New Web portal increases internal efficiency and opens channels of communication for customers
Lauren International received the award for Best IT Implementation by a non-IT Company from the Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio (ITAAO). Lauren was recognized for the successful implementation of its Web portal-based application, which provides a fluid communication channel between all facets of the company and its customers.
Lauren International’s achievement was announced at ITAAO’s fourth annual Technology Industry Gurus of the Appalachian Region (TIGAR) Awards Gala, which was held July 26 at The Ohio University. Awards were presented in seven categories to companies and businesses with substantial operations within the Appalachian region of Ohio.
“Receiving this award was a humbling experience because we were chosen by peers of a very high caliber,” said Ted Gentsch, director of information services at Lauren International. “This achievement is a reflection on the entire information services department at Lauren—a true team accomplishment.”
Gary Little, president of ITAAO, said the judges of the TIGAR Awards recognized Lauren’s development of exceptional information technology applications.
About the Project
The interactive Web portal created by Lauren was designed to further increase efficiency within the company and provide one central hub where employees can access information, whether they are onsite or away on business. Lauren International is the holding company for Lauren Manufacturing, Edgetech, I.G., LMI Custom Mixing and Lauren AgriSystems, specializing in polymer solutions for a variety of industries.
In addition to increased internal efficiency, Lauren’s in-house programming offers customer benefits through custom designed e-commerce portals where customers can check order status and shipping times.
“We melded a Web-based collaboration platform and an Enterprise Resource Planning system to create a Web portal based application that allows us to communicate with all facets of the business units at Lauren,” Gentsch said.
Staying ahead of the curve, Lauren implemented voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology before it went mainstream throughout the manufacturing industry. The company also provides its sales and customer service personnel flexibility when traveling with the utilization of a virtual private network (VPN) and handheld Blackberry® devices.
“We deployed VoIP earlier than most because we saw the immediate benefits of the system,” Gentsch said. “With VoIP capabilities our sales and service personnel can connect back to the Lauren switchboard using a softphone application on their laptops, and the VPN gives our employees access to Lauren files and printers no matter where they are on the planet.”
Gentsch noted that the use of the Web portal has accelerated the information technology learning curve among employees as they consistently enter the portal every day to retrieve company information.
“We maintained a horizontal approach to the Web portal, providing all employees with access to information,” Gentsch said. “Our employees also have the ability to upload news and success stories in PDF format to the portal home page because communication through all levels of the company is important at Lauren.”
The ITAAO is dedicated to growing and improving the competitiveness of South East/South Central Ohio’s information technology industry. ITAAO is a member of Ohio’s IT Alliance, a statewide network of six regional organizations concentrating solely on the goal of developing information technology in Ohio.
For more information about Lauren International, please call 330.339.3373 or visit www.lauren.com.
Lauren International is a progressive research and development based integrated company specializing in standard and custom-designed polymer extrusions, injection-molded parts, silicone and organic sheet, pressure sensitive adhesive systems, warm edge window spacer technologies, and fluoroelastomer-based coatings. Contact Lauren International at 2228 Reiser Avenue SE, New Philadelphia, Ohio, 44663. Phone: 800-683-0676 or 330-339-3373. Fax: 330-339-1515. Web address: www.laureninternational.com.