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Dow Automotive, part of the Dow group.
  Project 1: Dow Automotive Engineering Project Database System

Business Profile:

Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $28 billion, Dow serves customers in more than 170 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others.

Committed to the principles of Sustainable Development, Dow and its approximately 50,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities. Dow Automotive is a leading supplier of plastics, adhesives, sealants, plastics-enhanced products, and body engineered systems for the global automotive industry, serving tier, OEM and aftermarket customers.


The Dow Automotive organization employs over 1,500 people globally at its world headquarters, European operations, R&D, advanced engineering, sales and manufacturing facilities. R&D labs and advanced engineering are located in Auburn Hills & Grand Rapids, MI, USA, Schwalbach, Germany, St. Just, France, Freienbach, Switzerland, Mumbai, India, and, Camaçari, Brazil. Additional personnel are employed in more than 40 cities on six continents at global automotive centers, sales offices and manufacturing facilities throughout Europe, South America, Asia/Pacific, South Africa, India and the Middle East.

Dow Automotive had developed an application in Visual FoxPro to allow all its employees to initiate requests for new engineering projects, either for new products, or for improvements to existing product offerings. The time and expenses of all engineering resources we also being logged into the system.

However, performance of the application over the Wide Area Network used for Dow’s Intranet was extremely poor. In fact, there was significant resistance amongst users to enter information into the system, leading to data being sent in spreadsheets, that had to be imported into the system.

Dow Automotive wanted to redevelop the application is such a fashion as to be accessible comfortably over the Intranet.

Once the re-engineered application was successfully deployed, enhancements were incorporated to increase the scope of information being captured.

Key Features of the Solution:

 Workflow Management:
 Requisitioning a Project
 Its Feasibility Assessment
 Its Authorization
 Logging of Time & Expense
 Collecting Lessons Learnt
 MS Exchange's Global Address List for Resource Allocation and e-mails addresses
 Varieties of Privileges
 Automatic e-mailing system
 Automatic warnings on exceeding budgets
 Exporting Project-wise & Resource-wise Expenses to Finance System

We have developed the “Dow Automotive Engineering Project Database System”, incorporating the following functionalities and features:

 Project Requisition: Any employee having access to Dow’s Intranet can request for a new project. The user’s Windows Domain login is used to identify the user, using information stored in MS Exchange’s Global Address List (GAL). LDAP is used to access information from MS Exchange’s GAL. In addition to the project description and its business potential, the Product Manager, Business Manager and Engineering Manager who could help execute the project are specified at this point.

 Project Feasibility Assessment: The Engineering Manager can then assess the technical feasibility of the project.

 Project Authorization: If the technical feasibility of the project is approved, the Product Manager, Business Manager and Engineering Manager can authorize time and money to be expended on the project

 Time & Expense: During this phase, all engineering resources will log their time and expenses against each of the project If at any point in time, the budgeted time or budgeted expense is exceeded, an automatic email is triggered to the concerned person for relevant action to be taken.

 Lessons Learned: Near the end of the project, the lessons learned during its execution is also entered, so as to maintain a knowledge-base.

 A powerful search functionality is incorporated, to enable searching of a project based on a variety of attributes.

 A variety of project-wise and resource-wise reports are available.

Architecture Details:

 Architecture: Web-based n-tier Intranet Application
 Front End: Browser - Internet Explorer 5 or higher, with JavaScript for local validations
 Mid-tier: Internet Information Server 5 on Windows 2000 server, with Active Server Pages
 Back End: SQL Server 2000 on Windows 2000 Server

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