ACIPCO

American Cast Iron Pipe Company uses Microsoft’s Office SharePoint Server for intranet solution

American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO), founded in 1905, manufactures a diversified product line for the waterworks, capital goods and energy industries. The Corporate headquarters and principal plant are located in Birmingham, Alabama. The products manufactured by ACIPCO are produced and marketed worldwide through five divisions: American Ductile Iron Pipe, American Flow Control, American Centrifugal, American Steel Pipe, and ACIPCO International. Specifically, these products include: ductile iron pipe and fittings; fire hydrants, valves and pumps for fire trucks; centrifugally cast steel tubes, static castings and fabricated assemblies; electric resistance welded steel pipe; and spiral welded steel pipe.

ACIPCO is a privately held Company and operates as a beneficial trust with both employees and customers as beneficiaries. ACIPCO's Founder John J. Eagan developed a unique plan of industrial cooperation under which the Company operates today. The employees work together as a team under the guiding principle of commitment to quality and service. This philosophy has made ACIPCO one of the top companies in America, according to a recent article in “Fortune” magazine, “The 100 Best Companies to Work for In America.”

ACIPCO's corporate philosophy is to respond to customer demand with premium quality products shipped in a timely manner at a fair and competitive price. Its dedication to meeting this goal has earned it the prestigious ISO 9000 Certification.

Overview

  • County or Region: United States
  • Industry: Manufacturing
  • Customer Profile:
    American Cast Iron Pipe Company (ACIPCO), founded in 1905, manufactures a diversified product line for the waterworks, capital goods and energy industries.
  • Business Situation:
    ACIPCO’s goal was to implement a content management solution to empower business users to create, publish, and manage content. ACIPCO evaluated many CMS solutions and chose Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) as an intranet platform for sharing content. ACIPCO believed the Microsoft platform would be reliable, consistent, and easily integrated into other solutions and applications.
  • Solution:
    ACIPCO implemented Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to help provide an intranet shared service environment for various departments starting with Process Control.
  • Benefits:
    Reusable Components
    Increased Employee Productivity
    Reduced Total Cost of Ownership

Case Study

  • Situation
    ACIPCO did not have a technology solution in place to facilitate publishing or management of content on the company’s internal communication network. Information technology (IT) staff had to edit, maintain, and add content to the intranet site manually, which took the focus of IT off more strategic development tasks. In addition, intranet content was built with static Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) pages that were used and then replaced every time new content was posted to the site. This process made timely posting of important news difficult, and having thousands of files with no naming conventions was consuming server space and making the network almost impossible to manage.
  • Solution
    ACIPCO evaluated many Content Management solutions and chose Microsoft’s Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). The team from Innovative Architects helped implement the Microsoft SharePoint Server solution. Office SharePoint Server provides ACIPCO with templates that serve as the framework and starting point for pages that enable content contributors to post information on the intranet. Once the ACIPCO IT team has coded and tested a template, it is released into production where business users then can add content. ACIPCO also uses the Authoring Connector, which allows knowledge workers to add content through the familiar interface of Microsoft Word and submit the content directly into the Office SharePoint Server workflow to be approved or declined.
  • Benefits
    Reusable Components
    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server uses SQL Server to store reusable XML, HTML, and image content separately from the templates used for display on the ACIPCO intranet. By abstracting content from presentation, ACIPCO knowledge workers are able to reuse templates with different content and easily repurpose the same content across a variety of applications. ACIPCO developers can easily develop and focus on reusable content-driven templates using Visual Studio.NET.

    Increased Employee Productivity
    Because Office SharePoint Server is part of the .NET product family, ACIPCO developers can be very creative in modeling business requirements and then turning those business requirements into technological realities. Using the classes and interfaces provided and the application programming interface (API) reduces the development process and gives developers the building blocks to design custom applications tailored to unique business needs.

    Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
    ACIPCO is in the early stages of using Office SharePoint Server, so it’s difficult to estimate direct savings in total cost of ownership. However, staff members are reaping benefits in terms of reduced IT support and improved content posting capabilities.
  • Software and Services
    • Microsoft Office
    • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server
    • Microsoft SQL Server
    • Microsoft .Net Framework