Structuring a Microsoft SharePoint solution for a team driven organisation
Who are Shield Batteries
Shield Batteries is a UK manufacturer and distributor of batteries and associated products.
Shields’ focus is customer focussed service with the emphasis on flexible lead times, bespoke products, agreed delivery schedules and administrative support.
Their Head Office is in Bishops Stortford with Battery Centres in Leicester, Manchester, Poole, Southend, Stortford and Yeovil, as well as a state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution centre in Stansted.
Shield maintains a presence in a variety of industries including automotive, bus, rail, commercial transport, agriculture, marine, military, oil & gas, recreational, public & private utilities and many more.
Shield were using a central server to store files and information which were emailed to the satellite offices when required. The risk of this practice is that old versions could be used like price lists and stock lists.
Remote sites were sending updates back to Head Office but were from time to time not applied to the central server.
Sales staff and directors out of the office on business needed to be able access accurate, real time documents reliably without the need to ask for a copy to be emailed to them. Being able to access documents from tablets, iPads and telephone was becoming increasingly important
From time to time remote staff would need to work on documents ‘offline’ but in the knowledge that as soon as they had access to the internet – updates would be automatically applied.
Shield needed to know that the information being used to make decisions was accurate.
Shield needed a document storage infrastructure so that the various sites could share documents real time. The requirement was to enable everyone to view documents but also to enable collaborative editing (during management meetings).
Policies needed to be robust to ensure that staff had the correct level of access and editing rights to protect documents correctly. As staff moved from division to division individuals’ rights went with them.
Shield understood that the way they were working was becoming increasingly outdated and recognised a project around SharePoint would be a steppingstone to better practices across the business
The library to was built to allow for Team management. For example, Directors, Admin, Manager, Sales Executive and an All Users teams were created with the correct access rights.
Staff needed to be a member of multiple teams if required so that a specific job description could be achieved without needing to create a further team to accommodate this
The solutionStructuring a Microsoft SharePoint solution for a team driven organisation
After careful discussion and planning with Qi a SharePoint Project that met their needs was scoped and agreed.
Shield’s SharePoint environment was not to take the form of a traditional ‘library’ but instead would be formed of separate SharePoint sites centred on an organisational team structure.
This ensured that permissions for individuals could be created across the team structure and ensured that the correct information was published to the relevant team’s site. In this way no individual can access information that is confidential or irrelevant to their role ensuring complete focus when accessing information.
Following a rigorous trial and staff feedback period in a test environment to ensure the design and rationale of the Shield SharePoint project achieved the necessary goals, was robust, secure and user friendly – structured training was delivered using a Learning Leader culture. Shield learning leaders were then able to train across the divisions in readiness for Go Live which was done as soon as all staff had been trained.
15% increased staff efficiency from working on accurate, real time documentation in SharePoint.
The workload of all divisions was eased as documents no longer had to be requested and sent as email attachments.
Sales staff can now sell confidently knowing that the stock information they have is correct.
Brochures, prices lists and specification details are now readily available, and the versions shared with customers are always the latest!
Company directors can now access business information from multiple devices real time. Directors no longer have to copy information from one device to another to ensure they can access the information they need in varying situations which dictate the device they are using at the time.
‘We needed complete confidence that in centralising our document access area it was impossible for non-authorised staff to not only view the content of sensitive data but even know that sensitive data exists but at the same time make sure staff could access what they needed to easily for their jobs’