About CROWN Europe
CROWN Holdings is one of the largest packaging companies and the number one producer of food and aerosol cans and metal vacuum closures in the world. They are also the third largest manufacturer for beverage cans. In fact, CROWN Holdings make one out of every five beverage cans used in the world today and one out of every three food cans used in North America and Europe.
With a world-wide turnover of over $6 billion and over 28,000 employees, CROWN Holdings is a US company, but also has autonomous working divisions throughout Europe and the rest of the World. Within the European environment, CROWN Europe, the company is divided into various business sectors, ranging from Food and Beverages to Plastics, Speciality Packaging, Aerosols and Health & Beauty. CROWN Europe has over 17,300 employees with sales reaching over $3.2 billion.
With the advent of Internet technology and the subsequent ease of developing web based applications, CROWN Europe soon found that it had created over 20 disparate intranet sites. Administration of these sites became a complicated and time consuming task. Realising that it was not possible to dedicate IT resources to supporting and maintaining these instances, CROWN Europe identified a need for a tool that would allow the separate business sectors to maintain their own sites, without IT skills being required.
A single system was essential. One that would have a common look and feel, yet allowed the business sectors a degree of flexibility. In turn, the business sectors themselves wanted a tool that enabled them to devolve the responsibility for updating content to as wide a group of people as possible. Past experience had shown that a successful intranet tool relies on up-to-date content and therefore, it was important the responsibility for this could be shared rather than relying on an ‘expensive’ IT resource to update it.
It was critical that the tool be very easy to use and did not require a lot of training or technical support. Smart Media’s Intelligent Intranet product provided all that CROWN Europe required and amongst other key functionality, it provided distributed publishing. CROWN Europe liked the fact that Intelligent Intranet is integrated with a product database and has a clear pricing strategy. "We liked and trusted the people we met too," comments Peter Black, Commercial Applications Manager for CROWN Europe.
Intelligent Intranet was first deployed by the Central European Functions (e.g. IT, European HR, European Sourcing and Divisional Quality), forming Euronet. Euronet is a central support information system to which all of the European Functions may contribute. It is utilised by all departments within the separate Business Sectors.
Based on the success of Euronet, the Food Sector created their intranet called ‘Foodnet’ using the Corporate framework but based on content relevant to the the Food Business Sector, headquartered in Paris. Being much more marketing led than the Central Functions, Food took the opportunity to update the look and feel of the application.
They also chose to implement Smart Media’s Product Catalogue and are now in the process of making their Product Catalogue available to key customers via an extranet site.
Each Sector has an individual webmaster to manage their intranet site. This is a part time role and these individuals do not need any html or IT knowledge. Publishing is devolved to as wide a number of people as possible to ensure that content is regularly updated.
Ease of Publishing & Security
No changes were required to CROWN Europe’s IT systems when Smart Media’s Intelligent Intranet application was implemented. ‘The simplicity of the system is what makes Smart Media’s product so attractive,’ says Amy Geschke, Business Services Manager for CROWN Europe.
She likes the fact that they are able to provide publishing rights to lots of people so that responsibility is spread throughout the Business Sectors. "This is a major advantage," says Amy. "We are also delighted with the ease of administering access rights. The security aspect of the system is also very flexible."
The security functionality has allowed them to use the tool for a wide range of content, including top management reports and key account information, only viewable by a very select number of people. Amy remarked, "if a user doesn’t have access rights to a particular area or content, they do not see the option so they do not feel excluded."
From an IT perspective, "the system needs very little IT support which is a major plus," remarks Amy. "It requires minimal help on implementation and training and very little else. Amy also ascertains that the product helps reduce the pressure on the network, which is vital for us."
The Benefits of Intelligent Intranet
In terms of a key benefit, ‘again, it’s got to be its overall ease of use. Usability is excellent and, after initial training, no real support is required.’
She further comments, ‘You can maintain the commonality of the system, a consistency of corporate image and format, i.e., provide a framework with the ability to be flexible with individual content across Business Sectors. The software is extremely good and its overall reliability is excellent too.’
CROWN Europe have been very pleased with how quickly the product has been adopted by the different Business Sectors within the organisation. ‘It has become integral to people’s everyday ways of working now,’ comments Amy.
‘We have built up a huge amount of information, which is available for sharing across the different Business Sectors. I believe the success of the project can be put down to the fact that Intelligent Intranet is easy to use and also the willingness of Smart Media to work with us to address gaps in functionality and improve the product based on our users experience.’
You can maintain the commonality of the system, a consistency of corporate image and format, i.e., provide a framework with the ability to be flexible with individual content across Business Sectors. The software is extremely good and its overall reliability is excellent too
A Professional Service
Amy further comments, ‘Smart Media provide a very professional service. They are approachable and are excellent at providing the flexibility to offer individual enhancements. They are also adaptable in their approach and offer a very personal service. We know all the faces of the people we deal with. They have the experience to be able to offer us a sensible and cost effective way forward. They also have the ability to advise us on how best to use what we already have in place.’
The implementation of Smart Media’s intranet application has facilitated the natural progression from intranet through to workflow and extranet applications. It’s been a smooth and seamless progression which CROWN Europe are keen to continue, with Smart Media are their chosen partner.