SharePoint Portal for a Car Spare Parts Distributor

Customer

The Customer is an IT-solutions provider that specializes in customizing Microsoft products.

The end Customer is the affiliated company of a large car manufacturer with over 90 miles of production lines and 1 mln+ cars produced yearly.

Challenge

The end Customer’s business was based on intensive collaboration with spare parts dealers. With no centralized collaboration and document management system in place, the end Customer accumulated a large amount of unstructured documents (agreements, spare parts catalogues, price lists etc.); paperwork was getting inefficient and very time-consuming.

The distributor needed an effective solution to structure documents and facilitate their processing, as well as to enhance collaboration with dealers and to provide accurate reporting on their activities.

Solution

Implementing a SharePoint portal was a feasible decision to address the end Customer’s business needs. The project started with deploying SharePoint Server 2007. After that, all current documents were imported into the system. To build a logical and easy-to-use document storage, content types were defined for each document. A separate library of document templates was created to let dealers create new documents faster.

To prevent an unauthorized access to the portal, every dealer was provided with the access rights. Moreover, each dealer got a personalized site to work with documents and templates and collaborate with managers.

ScienceSoft paid a special attention to the system’s customization to solve the end Customer’s most urgent problem that was time-consuming document search. This was done via a rich set of search-enabling attributes for each content type.

In the end of the development process, the portal was enriched with the reporting functionality built on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). It enabled the end Customer to evaluate the results of dealers’ activities and be more accurate when planning spare parts supplies.

Results

The implemented SharePoint portal profoundly influenced the entire process of the end Customers’ work with its dealers. The end Customer got a reliable system that gave the possibility to categorize numerous documents, use templates to create new documents, make a quick search, ensure collaboration with dealers and get accurate reports on dealers’ activities.

Technologies and Tools

SharePoint 2007, MS SQL, SQL Server Reporting Services, MS Visual Studio 2007, TFS, C#, ASP.Net, HTML, CSS, jQuery, MS Project, Jira.