dation of the reports distributed through the portal. This
ensures that no document is ever posted to the wrong place
and that only the right people have access.
Customers also use the portal to reduce their own paper
usage by giving their manufacturing partners access to needed
information. Back in the paper world, a customer would receive
one copy of a document but might have to distribute that information to multiple manufacturers who also needed to see it.
Now they can set up a community of people who need to see
the document within the portal.
With the new system, customers can access report data from
a single online location, regardless of where the end user is
sitting. For example, a large international company may have
dozens of locations around the world, each engaging with a
local Intertek office. But there may be one manager at a headquarters location who wants to control and monitor all these
activities and all the work
Intertek performs. Because
everyone at all locations can
log in to the same portal, no
one is left out of the loop.
One of My TestCentral’s
biggest benefits is that it vastly
decreases the number of paper
documents customers must
store. Siddiqui recounts how after a product is certified by
Intertek, a field inspector may pay an unannounced visit to the
Zodiac manufacturing facility to ensure that a product’s design,
construction, and quality are maintained.
When that happens, Zodiac is required to have the most
recent revision of certification files or listing reports available at
the facility, because that document describes how the product is
made. Now, staff members at Zodiac have immediate access to
these documents through My TestCentral and no longer need to
retain a hard copy.
“We used to have a room about 8 by 10 feet set aside just
for storing records,” Siddiqui says. “I still need an area to keep
old files, but for the last five years I haven’t had to continue
ordering filing cabinets every year, and I don’t have to keep
asking management for more physical space.”
employees from all over the globe. That helps speed projects
along when tests are performed or reports are written and
reviewed in multiple locations. Better yet, it allows projects to
be routed away from overburdened locations to ones where
engineers have fewer projects—increasing engineer utilization
in a human version of the process that makes cloud computing
“Each little step, from when the
document is first started to its
issuance to the customer, is visible
now, and that’s huge for us.”
—Dean Davidson, Vice President, Intertek
THE POWER OF TRACKING
After the success of My TestCentral, Intertek IT executives
began wondering if there were more ways that Oracle Portal
could help cut down on paper. The result was Report Manager,
another custom-built portal, this one for internal use. This
solution not only allows Intertek employees to reduce paper
usage, but it has dramatically improved efficiency—merely by
giving the workforce the means to track each report at every
stage of its creation.
“Now we have end-to-end tracking for every one of our
reports through Report Manager. Each little step, from when
the document is first started to its issuance to the customer, is
visible now, and that’s huge for us,” Davidson explains.
Report Manager also saves time by connecting Intertek
Minda Zetlin is coauthor with Bill Pfleging of The Geek Gap: Why Business and
Technology Professionals Don’t Understand Each Other and Why They Need Each
Other to Survive (Prometheus Books, 2006).
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