Fluidra

Global and corporate document management

Fluidra is a multinational group dedicated to developing applications for sustainable water use. The services Fluidra offers cover the whole water cycle, from transportation and conservation through to treatment and use of water, for domestic, public, agricultural and industrial purposes.

Headquartered in Sabadell (Barcelona), Fluidra has been trading on the Spanish stock exchange since 2007 and currently has more than 3,700 employees. The company has a presence in 41 countries through 150 delegations and production centers, spread over all five continents.

A respect for water and its rational use are the foundations of this company's philosophy and its commitment to society.

Previous situation

The rapid growth and territorial expansion that Fluidra has experienced since its creation in 1969 have contributed to the decentralization of information in its four business units (Pool/Wellness, Water Treatment, Irrigation and Fluid Handling).

Each of these generated the information required for its own specific requirements, forming islands of information that maintained a certain internal and individual standardization; however, the group suffered from a lack of global organization.

"The documentation was managed and hosted on local servers; the group's different central departments, which specified what this information should be, requested it from the business units, resulting in the constant transfer of data that included a great potential risk" describes Joan Soriano, an IT Project Manager with Fluidra. "While control of versions did exist on a local level, it did not on a corporate level".

With the aim of resolving this situation, Fluidra finally looked into introducing a platform for global document management and, along with its partner CSC (Computer Sciences España), embarked on the Alfresco project in November 2012. “We selected Alfresco because it is open source and because of its huge potential to expand into other areas of the company without the requirement of additional licenses; furthermore, through being a corporate platform, we were guaranteed that it could be configured and adapted to meet the challenges thrown up by Fluidra's documents and content”, says Joan Soriano.

Implementation of the new document manager

Fluidra products are currently distributed in over 170 countries thanks to an extensive commercial network. More than 50,000 articles are hosted on the Alfresco document management solution, with the capacity to support up to 350,000. Each of these articles has multiple associated documents, such as images, layouts, technical characteristics, marketing documents, videos, etc.

"Our main objective with the project to implement Alfresco is a centralized management of documentation and characteristics of Fluidra articles, creating a platform for document management and workflows that is simultaneously integrated with corporate applications: ERPs (Movex and AS/400) and web services (intranet portal and B2B webs)", explains Joan Soriano.

This is a multi-language platform (Spanish, English, German, French and Italian) and, despite being designed for 3,000 users, it is currently simultaneously used by 200 people, who benefit from its two main advantages on a daily basis: Centralization of all corporate documentation; and the degree of traceability of all the information, from the ERP to the document manager, and even its publication on B2B portals and the intranet. Everything is integrated.

Following the implementation process, Fluidra and CSC have made various personalizations to the Alfresco platform, such as the creation of document types and property files to catalog the information associated with an article; the configuration of searches for quick and safe access to documentation; generation of forms, file structures and related documents; preview of documents included in lists; and, finally, the creation of groups, roles and users, both functional and technical, associated to documentation and the file repository.

Conclusions

"With the new Alfresco document platform we have achieved numerous internal improvements, such as allowing the whole organization to standardize its document processes, and access being available to the latest version of a given document from any geographical location", says Joan Soriano.

Fluidra gains the following benefits from using the Alfresco document management solution:

  • Shared repository: Consolidation and centralization of the documentation and format generated for each article
  • Authenticity of information: A sole authentic copy of each document, independently from who accesses it and what process it is accessed from
  • Easy, direct and fast access: Search format based on the definition of a system for cataloging or common properties
  • Standardization in the retrieval of data from an article
  • Control and visibility of the state of the articles based on workflows
  • E-mail notifications
  • Full auditing of the system
  • Definition of roles, and secure access and document management
  • Control of document versioning
  • Ease of access to generated documentation from any geographical point

Fluidra maintains that it made a firm decision to opt for Alfresco, in fact the project is even being expanded into other areas of the organization at the moment.