, because it acts as a hub between different systems. It is used as an intranet portal where all the important files are located.
Within SharePoint we also established our customer relationship management (CRM) system, which includes the full customer database with sales opportunities that can be used by both sales and the marketing departments. Even though some other dedicated (and more expensive) CRM systems offer many additional features, SharePoint’s CRM more than suffices our company’s needs.
Microsoft Power Platform
Microsoft Power Platform is the family of applications that includes Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate that perform different roles, but collaborate well with one another. What makes them unique, is that they can be installed quickly and with little or no coding, and they can also easily connect to existing data sources (locally or in the cloud).
Power BI has ranked as the no. 1 business analytics platform for number of years, and brings interactive visualizations through utilizing business intelligence. A growing number of companies of all sizes rely on it.
Weiler uses it across different areas, including sales, manufacture monitoring, operative management, human resource management and more. Power BI is connected to various data resources and is in use on a daily basis. It especially makes work easier for department heads who utilize the analytics when making important decisions.
The Power Apps solution is aimed at developing simple applications that can be designed even without any programming knowledge. In an editor that somewhat resembles Microsoft PowerPoint, users can create applications that can resolve many challenges.
Weiler utilizes Power Apps to create various applications for internal climate, and the eVratar (eDoorman) application for managing guests; this is an especially interesting solution, and is also used in the Weiler’s US headquarters. It requires the doorman to fill out an e-form when a visitor arrives, and the printer prints the tag with a QR code and a registration number. The visitor then takes the tag and returns it to the doorman at departure to check out. In the past, the process included the doorman writing the arrival and departure information on paper, and the visitor had to keep it for the duration of the visit.
Utilizing the flows in the Power Automate app makes it possible to automate processes, as the company manages many different procedures. These used to be managed manually, but are now automatically guided using Outlook and Teams.
Tasks performed this way include approving the CEO’s decisions, approving the requests for funds for the business bank card, entering and approving travel orders and confirming investments.
How does a system like this operate in practice? In a chain where every link must confirm a certain request, the automated system informs an employee by email to process a request. When they are finished, the request is then sent to their supervisor and so on. The story is generally concluded in Outlook, where request lists are stored and updated.
Outlook and Teams
Even though they are not at the forefront here, their role in the whole ecosystem is essential. Here, these two popular tools do what they do best – make sure that communication runs smoothly.
Gradual roll-out of new features to suit employees’ needs
Weiler generally educates and trains its own employees; however, when needed, we are ready to jump in. They are focused on a gradual roll-out of changes, allowing employees to adopt new technologies step-by-step instead of being forced to learn many different things at once. This is especially important for those employees who are not as savvy in new technologies.
Mutual satisfaction for a successful future
We are excited that Weiler is very satisfied with our work, especially pointing to our experts’ responsiveness and quick action. It needs to be mentioned that for us it is also a great pleasure to work together with a client who is competent and knows exactly what it wants. Considering how well we collaborate we expect to remain partners for many years.
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