Supelco, a subsidiary of Sigma-Aldrich, is a leading Life Science and High Technology company. Their biochemical and organic chemical products and kits are used in scientific and genomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development, the diagnosis of disease and chemical manufacturing. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 33 countries and has 6,500 employees providing excellent service worldwide.
The Challenging Obstacle
The year 2002 saw Sigma-Aldrich implement a new Performance Appraisal System. The system was created and designed using a Microsoft Word document. The word document was eight pages long and very complex, consisting of many tables and selection boxes. Using Word documents to track 265 employees was going to be very difficult. A Lotus Notes database and form were created based on the Word document. The Notes form looked just like the Word document.
The Notes database allowed the information to be easily tracked and categorized. However, when trying to print the Notes form it did not work well. The tables would print without information in them or the information would print without table formatting. When the Notes form was printed it did not look professional. Suddenly the project was in trouble. Supelco needed the power of Notes to track the information but also needed the printing capability of Word to distribute the information.
Combining the Inevitable
Supelco needed to find a solution quickly and without spending a lot of money. Seeing an advertisement for the SWING Integrator, compelled them to order a copy.
“It took less then a day to add SWING Integrator to the Notes database and give us the functionality we needed. The local Human Resource department was thrilled that the application worked so well. The SWING software made the IS department look great because we were able to deliver a solution so quickly. We implemented the new SWING enabled Performance Appraisal database for the 265 employees at the Bellefonte, PA location and it worked great”, says Andy Pisano, Network Architect Manager.
Creating Results Fast
SWING Integrator is a product that has created several benefits in several departments. The users love it because they do not have any additional software to learn or use, all the functions are implemented directly from the Notes database. The IS department loves it because there is no additional software to install on users PCs, users already have Microsoft Office installed.
As stated by Andy Pisano, “We would not have been able to provide a corporate system without the Swing Integrator because Notes is just not capable of printing a complex form with a professional look”. Another benefit of using the Swing Integrator is that users can design the print version of documents in Word and IS can simply take the Word documents and map the fields from Notes to Word to give the users the exact output they want.
Diane Lidgett, HR Manager states: “As HR manager, I faced the task of managing 265 performance appraisals within a very short time span. Our IS staff put the Word performance appraisal form into Notes. This was a big help because it standardized the format for all supervisors who were required to complete the form. However, we bogged down on the printing of the appraisals.
Once “swing” was introduced, we were able to print top quality forms. With the completion of the final printing step, I was able to save a huge amount of time by having the appraisals on-line with printing capabilities. Without this, I would have had to go through 265 reviews, 8 pages each, manually to review for consistency.
Supervisors loved the ability to complete the form on-line, print to review their work, and then continue to make changes. This project saved HR and each supervisor countless hours of administrative work at the time of year when efficiency is needed most. I have confidence, after seeing this product work, that I can ask for just about any type of form, and get it with little of my time and effort, and without a huge burden on our IS staff.”
In the End…
In conclusion, Andy Pisano says: “The SWING Integrator software is one of the best purchases I have ever made. Since we purchased the software we have used it in several other databases with the same great results. We have used it to allow Notes to easily print labels, produce Excel charts and print Purchase Orders. Swing Integrator has saved us time and given us the professional results we wanted. I cannot say enough good things about the product. Also, the Swing technical support team is excellent, answering all my questions in a very timely manner.”