Client Success: Midwest Operating Engineers Success
Technology Succeeds with Vision
Midwest Operating Engineers’ envisioned collaboration environment became a reality with a Microsoft SharePoint solution implemented by SWC.
The Midwest Operating Engineers (Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers), a labor organization representing employees principally in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, is one of the largest labor unions in the country. Originally chartered as a construction union, Local 150 now represents working people in many different industries.
In the last 20 years, Local 150 has tripled in size, bringing membership to 23,000. With their careful training of apprentices and aggressive organizing of non-union workers, Local 150 has increased its bargaining strength. The Union’s size and strength have given it the power to negotiate some of the best contracts in the construction industry and to maintain the best benefits and working conditions in the industry.
When the new Information Technology Executive Director was brought on board, Local 150 needed comprehensive and integrated technology services that would serve the rapidly growing organization. After completing a physical overhaul of the information systems infrastructure, the organization was still faced with disparate and inefficient systems and processes. In many cases, business processes were based on manual handling of paper forms, which were prone to delays and did not provide management visibility. In addition, the existing public Web sites provided basic information, but lacked a cohesive content management platform.
After deciding to invest in Microsoft technology to address their collaboration challenges, Local 150 partnered with SWC because of the firm’s background and history with Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server. Microsoft SharePoint expertise was fundamental to this decision because SharePoint would be the key component of the solution. Local 150 engaged SWC to architect, develop and deploy the Microsoft Office SharePoint environment.
SWC’s first step was to work with Local 150 to get a detailed understanding of their collaboration requirements. As with any SharePoint engagement, SWC utilized a proprietary SharePoint project methodology to clearly understand all technical and functional requirements. With this information, SWC proceeded to implement a SharePoint publishing environment for the Local 150 public Web site and a feature rich, SharePoint intranet environment. The intranet incorporates electronic entry forms and automated workflow management, such as an automated grievance and vacation request processes.
Many of the operational problems that plagued Local 150 were alleviated upon the completion of the SharePoint installation. There have been improvements in operational efficiency, enhanced communication, streamlined content publishing processes and improved data integrity. SWC continues to work with Local 150 and based on the success of this project other Microsoft collaboration solutions are slated to be integrated in the future, including Microsoft CRM.