SydneyEnterprise Success Story

Cargill and Lucidea: Role Modelling and Return On Investment

Cargill operates in 67 countries and uses the SydneyEnterprise ILS to support a global team of ~143,000 scientists and researchers with digital content, optimize end user access to knowledge resources, and further their strategy of minimizing software installations while containing costs and expanding impact.

“Sydney is one of the most stable platforms we have;
it goes merrily working along on its way, offers all the necessary functionality, and the price point and flexibility are winners”

Senior Information Specialist

Cargill Challenges,
SydneyEnterprise Solutions

Global access to company knowledge resources

Cost containment while broadening impact

Expanded ROI via effective interdepartmental initiatives

Cargil provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, they help people thrive by applying insights gained through 150 years of experience. Cargill maintains a presence in 67 countries and has over 143,000 employees committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, to reducing environmental impact and to improving the communities where they live and work.

Cargill’s information management challenge

With such a large globally distributed workforce, Cargill’s information management requirements are significant. Information Center staff in their Minnesota headquarters leverage Lucidea’s Sydney system to:

  • Optimize end user access to knowledge resources.
  • Further the company wide strategy of minimizing software installations while containing costs and expanding impact.
  • Put partnership into practice by building effective relationships with other Cargill departments.

Effective, efficient and integrated

Prior to implementing the SydneyPlus ILS, the two Cargill libraries in the U.S. and Belgium were not integrated and maintained their own catalog records in different formats. It was also difficult to handle any resources with online access. Scientists and researchers had no way to search across the company’s knowledge assets, and physical materials were in multiple locations. As their collection and user base grew, it became critical to offer rich search capabilities and the option to access content in digital form – it was impractical to be a circulating library with such a large, global employee base. According to Cindy Acton, Senior Information Specialist, during vendor review “we concluded that Sydney offered all the necessary functionality, and the price point and flexibility were winners.” The U.S. library was the first to implement Lucidea’s Sydney ILS, and then the library in Belgium integrated their journal collection in order to offer global access; ultimately the entire collection from Belgium (primarily composed of R&D materials) went into Sydney as well. The system’s flexibility worked well for blending two very different collections. Cargill’s implementation shines with regard to e-books, online journals, market research in digital format, and links to practice focused materials. The Corporate Archives and Legal Department at Cargill have adopted and adapted the system too.

The Expandable ROI

Cargill’s return on investment extends well beyond the Information Center. For example, the ability to create separate database instances on a single platform supports the multi-departmental strategy in a cost effective way while allowing appropriate customization:

  • The Law Library participates in the Sydney contract but keeps its collection of legal materials completely separate, making it accessible through a departmental portal built with Information Manager. Their database is regularly maintained, and they can easily identify what materials and subscriptions they have.
  • The Art Database works similarly, and Sydney’s flexibility allows it to have a unique look and feel. It is managed by Bruce Bruemmer, Director of Corporate Archives at Cargill. Mr. Bruemmer values such options as the flexibility of including archival fields, offering a searchable image database and tracking the location of items shared between Cargill’s campuses.

Common underlying functionality works seamlessly across all the instances, making training and support very efficient. Sydney offers many features which contribute to operational efficiency and workflow. For example:

  • The ability to copy existing records rather than create new ones from the ground up is a huge timesaver.
  • KM Builder allows easy addition of new fields, which helps sta to think of creative, user focused ways to describe content.
  • Less is more for users …simplifying records and presenting only the data pertinent to them enhances their search experience.
  • Publishing once, then linking to a resource from many locations is optimal.
  • Changing a record once and simultaneously changing it for everyone, everywhere is very efficient.
  • Federated search and full text search even within attachments makes for powerful discovery.

The ability to buy content once and leverage it either across the company or via specific permissions is a big benefit, both financially and strategically. Purchasing the ILS software once and leveraging it for several departments offers many benefits, including a good partnership with IT staff. Cargill’s Information Center staff are largely self-sufficient due to the ease of use and flexibility offered by Sydney, lowering IT’s training and support burden. Finally, the InfoCenter is working on integrating their SydneyPlus content with other applications in Cargill such as SharePoint.

Downstream opportunities

According to Ms. Acton, “Lucidea’s Client Services people have always been extremely helpful. Sydney is one of the most stable platforms we have; it goes merrily working along on its way …and now we only call when something new comes up.” By “new” she means new Cargill initiatives, some of which could involve even deeper integration with Sydney. Ms. Acton and Cargill’s Information Technology Manager, Deo Sioco, set up quarterly update calls with their Lucidea Sydney sales executive and client services manager, during which they share direction on how to leverage new features and functionality, and prepare for new Cargill initiatives such as integration with EBSCO Discovery Service. Partnership doesn’t just work within Cargill …it works from the inside out.

The Cargill information and knowledge management story certainly includes successful implementation of the Sydney ILS within the InfoCenter. It also includes successful demonstration of functionality and benefits that solve challenges for other departments, leading to an ROI that expands beyond the Information Center to positively impact the entire company.

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