5th Method helps manufacturer manage 3TB of data
with K2 and SharePoint


How do you effectively extract and manage 3 TB of data across 436,000 SharePoint sites and 12 million files in five different regions?

This is the issue that PPG, a global supplier of paints, coatings and specialty materials, was looking to solve. Drowning in a sea of content, the company was looking for a solution to extract and deliver line-of business information to the right people, at the right time.

The corporate IT team was responsible for all things SharePoint, and had to create many applications to help the different business segments look at manual processes and see how they can create value-added solutions that are more cost-effective and productivity-boosting.


PPG chose K2 software to solve these challenges and 5th Method as its consulting and implementation partner.

“We did evaluate other platforms, and the reason we chose K2 was because of the breadth of the platform,” said Diane Kallet, Senior Project Manager for Corporate IT, PPG. “You’re not limited to just SharePoint – if we wanted to use K2, or SmartForms, but didn’t want to use SharePoint in the mix, we could do that. Other workflow tools really just sit on top of your SharePoint infrastructure, but K2 has its own infrastructure and servers. We liked that.”

Diane added, “Upon selecting K2, we knew we wanted a partner we could work with as an extension of our team. A partner with a strong depth in both SharePoint and K2 to help us leverage the best of the integration between the two platforms. 5th Method was the partner we selected.”

5th Method delivered a small pilot project and few rounds of training for the PPG corporate IT team. Shortly thereafter, a project came to life that required the IT team to manage a newly acquired business. They engaged 5th Method to build this solution and to kick off 22 more fully formed K2 applications across the business.

In finance, for example, PPG’s Finance Authorization for Capital Transaction (ACT) had a very manual approval process. Data was getting lost, no one was sure who was waiting, who needed to approve or what the next steps would be — a big issue, given the nature of these business-critical spending approvals.

Documentation was either being emailed or sent via hard copies, so K2 and SharePoint brought the whole process together, providing an automated audit trail. K2 smartforms, workflow and PPG’s SharePoint site allow users to track approval status so each user knows what task is waiting for action, who to escalate to, or who to delegate to if someone is out of office. Each approval is time-stamped and the audit trail is kept in the system even after the ACT is completed.

The original components of this ACT have been able to be reused in further applications, making the process for each application shorter and simpler.

While Finance was one of the early adopters, the benefits of business process automation have spread throughout the company. Here are a few examples:

  • Finance: In addition to the ACT system, they are also using K2 to manage representation letters
  • Quality Assurance: Project management and document management
  • Environmental, Health and Safety: Using K2 to help manage raw materials and composition change orders
  • Architectural Coatings: Automated IT ticketing, consumer refunds, warranty requisitions and master data management


Pittsburgh, PA


Manufacturing, coatings



  • Finance Authorization for Capital Transaction (ACT)
  • Made To Order (MTO)
  • Raw Materials, Composition Change

PPG called on 5th Method to kickstart a program that would see the launch of more than 20 business process applications as part of a digital transformation effort across the organization.

  • Consistency and standardization with a centralized location
  • Increased productivity, with less manual lookup
  • More integration into backend systems and ERPs


5th Method understands K2 better than just about anyone. Contact us, and we’ll schedule a demo or talk you through some potential solutions and benefits.