• Port of Hamburg with Köhlbrand Bridge and container ships as a symbol for the Feddersen Group's overseas trade
  • Container ships in the Port of Hamburg with Köhlbrand Bridge in the background as a symbol of overseas trade
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Introduction of a cloud-based ECM system at the Feddersen Group

In the future, the Feddersen Group will focus on modern Enterprise Content Management with Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint Online and Shareflex ECM Online. In this customer report, you will learn how this strategic decision was made and what the company expects from it.

„I am fully convinced of Microsoft 365 / Office 365 and our corporate group benefits from this high-performance platform for information management. With Shareflex ECM Online we have a flexible and efficient ECM and document management system that integrates seamlessly with Office 365. I am thrilled by the very user-friendly interfaces (Modern UI technology) and the easily configurable workflows.“

The Feddersen Group

With six divisions and more than 30 subsidiaries, the Feddersen Group is excellently positioned globally and in various industries. Around 1,100 employees worldwide work daily to ensure the continued success of the entire Group. Its expertise includes the distribution of polymers in Europe and Asia and foreign trade in chemical and technical products. The Group is also involved in stainless steel trading, the development and production of polymers, the construction of extruders and compounding plants as well as engineering services.

SharePoint as the central information and document management system

For many years, the Feddersen Group has strategically relied on SharePoint as its central information and document management system. Currently, this system with its various specialist applications is being successively ported to the Microsoft 365 cloud platform. One of the main goals is to integrate the existing ERP and financial accounting systems of the various companies, while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

Enterprise Content Management with Shareflex and Microsoft 365

The Feddersen Group benefits from the fact that it has been using the SharePoint-based ECM and document management system Shareflex for years. Therefore, the migration of data, documents and processes to the cloud can be carried out step by step. In cooperation with Portal Systems AG, a solution was developed that enables access to business-critical information (customers, suppliers, personnel, products, offers, orders) in Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online. In addition, it was possible to automate important business processes through workflows.

All information and documents are provided with company specific permissions and can be found easily and quickly. The employees of the Feddersen Group thus gain full transparency of data, documents and processes. And all information is always available to them.

Challenge: Limited access to information

The owner of the companies of the Feddersen Group is K.D. Feddersen Holding GmbH. The sole shareholder of K.D. Feddersen Holding GmbH is the non-profit K.D. Feddersen Foundation. The companies of the group worked with various ERP and financial accounting systems. As a result, a lot of information was only recorded for specific departments or subsidiaries. Additionally, many different systems and isolated applications existed, limiting the availability of important information for the subsidiaries and the holding company.

The main objective of a uniform and company-wide information and document management system was to create maximum transparency for the subsidiaries and the holding company. Another important goal was to promote cooperation in order to avoid redundancies, exploit synergies and increase the performance of the entire corporate group.

Audit-proof archiving and new development of a middleware

Today, the Feddersen Group pursues a cloud-first strategy. In the context of company-wide digitisation, it has issued the goal that business-critical information must be archived completely, legally compliant and transparently. Due to the growth of the Group, emphasis is placed on scalability and the rapid implementation of continuously changing business requirements.

One challenge was the new development of a middleware to integrate the different ERP systems INTEGRA and Infor COM. Master and transaction data as well as outgoing ERP documents (such as order confirmations and invoices) are transferred and stored in customer, supplier, offer and order files. At one of the subsidiaries, quotations are not created via the ERP, but in a user-friendly way via the document management system. Here, the ERP data is available via the middleware in real time for efficient data entry.

Digital product file and workflows

A product file in which all product-related data and documents are stored has also been implemented at this subsidiary. The file solutions are supplemented by workflows, e.g. for offer release and approval, onboarding by external users or the release of data sheets in the product file. And there are already plans for follow-up projects. One is the conversion of the existing business applications for contract and quality management as well as incoming invoice processing, which are still based on SharePoint 2016/2019, to SharePoint Online and thus to Microsoft 365.

Solution strategy based on Microsoft 365 and Shareflex ECM Online

The Feddersen Group strategically focuses on SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365. The goal was to provide a cloud-based ECM and document management system. This was achieved with the introduction of Shareflex ECM Online by Portal Systems AG.

Shareflex provides all necessary ECM functionalities. These include file management, capturing, workflow management and ERP integration. But also services for electronic signature or document generation. All this is complemented by the seamless integration of Microsoft 365 functionalities, such as audit-proof archiving, document management, full-text search or collaborative document work.

Establishment of a self-service-customer portal

Another goal is the efficient exchange of data and documents between customers and Feddersen subsidiaries. This is to be achieved through a self-service customer portal, which integrates various systems within the Feddersen Group. It also digitises and optimises business processes and meets all compliance requirements.

Modern, up-to-date enterprise content management

By introducing the Microsoft 365-based ECM and document management system Shareflex ECM Online, the Feddersen Group was able to provide a uniform, central and modern system. The various ERP systems of the Group are completely integrated. And, in accordance with compliance and legal structures, all data and documents are provided in files. Important business processes are automated through workflows. In addition, a range of ready-made business applications is available.

“I am fully convinced of Microsoft 365 and our corporate group benefits from this high-performance platform for information management. With Shareflex ECM Online, we have a flexible and efficient ECM and document management system now, that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365. I am thrilled by the very user-friendly interfaces (Modern UI technology) and the easily configurable workflows,” explains Joachim Friedrich, Chief Digital Officer of K.D. Feddersen.

Lower costs and increased functionality

As a result, the Feddersen Group did not need to purchase a classic ECM system. And all information is centrally available in Office 365, now. This leads to significant cost savings in the long term, while at the same time gaining new, modern ECM functionalities.

Any questions? We will be happy to support you!

Frank von Orlikowski, Board of Directors and Sales, +49 (0) 40 226040-12

Email: info@portalsystems.de

Frank von Orlikowski, Vorstand der Portal Systems AG
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