REVIEWER: Jason Woodruff, project manager for TLT-Babcock, Inc.
BACKGROUND: TLT-Babcock, Inc. is a member of the New York Blower family. TLT-Babcock provides engineered-to-order axial and centrifugal fans for the power, tunnel and mining industries. Our capabilities include: after-market rebuilds/parts/upgrades, field service and full testing. We have the knowledge, expertise and resources to provide a total and reliable solution, regardless of original manufacture, to our valued customers.
PLATFORM: Windows 2003 Server.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Tracking the status and approval of paper forms was becoming very time- consuming and difficult to manage. The form data was occasionally incomplete or inaccurate, tracking open issues was complex and resource intensive and, to make matters worse, document control practices were becoming cumbersome and inefficient. We needed a solution that would address all of these issues without creating additional work for the end users.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Like many companies, we had grown accustomed to myriad paper forms that tend to get lost on cluttered desks. These forms were often used to collect data from one spreadsheet or form in order to enter it onto another spreadsheet or form. BP Logix eForms (electronic forms) are now used to collect and store data. Automated workflows are used to route the eForms/data to the appropriate people for action. Knowledge views are used to track progress of the workflows, look up data on the forms and search documents that were formerly stored on a shared drive. Critically, the eForms are linked to our MRP software's database, so data can be queried to provide only valid selections to users. Much less time is now required to accomplish simple tasks, such as obtaining approvals, finding information or accessing stored documents. Users find that forms take less time to complete and are actually more enjoyable. As a user, it's nice to look at an eForm that has half of the information already filled in because it's linked to a workflow or database, knowing that not long ago you had to enter that same data in - over and over again.
STRENGTHS: Strengths include flexibility, easy integration, end-user interface and BP Logix support workflow automation features. Additionally, standard business practices are easy to model.
WEAKNESSES: Highly-customized solutions can be time-consuming. Documentation could include more detail and examples.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Initially, we were looking for a product that would address our document control needs. Workflow Director caught our attention because it offered more than the standard set of document control features. As a project manager, the workflow automation features were extremely attractive, as it would allow me to easily find information that was taking me hours to find (or realize that I couldn't find). After seeing the flexibility of the product through BP Logix web demonstrations, specifically with respect to the way that it could integrate with our MRP system, we were sold. This fact alone has allowed us to adopt a "best of breed" approach to our three major software systems, as they are now able to integrate with one another through this BP Logix "front end."
DELIVERABLES: For years, individuals and departments throughout the company had been maintaining their own Excel spreadsheets to store data. With BP Logix, we're now collecting that data when it's first introduced into the workflow and storing it for retrieval by downstream processes and/or user-driven reports. The hundreds of manually defined and updated spreadsheets are now being replaced with a database that requires no additional time or effort to build, update or report.
VENDOR SUPPORT: From day one, vendor support has been outstanding. I was truly impressed with the amount of time and attention we received from BP Logix prior to selecting their product. After selection, they've maintained this high level of support. They definitely focus on making the customer happy.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation is good in that it covers all areas of the product, but it's weak with respect to the level of detail it provides. Specific examples would be extremely helpful and would reduce the number of phone calls and emails back to BP Logix for elaboration.
BP Logix, Inc.
640 Escondido Avenue, Suite 104
Vista, CA 92084
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