Unifrax Lotus Notes Extranet

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Polymorph has created an extranet which gives Unifrax full control of customer access and document availability.

Challenge

When Unifrax customers are planning a new installation, process or product, it’s vital that the specifying engineers and designers can find out exactly what product to select and how to use it. They also needed a database of technical datasheets and literature to work with.

Unifrax products are designed to last for years and will outlast most of the management teams responsible for them at installation. Therefore a knowledgebase was required to be capable of delivering internal and public access to provide technical information along with on-demand customer specific public access to safety certificates, product forms and confidential information on product and material performance for several generations of products.

Unifrax also required solutions to allow them to keep track of literature customers used, ensuring all customers had the correct versions and to provide tracking document delivery – important for legal reasons, so that Unifrax could build up a ‘due diligence’ record in case of disputes.

Finally, as Unifrax has a global website with regional pages, it allows operating companies to provide technical documents appropriate to each region. The existing site was public, meaning that Unifrax couldn’t track who had received what document. They needed a tool that would enable them to track and control the distribution of all technical documentation.

Solution

Polymorph has created an extranet using Lotus Notes development which gives Unifrax full control of customer access and document availability.

It has 2 key features:

  • Customers can register as approved users
  • Availability and delivery of all documents is controlled and tracked

The new application allows Unifrax to closely control the distribution of all documents, and track which documents have been made available to which customers. Goldmine, a CRM application developed by Unifrax, is used to record the document movements against customer records.

Most customers will want to register – and to encourage them to do so, an explanation of the benefits of registration is carried on the public site. Items listed include access to restricted documents, enhanced data and customer libraries. Customer account managers also encourage their customers to register, and feed back requests for functionality to increase the level of customer involvement.

The Polymorph package includes all training and project management. In this instance, Unifrax chose to undertake migration of documents from the old system, combining it with a check-and-update process on their technical documentation.

Result

A harmonised design – the new website follows the design of the Unifrax US website, to harmonise branding and styling. It pulls documents as and when needed from Goldmine – allowing all content editing of source documents to be done at source for close version control.

Content management of the website can be done by commercial staff without the need for IT intervention or support. It supports all the key languages in the Unifrax customer base.

Unifrax needed a technical partner who could not only deliver the necessary functionality and customer services, but also work with their corporate specialist departments.

Client

Unifrax are a global organisation making high-performance insulation materials for industries using blast furnaces, cement kilns and power stations. Their products are also used in aeroplanes, car engines and gas central heating boilers.

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It is great to have Polymorph to turn to, as they can personalise Lotus Notes work initially done by our head office in the US. The long-term relationship we have developed means that this work is carried out with minimal input from us, and has delivered in this case a website, which maintains our global theme and that we can modify and update in house.
Garry Davies, Director of Marketing
Unifrax