Northwest Door Case Study

Manufacturer Northwest Door develops dashboards 60x faster with m-Power


Case Study Summary

With nine plants on nine separate databases, and nine plant managers who all had their way of doing things, Northwest Door's executives were finding that comparing business intelligence reports between plants was apples to oranges.

And that was a major problem. They wanted to build an executive dashboard...but their IT department had no Web experience to speak of. So what could be done?

Solution

With mrc's m-Power, and just a 3-day training course under their belt, NWD's IT department created an executive dashboard with all of the permissions and security they required.

Value

Java's learning curve alone is estimated at between 6 months-2 years. However, by using m-Power in just three days of training and just twelve weeks of planning and development, Jean Patterson and her IT team delivered a Java-based executive dashboard, with all of the bells and whistles they desired.


Full Case Study

Overview

With nine plants on nine separate databases, and nine plant managers who all had their way of doing things, Northwest Door's executives were finding that comparing business intelligence reports between plants was apples to oranges.

And that was a major problem.

Compounding the situation further, when IT was called upon to create reports, each individual IT developer had their own reporting expertise, so two executives could end up looking at the same data from the same plant, but in completely non-uniform formats, depending on the developer asked to deliver the report.

Challenge

Additionally, there was an increased demand on IT by executives for more and more reports, and with the non-uniform reporting issues, it became clear to IT Manager, Jean Patterson that a better solution was immediately needed.

She wanted to give Northwest Door's (NWD's) executives a centralized place to access uniform reports live and tied directly to their Frontier ERP system and data from their nine separate plants.

"We knew if we were going to build a centralized place to access all the necessary data, like a dashboard, we were going to have to create specialized menus with each menu running off of a separate database," explained Patterson, "And, more importantly, we needed to make sure individual users would only see the data they needed to see, or had permission to see."

But, that level of complexity was particularly worrisome to NWD's IT department because no one in the department had any prior Java or Web experience at all.

Solution

"After looking at all our options, mrc was the one tool that not only allowed us to create all of the different Java servlet applications we wanted, but it also took out all of the backbreaking labor."

With mrc's m-PowerTM, and just a 3-day training course under their belt, NWD's IT department created an executive dashboard with all of the permissions and security they required.

Value

Aside from the obvious improvements in business intelligence and the immense time savings for both IT and NWD's executives, it's important to note that using m-Power allowed Northwest Door to avoid the enormous expense of Java consultants and costly training courses.

Java's learning curve alone is estimated at between 6 months-2 years. However, by using m-PowerTM in just three days of training and just twelve weeks of planning and development, Jean Patterson, and her IT colleagues designed, built and presented their Java-based dashboard system, to Northwest Door's executives.

That's a 60x faster speed-to-productivity, at the very earliest end of that learning curve, or a 98% overall improvement.

"The best part is, it doesn't stop there," says Patterson. "Now we can quickly create new Java Web solutions for any department. We're planning to convert some of our HR and payroll applications over, and bring them to the dashboard hub."

"In other words," she says, "I get to do the fun stuff, and make it look nice, and take the pat on the back when it comes out so quickly."

To learn more about Northwest Door, you can visit their Web site at: http://www.nwdusa.com/

Want to know more about a similar solution for your business? If you would like more information about how you can create a similar system, or you would be interested in having us develop a custom proof-of-concept you can show the powers-that-be, please just fill out this form, or, call us today at 630-916-0662 to learn more.