Birchwood Foods produces and supplies fresh and frozen beef, pork and poultry products to major foodservice chains and retail companies. The company is headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but has multiple production facilities across the country.
Name of Project: Birchwood Foods
Type of Project: Food Production
With sales of over a billion dollars the company is easily one of the largest processors of raw, frozen and pre-cooked beef and pork products in the United States. As the company’s longtime Director of Information Technology, Steven Schultz is in charge of not only all of the IT-related issues, but also the research and implementation behind all third-party IT vendor solutions. Partnering with other experts in the industry is important for Schultz and his small team, because not only does it instill a greater level of efficiency within the workplace, but it also greatly enhances productivity. Schultz and other leaders at Kenosha Beef International were recently reminded of this valuable lesson after experiencing issues extracting critical emails from the company’s outdated email archiving solution.
Issues with the company’s email archiving capabilities arose shortly after Schultz received an eDiscovery request from a legal team representing a similar business in a lawsuit unrelated to Kenosha Beef International. The request asked Schultz to search for, discover and deliver every single piece of email correspondence related to certain phrases or keywords at issue in the pending lawsuit.
With 150 or so email users to search through, Schultz set out to satisfy the eDiscovery request. The challenge, however, involved finding the most seamless and efficient way to conduct this search and deliver the findings.
At the time, the company relied on Microsoft’s Exchange Archiving solution. According to Schultz, the company’s archiving process involved making carbon copies of all emails and storing them in a separate account until every few months the emails were archived in folders. The process of searching those accounts and folders for the requested emails proved long and difficult. Schultz said he began the task at 8:30am on a Monday and wasn’t finished until the end of the week.
“It took me five days to go through and clear my plate,” he said. “I spent all my time working on this, maybe 10-hours each day.” Ultimately Schultz was able to deliver the requested emails, but not without a major interruption to his workflow. Making matters more challenging was that only days after satisfying the initial eDiscovery request, Schultz received another request from the same legal team asking for even more information. Lawyers, according to Schultz, wanted to expand their search and requested a whole new set of keywords for him and his team to search for.
When it was all said and done, Schultz said the process probably took roughly 120 hours. The whole experience was rife with challenges and frustration, he said. “Using Outlook’s search capabilities was extremely clumsy,” said Schultz, adding that the lack of data duplication resulted in him finding the same email many times in multiple ways. There had to be a better way.
After further evaluating his options outside of Outlook’s Exchange Archiver, Schultz began some informal discussions about archiving solutions with Mark LaCourse, Account Executive at Intradyn. Following some back and forth, not to mention in-depth research into the email archiving company’s track record, Schultz said he agreed to take a one-month demo of the solution to determine proof of concept.
The ease of use and simple search function was night and day compared to Outlook. “I was over-the-top pleased with it,” said Schultz.
Not only was he able to conduct multiple sophisticated searches for keywords, Schultz said he was also able to search and identify various derivations of the keywords — a capability that Outlook doesn’t possess. But in order to truly test the archiving solution, Schultz said he ran the same search for the keywords requested months earlier by lawyers and discovered that what once took hundreds of hours only took 20 minutes with Intradyn’s solution. “It was huge,” he said.
Intradyn’s Email Archiving Solution saved Schultz valuable time, which as a result meant potential monetary savings for his company. The decision to work with Intradyn was a simple one.
Not only did it mean a seamless search process in case of future eDiscovery requests, but it also allowed Schultz to ditch the company’s archaic archiving processes and implement a more modern solution.
Intradyn’s archiver meant Schultz and his IT team no longer had to manually move carbon copies of company emails from overloaded email accounts into folders and then conduct hours upon hours of work just to find those emails. The archiver also meant Schultz would be at ease knowing he would never have to endure the same amount of work brought forth by using out of date and incapable archiving solutions.
Looking back, Schultz said the demo was integral in helping him prove to company leaders that the solution was worth the added expense in the budget. The demo gave Schultz the confidence he needed to convince leaders that the archiver would greatly benefit the company.
He also credited Intradyn’s implementation team with making the setup process as seamless as possible.
“Their tech support team was outstanding,” he said. “It’s been a huge success.”