General Mills Legal by EveryAvenue


									                                              Microsoft Office System
                                              Customer Solution Case Study

                                              General Mills Manages Information with
                                              Comprehensive Records Management

Overview                                      “Just in terms of productivity and time savings, Office
Country or Region: United States              SharePoint Server 2007 is creating benefits across
Industry: Food Products Manufacturing
                                              the entire company.”
Customer Profile                              Elliot Gerard, IT Manager, Global Development Services, General Mills
General Mills is one of the largest food-
product manufacturers in the world, with
facilities in 37 countries, 28,000
employees, and annual revenues of             One of the largest food-product manufacturers in the world, General
U.S.$13.4 billion.
                                              Mills operates in more than 100 countries. Like any global
Business Situation                            enterprise, General Mills generates an enormous number of
General Mills needed to develop a
coherent records management system to         electronic records that need to be managed for varying degrees of
store, prioritize, and manage its very high   retention and easy access by authorized users. General Mills
volume of electronic records while
minimizing disruption to the way people       needed to develop an enterprisewide records management system
worked.                                       to store, prioritize, and manage its very high volume of electronic
Solution                                      records while minimizing disruption to the way people worked. The
General Mills used Microsoft® Office          company used Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 to
SharePoint® Server 2007 to develop a
records management solution to store          develop a records management solution to store and manage
millions of documents with a wide range of    millions of documents. General Mills is implementing coherent
security requirements and diverse
metadata.                                     records retention policies, managing the capacity of its data center,
                                              reducing costs, saving time, and improving the ability of employees
 Comprehensive records management
                                              and decision makers to locate and access the information they
 Widespread adoption                         need.
 Easy system management
 Reduced development costs
 Integrated solution capabilities
“It was clear to us that                        Situation                                         Save, resulting in frequent help-desk calls
                                                General Mills is one of the largest food-         and lost user productivity.
Office SharePoint Server                        product manufacturers in the world,
2007 would allow us to                          producing iconic brands that include Betty        In 2001 General Mills acquired The Pillsbury
                                                Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Cheerios,        Company. Pillsbury had managed its
devise flexible solutions                       Progresso Soup, and many more. With               electronic records in Lotus Notes® databases
to accommodate the                              combined annual revenues of U.S.$13.4             that were dispersed and isolated worldwide,
                                                billion, 28,000 employees, and facilities in 37   often making documents difficult to locate.
multiple records-                               countries, General Mills markets food             After the corporate merger was completed,
retention scenarios we                          products in more than 100 countries               General Mills took the opportunity to replace
                                                worldwide. The company holds the number-          its two former systems with Microsoft
needed.”                                        one or number-two position in virtually every     SharePoint® Portal Server 2001, going on to
Elliot Gerard, IT Manager, Global Development   category it competes in.                          develop a new document management
Services, General Mills                                                                           system.
                                                Like any global enterprise, General Mills
                                                generates an enormous number of electronic        Over several years, various development
                                                documents and records. Many of these              teams created a suite of tools that utilized
                                                documents must be retained, some that are         SharePoint Portal Server 2001 to manage
                                                business-critical—integral to the company’s       uploading, updating, deleting, and searching
                                                mission and operations—and others to              for documents. Beginning in 2003, the supply
                                                comply with tax regulations and other             chain and technical communities at General
                                                governmental mandates. Not every one of the       Mills developed almost 3,000 collaboration
                                                millions of documents generated at General        Web sites using Microsoft Office SharePoint
                                                Mills warrants permanent retention, but each      Portal Server 2003.
                                                record needs to be categorized for varying
                                                degrees of retention, and they all need to be     By 2006, General Mills was managing
                                                managed for easy access by authorized             thousands of SharePoint Portal Server 2001
                                                users.                                            and Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
                                                                                                  Web sites from its data center, and 12
                                                In the 1990s, General Mills used software         standalone Office SharePoint Portal Server
                                                from PCDOCS to store its electronic               2003 installations at larger manufacturing
                                                documents in a dozen document repositories        facilities. All the sites combined contained
                                                that separated documents by business area         over 1.3 million documents. “We were getting
                                                or function. Unfortunately, that solution         inundated with more and more documents,
                                                dramatically interfered with the performance      lists, and unstructured data,” says Elliot
                                                of the company’s IT environment. PCDOCS           Gerard, IT Manager of Global Development
                                                had customized the solution to integrate it       Services at General Mills. “Every time we
                                                with Microsoft® Office System applications,       turned around, more information was flowing
                                                adding items to the Microsoft Office              into the environment.”
                                                Outlook®, Office Word, Office Excel®, and
                                                Office PowerPoint® menus that would allow         Much of that information was isolated to
                                                users to save e-mail messages, documents,         specific teams or projects, diminishing its real
                                                spreadsheets, and presentations directly into     corporate value. General Mills needed a way
                                                the PCDOCS stores. However, the                   to store, prioritize, manage, and share its
                                                customizations frequently conflicted with         ever-increasing number of electronic records
                                                basic Microsoft Office commands like Quit or      on a single platform, under a single record
                                                                                                  retention system. “We had no idea how much
“We were using a lot of                         knowledge was slipping through our fingers,       Server 2007.
                                                or how many opportunities we were losing
time, space, and dollars                        because information was sitting out there in      “It was clear to us that Office SharePoint
reproducing, storing,                           undiscovered locations,” recalls Gerard. “We      Server 2007 would allow us to devise flexible
                                                had documents without any associated              solutions to accommodate the multiple
and transporting                                metadata. We had artificial walls separating      records-retention scenarios we needed,” says
thousands of paper                              people from information.”                         Gerard.

documents a year. With                          The company had an effective record               In February 2007 the company deployed a
Office SharePoint Server                        retention system for paper business records,      centralized Office SharePoint Server 2007
                                                but it had not developed a retention policy for   farm that serves General Mills operations in
2007, we are on a path                          electronic documents. General Mills wanted        North America and 37 other countries. The
to eliminating most of                          to move all of its electronic assets into a       deployment includes 54 site collections,
                                                managed state, with set policies for retention    1700 Web sites, almost 6,000 lists
our paper systems.”                             and deletion, while minimizing disruption for     containing 1.2 million items, and 1579
Elliot Gerard, IT Manager, Global Development   users and avoiding any drastic changes to the     libraries with more than 1.3 million
Services, General Mills                         way people worked.                                documents.

                                                Solution                                          Setting Records Retention Policies
                                                In 2006, General Mills participated in a          About five percent of the General Mills
                                                Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP)       electronic documents pertain to human-
                                                to evaluate the capabilities in early versions    resource issues, payroll, tax records,
                                                of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It    corporate policy, contracts, or public affairs,
                                                wanted to analyze whether the technology          what the company calls official business
                                                would be able to store millions of documents      records. General Mills uses its existing
                                                with a wide range of security requirements        corporate paper-records retention policies to
                                                and diverse metadata. Convinced that Office       manage official business records, but for the
                                                SharePoint Server 2007 would meet the             95 percent of documents outside that
                                                company’s needs, General Mills began              category, a committee representing the
                                                developing an enterprisewide records              Record Retention, Legal, and IT departments
                                                management solution using Office SharePoint       developed two records classifications:

                                                In General Mills’ records management system, when users upload a document, they identify
                                                it as a General Working record or a Reference record, and the document is automatically
                                                saved, categorized, and assigned a retention schedule.
“I have probably saved                          General Working records and Reference             assigned to the relevant retention schedule.
                                                records. A third category called “Official        “Users cannot save a document in our
hundreds of thousands                           Business” record is used when a user              environment unless they select one of the
of dollars in                                   determines that a General Working or              required retention fields,” explains Gerard.
                                                Reference record should now be an “Official       “Everybody’s using the tools they had before,
development time with                           Business” record and sent to the Record           mostly the Office suite, and they’re learning
Office SharePoint Server                        Center Vault.                                     how to save their documents directly into the
2007, and it leaves my                          General Mills surveyed 1,400 internal
staff free to work on                           content providers to help develop retention       General Mills used the flexible and robust
                                                schedules for general working records and         Microsoft .NET Framework Application
projects that add value                         business reference records that users would       Programming Interface that Office SharePoint
and drive the business                          easily adopt with minimal disruption.             Server 2007 is built on to develop useful
                                                Administrators were surprised that an             customizations for its records management
forward.”                                       overwhelming majority of respondents              solution. Custom scripts identify and collect
Elliot Gerard, IT Manager, Global Development   suggested that general working records            records in a table in a Microsoft SQL Server®
Services, General Mills                         should be retained for only 18 months, and        2005 database, and when records are due to
                                                that business reference records should be         be deleted, document owners are
                                                deleted or renewed after only 36 months.          automatically notified by an e-mail message
                                                                                                  that has links to the document destruction
                                                “People are more practical than we                schedule. The destruction schedule shows by
                                                expected,” says Gerard. “They understand          location a detailed list of documents
                                                that data centers are becoming                    scheduled to be destroyed, the number of
                                                overburdened, using up huge amounts of            times a document was read and the number
                                                electricity and space, and at some point we       of users that opened the document. For
                                                have to start conserving.”                        General Working records, the user can only
                                                                                                  review the information. There is no action for
                                                Ultimately, General Mills determined that         them to take. For Reference records, the user
                                                general working records would be                  can approve the destruction or “renew” the
                                                automatically deleted after 24 months, and        life of the document for an additional three
                                                document owners would be notified prior to        years.
                                                deletion. Business reference records have a
                                                renewable life cycle, and document owners         In 2009, General Mills plans to begin
                                                are notified prior to ultimate destruction.       migrating files on the existing file shares in its
                                                                                                  main headquarters in Minneapolis to the
                                                Building a Records Management Solution            Office SharePoint Server 2007 environment.
                                                General Mills built its records management        The end goal is to have all documents in a
                                                system into the Office SharePoint Server          managed state within the new records
                                                2007 user interface, so that employees can        management solution. When completed, the
                                                comply with the records retention system by       migration will add another six to twelve
                                                working with familiar tools and within existing   million documents to the Office SharePoint
                                                workflow processes. When users upload a           Server 2007 environment.
                                                document to a SharePoint library, they
                                                identify the document as a general working        Benefits
                                                record or a reference record by selecting from    With its new records management solution,
                                                a drop-down menu. The document is                 General Mills is creating benefits throughout
                                                automatically saved, categorized, and             the enterprise. The company now has a single
 “With a single                                 system for categorizing, storing, and              daily work processes, General Mills expects
                                                managing its very high volume of electronic        the records management system to grow
environment for                                 records, so that employees, managers, and          steadily over the first two to three years and
managing records,                               decision makers at General Mills can more          then level off as retention schedules mature—
                                                efficiently and reliably locate and access the     what the company calls the “grooming” cycle.
workflows, meetings,                            information they need.                             By mid-2008, the first grooming cycle had not
and projects, employees                                                                            matured, but random sampling indicated that
                                                With a solution capable of implementing            as much as 35 percent of documents were
in every area of the                            coherent, enterprisewide records retention         being classified as general working records,
business can spend less                         policies, General Mills can comfortably            with some of them due for deletion in 24
                                                manage the capacity of its data center,            months.
time coping with                                reduce costs, save time, and improve
process, and more time                          productivity. Users are adopting the system,       “The high rate of classification of documents
                                                using familiar tools to integrate it into their    as general working records is a good
focusing on the work                            daily workflows, and the IT department at          indicator that people are buying in to the
they do.”                                       General Mills is reducing administration           system,” says Gerard.
Elliot Gerard, IT Manager, Global Development                                                      Easy System Management, Reduced
Services, General Mills                         Comprehensive and Efficient Records                Development Costs
                                                Management                                         General Mills uses a staff of only four people
                                                Before implementing its new electronic             to manage an enterprisewide records
                                                records management solution, General Mills         management system that includes 54 site
                                                had a policy for retaining only official           collections, 1700 Web sites, almost 1600
                                                business records. Users had to print the           libraries, and more than 1.3 million
                                                documents and send them through inter-             documents. According to Gerard, the system
                                                office mail to the records retention               has not experienced one minute of downtime
                                                department, where it would be cataloged and        since it launched in February 2007. Because
                                                stored in boxes. Three separate facilities         company divisions and project teams can use
                                                were devoted to records storage. Cataloging        the solution to create and manage their own
                                                and storing a document could take a week,          sites, developers no longer have to write code
                                                and retrieval could take up to five days.          to develop individual Web sites.

                                                Now General Mills has a system for managing        “I have probably saved hundreds of
                                                all types of business records that is              thousands of dollars in development time
                                                completely integrated into daily work              with Office SharePoint Server 2007, and it
                                                activities. This system virtually eliminates the   leaves my staff free to work on projects that
                                                lost productivity costs from the old system.       add value and drive the business forward,”
                                                “We were using a lot of time, space, and           says Gerard.
                                                dollars reproducing, storing, and transporting
                                                thousands of paper documents a year,” says         Integration with Other Solution Capabilities
                                                Gerard. “With Office SharePoint Server 2007,       General Mills integrated its records
                                                we are on a path to eliminating most of our        management system with other capabilities
                                                paper systems.”                                    in Office SharePoint Server 2007 to create
                                                                                                   additional benefits for users and the
                                                Widespread Adoption                                enterprise. For example, developers at
                                                Because users can enter documents into the         General Mills customized the native search
                                                system with familiar tools and as part of their    capabilities in Office SharePoint Server 2007
For More Information                                            to provide users with improved search            Microsoft Office System
For more information about Microsoft                            experiences and quick, relevant results when     The Microsoft Office system is the business
products and services, call the Microsoft                       searching for electronic records.                world’s chosen environment for information
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                                                                           work, providing the programs, servers, and
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                             The Office SharePoint Server 2007 search         services that help you succeed by
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-                         Indexer can process a wide array of file types   transforming information into impact.
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-                        including the standard Microsoft Office
hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone                      documents and any other file type for which      For more information about the Microsoft
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in                         an iFilter is available. The indexer currently   Office system, go to:
the United States or (905) 568-9641 in                          searches 1.3 million files in SharePoint
Canada. Outside the 50 United States and                        document libraries, 20,000 user profiles , 1.2
Canada, please contact your local                               million items in SharePoint lists, more than
Microsoft subsidiary. To access information                     2,000 pages on General Mills intranet Web
using the World Wide Web, go to:                                sites, and 300,000 items on file shares.
                                                                “People always tell me that they have a lot
For more information about General Mills                        more success in finding things now,” reports
products and services, visit the Web site at:                   Gerard. “Just in terms of productivity and                                            time savings, Office SharePoint Server 2007
                                                                is creating benefits over the entire company.
                                                                With a single environment for managing
                                                                records, workflows, meetings, and projects,
                                                                employees in every area of the business can
                                                                spend less time coping with process, and
                                                                more time focusing on the work they do,
                                                                developing products and meeting business

                                                                 Software and Services
                                                                  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
                                                                   − Microsoft SQL Server 2005
                                                                  Microsoft Office
                                                                   − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT

Document published October 2008

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