This showcase originally published in our customer magazine, the LANSA Review Issue 33, 2006.
All over the world, in every industry, thousands of companies manage plant, inventory, equipment, finance and people with the JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne integrated ERP software suites now owned by Oracle. Many have enhanced their core JD Edwards solutions running on iSeries and Windows with LANSA-based Web self-service, data synchronization, EDI, Web services and other extensions.
With LANSA, you can give staff, customers and partners real-time online access or implement business-to-business and machine-to-machine integration with minimal disruption to your business. LANSA programs can easily access JD Edwards files without data replication either directly or through API calls. And existing routines, such as price calculations, can be reused directly by LANSA Web, Windows and business integration applications.
- Business-to-business and machine-to-machine trading
- Self-service Web access for customers, distributors and staff
- Global Data Synchronization with LANSA Data Sync Direct
- Integrating with JD Edwards Financials
- Oracle Confirms Commitment to JD Edwards on System i
Business-to-business and machine-to-machine trading
Today's business climate requires communication with business partners in diverse software and hardware environments. LANSA Integrator provides automated dynamic exchange of transactions, directly between the core systems of business partners using XML, Web services or Internet-based EDI to increase accuracy and timeliness by eliminating human interaction.
Brewers' Distributor Ltd. (BDL) is Western Canada's leading distribution and container return service for the brewing industry. Since 2004, BDL has offered its customers real-time ordering via a Web self-service portal as well as a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution that allows for XML, CSV, TSV and XLS file formats and uses HTTP as the transport layer. The M2M solution is based on LANSA Integrator technology and was built with LANSA Sell-Side Direct's question-and-answer prompting.
High-volume customers can send orders in a variety of formats directly from their POS system, while smaller customers use the Web order facility. Both LANSA-based eCommerce solutions integrate in real time with BDL's JD Edwards World 7.3 and are served through a Linux partition on BDL's i5 System.
Andrew Hobbs, manager of IT applications at BDL, said, "Customers may place orders and receive order confirmations at any time of the day. We are working towards driving the number of electronic orders up to 70 percent or more. The retention rate of those customers who do use the application is 100 percent."
More recently, BDL used Visual LANSA Framework to build a warehouse automation system for their largest distribution center in New Westminster, British Columbia.
The conveyor system includes line control software that automatically weighs, wraps and labels and scans completed pallets. The automated lines scan the pallets bar code as they move through different processing stages and when they are loaded onto delivery trucks. LANSA Integrator is used to pass SOAP Web services requests between the line control software in the distribution center and JD Edwards in the Calgary data center, where decisions regarding what to do next with that pallet are made and sent back via SOAP.
"We could not have achieved the necessary look and feel for this application using traditional JD Edwards/RPG programming, nor could we have implemented it in the time available for this project. The Visual LANSA Framework lets us easily and rapidly extend our JD Edwards application and deliver content-rich, flexible and easy-to-use applications to our user base," said Hobbs.
CSBP Limited, based in Western Australia, is a major manufacturer and supplier of chemicals and fertilizers to the mining, industrial and agricultural sectors. CSBP Limited is part of the Wesfarmers Limited group, a major diversified Australian public company. CSBP operates multiple plants throughout the state of Western Australia.
With the help of LANSA business partner Lateral WA, CSBP developed a Web-based Appointment Book that lets customers book appointments to pick up bulk fertilizer products. The LANSA-based Appointment Book system integrates with Customer, Address, Sales Orders, Pricing, Items, Bills of Materials and Billing tables in CSBP's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 11 system.
Customers, agents, distributors and haulage contractors can request the pick up of a certain amount of fertilizer. The system displays details of the client's orders from the JD Edwards Order processing system, including the difference between what the client has ordered and what has already been picked up. The Appointment Book then schedules a time slot for pick up based the product availability and the resources of the plant to handle the loading of the truck of the quantity requested.
When the truck arrives at the plant to pick up the fertilizer, the Appointment Book interfaces via LANSA Integrator and MQSeries with the plant's UNIX-based Macroview software to arrange the loading with the correct tonnage. The load information, including weight variations, is then received back into the Appointment Book, again using LANSA Integrator and MQSeries, and the Appointment Book system then sends the information directly to the JD Edwards billing modules using JD Edwards APIs.
Rick Harvey, managing director at Lateral WA, said, "We used LANSA Integrator to achieve the seamless interfaces that were essential for this application. Each interface was easy to write, test and implement regardless of the technology. LANSA Integrator works."
High Liner Foods Inc., based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, is one of North America's largest processors and marketers of prepared, value-added frozen seafood. High Liner markets its products under the High Liner and Fisher Boy brands. High Liner has been a LANSA customer since 1989 and uses LANSA for its iSeries, Web, Windows, B2B, GDSN and EDI-INT extensions to its JD Edwards World version A8.6 system.
One of High Liner's extensions is a Web-based virtual supply chain that publishes forecasted raw material demand from its JD Edwards Manufacturing Planning system to authorized suppliers. Suppliers respond and High Liner can accept their quotes. Suppliers then build a shipping container on the Web site including exact specifications of what is in the container and where. They also include quality inspection results and other pertinent shipping information. The orders are then automatically created and processed in High Liner's JD Edwards system.
LANSA Integrator is used to allow supporting documentation, previously emailed or faxed, to be attached to the JD Edwards purchase order for easy document retrieval.
Peter Burns, director of information services at High Liner, said, "All members of the supply chain, including the suppliers, shipping companies, customs brokers, storage facilities, quality control and manufacturing staff, can track orders, shipments and delivery dates in real time, from anywhere in the world."
High Liner uses LANSA Data Sync Direct for item synchronization with the GS1 Global Registry™ and LANSA AS2 Direct for all EDI communications, either directly with customers or via VANs, eliminating all bisync communications and dramatically increasing communication reliability.
"LANSA gave us the flexibility to build systems tailored to our needs that tie into our base JD Edwards system very easily," continued Burns. "The low cost and ease of implementation and maintenance let us move on to new business projects faster. Whether we need a Web, integration, GS1 or RFID solution, we can depend on LANSA keeping ahead of our needs."
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, manufactures and supplies equipment and protective gear for baseball, softball, football, basketball and volleyball to distributors and retailers. Rawlings, via its Hilton Apparel Division, also supplies distributors worldwide with corporate logo-bearing merchandise, such as custom-made staff uniforms. For many years, Rawlings has offered its customers a LANSA-built self-service Web site that integrates with its JD Edwards World 7.3 system.
More recently, Rawlings used LANSA's Punch Out Catalog Integration CodeStart solution to extend its existing LANSA eCommerce site with "punch-out" integration to let Ariba Supplier Network buyers create and edit orders and let Rawlings upload its catalog to Ariba. All integration is handled by LANSA Integrator and complies with the Ariba protocols using cXML messaging and HTTPS.
A punch-out site is the equivalent of a live, interactive online catalog across multiple suppliers. As the Ariba Supplier Network purchaser moves from one supplier's catalog to another, behind-the-scenes messaging tracks the online activity and moves information to and from the Ariba server, the appropriate supplier's server and the purchaser's computer.
Matt Bensing, director of marketing and operations at Rawlings, said, "Buyers never know they are leaving our site to make other purchases, the look and feel is seamless. We do a cost savings analysis every month and our numbers show that we are saving $.03-$.05 per dollar in debit fees by using the Ariba Supplier Network to our first Ariba customer Best Buy. That translates into a three percent savings on purchases of a million dollars in the three months since going live. More than enough to make Best Buy's request a positive experience for Rawlings, too."
Speedling, Incorporated, based in Sun City, Florida, USA, and with nursery production facilities across the United States and China, has been an industry leader in the production of transplants and the development of horticultural products and technology for over 35 years.
Speedling uses LANSA Commerce Edition Direct to trade electronically with its large volume brokers, who can send their orders in XML and EDI formats. Speedling also offers a self-service Web site to its 65 brokers and their respective 2000 customers, for inquiry and placing smaller orders. Both solutions integrate directly in real time with Speedling's JD Edwards World 7.3 implementation. Internal staff use LANSA Client for query and end user reporting over JD Edwards data.
Cathy Storey, information systems manager at Speedling, said, "Total grow time can vary between 14 days and 112 days, depending on the variety of seed and the season, so you can imagine that our business rules for availability and order fulfillment are quite complex. Adding further to that complexity is the fact that our assortment of over 10,000 items is continuously changing, depending on seasons, new varieties and new colors."
"We selected LANSA as the most practical solution to take our JD Edwards system to the brokers. The B2B and B2Web extensions help us to better communicate availability to our brokers and forecast demand. Dealing with LANSA, the product and the company, has been a good experience. LANSA integrates well with JD Edwards and the LANSA consultants were very quick to grasp the requirements that are specific to our business."
Self-service Web access for customers, distributors and staff
Self-service Web access for customers, distributors and sales staff can greatly increase efficiency and sales numbers. LANSA Commerce Edition provides an easy-to-customize eCommerce framework based on LANSA for the Web technology. With a typical implementation cycle of just a few weeks, these solutions can be deployed on iSeries, Windows or Linux servers.
LANSA Web Access Modules (WAMs), a new feature of LANSA V11, provide an easy way to deploy applications to multiple user interfaces, such as wireless PDAs and mobile phones as well as Web and Windows clients.
Virtually all companies who have implemented interactive Web solutions notice a strong decline in inquiry calls, even from their EDI accounts, as the Web inquiry addresses the bulk of standard queries.
Many have also commented that making it easier to do business with them has resulted in increased sales. And all implementers experienced improved accuracy of orders, fewer returns, less wastage and faster, more streamlined distribution procedures.
Art Frame Direct, Inc., based in Orlando, Florida, USA, wholesales antique style decorative accessories, framed art and mirrors, sculpture, lighting and a variety of furniture. The company ships from its distribution centers as well as offering custom manufacturing. Customers include major retailers, art dealers, interior design firms and private-label manufacturers in the US and all over the world.
Art Frame Direct has extended their Windows-based JD Edwards EntepriseOne SP15 system with LANSA Commerce Edition to offer its customers online ordering and inquiry. In addition, Art Frame Direct is hosting B2C Web sites for some of its retail customers like Costco.
Kieth Vey, Web strategist at Art Frame Direct, said, "Customized to our needs, LANSA Commerce Edition took 30 days to deliver, from start to going live. We now take more orders that are clean and ready to ship and the solution has helped to increase fill rates and sales. Of the customers who signed up to place Web orders, over 30 percent are brand new."
"Being able to host and process B2C orders for our wholesale customers has opened new business opportunities. We handle all the Web changes in-house with two people, who also take care of the orders and questions posted on the site. This saves a lot of time and gives us independence."
J.C. Ehrlich Termite and Pest Control, based in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, is one of the leading firms in its field, with 60 offices serving the Eastern United States and Canada. Ehrlich provides commercial and residential pest control, termite services, vegetation management and bioremediation. The company also sells products through its Ehrlich distribution division with offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, Reading and Baltimore, Maryland.
With the help of LANSA business partner Weidenhammer, Ehrlich distribution has implemented a secure Web site that includes full shopping cart capabilities and customer-driven pricing using LANSA Commerce Edition. The site integrates in real time with Ehrlich's JD Edwards World 7.3 system. After implementation on iSeries, the site was migrated to Windows.
LANSA Integrator has been used to synchronize service schedules, work orders and other details between handheld devices used by Ehrlich's field staff and JD Edwards. J.C. Ehrlich also uses LANSA Data Sync Direct to synchronize its products to GS1.
Mike Pascarell, development manager at Weidenhammer, said, "LANSA's Business Object Templates and existing JD Edwards access routines allowed the site to be up and running in a short time and modifications were easy to implement as well."
Tim Custer, IT director at J.C. Ehrlich, said, "We selected LANSA in 2001 because of its short learning curve, rapid deployment and ease of implementation. Now, five years later, we still benefit from this decision."
"LANSA has proven its flexibility in a number of ways. In 2005, we moved our iSeries based Web site to the Intel Platform. Since the site was created with LANSA, it was a piece of cake and we switched platforms without having to reengineer the site."
"In 2004, we equipped our Pest Control Technicians with a new field service automation system. Again, LANSA was put to use, with LANSA Integrator providing the framework for an XML-based synchronization of data, including service schedules, work order details, technician activity, observations and material usage details, between our iSeries and the Microsoft handheld platform."
"LANSA has proven to be extremely flexible and helps us maintain extremely high customer service levels by ensuring that our technicians have relevant customer history stored on their handheld and that office coworkers have access to all data collected in the field."
National Envelope Corporation, based in Frisco, Texas, USA, is the largest privately held envelope manufacturer in the world and has used LANSA since 2003. A LANSA Commerce Edition self-service site, dubbed @National, is used primarily for inquiry purposes, although a number of customers use it to order envelopes online.
National Envelope recently unveiled its first WAM application, an Intranet solution that lets sales representatives view orders stored in the company's JD Edwards World 7.3 database. Sales representatives use the application to view pertinent data on a single, tabbed Web page. Previously, they had to look at numerous green-screens to find the information they required. The 5250 interface was cumbersome to use and difficult to access from the road. By contrast, the WAM application is highly intuitive and can be used by anyone with proper authority and a Web browser.
Mark Mogul, vice president of IT at National Envelope, is impressed with LANSA, "The iSeries market has needed this type of development tool for a long time. With LANSA WAMs and Weblets, RPG developers can write sophisticated Web-based applications without requiring Java experience."
O'Sullivan Industries, based in Lamar, Missouri, USA, is a leading manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture and sells through major retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Office Depot and OfficeMax. In 2000, O'Sullivan was one of the first LANSA Commerce Edition implementers, using it to provide its non-EDI accounts with order entry and a personalized product catalog. EDI accounts also use the site for small emergency orders. O'Sullivan's site also handles B2C orders for closeout furniture specials direct to consumers. Since 2003, O'Sullivan has also used LANSA Data Sync Direct to synchronize its products to GS1.
Doug Von Feldt, director of information systems at O'Sullivan Industries, said, "By using LANSA Commerce Edition and other LANSA tools, we are able to integrate with our JD Edwards World 7.3 software to provide an improved level of service to our customers. We continue to find new ways of using the LANSA product and are happy with LANSA's ongoing commitment to make improvements to meet current and future business requirements."
Shell Canada was in 1997 the first company to use LANSA for the Web, before the product even had a name. Shell Canada's employees, who include staff manning the petrol stations, are across the country, covering multiple time zones and the French and English language areas. Shell used LANSA to provide its employees with a new front-end for easy-to-use online access to its JD Edwards Human Resource/Payroll system on the iSeries.
Shell's IT project manager at the time said, "LANSA offered a secure and flexible method for linking the JD Edwards data to an Intranet solution. LANSA Canada worked with Shell's Human Resources and Internet & Computing teams to design and build a system that worked almost entirely within its existing environment."
Shell's HR systems coordinator at the time said, "By using an Intranet solution, Shell has empowered its employees across Canada with an intuitive, bilingual application. At the same time, the reduced reliance of employees on HR staff for general inquiries has reduced HR administration costs."
Shell Canada still uses the LANSA-based HR extension and has recently upgraded to LANSA V11 to take advantage of the new Visual LANSA IDE. Shell is now moving forward with the migration of their original ten-year-old HR Web Application to the newer LANSA WAM technology.
The Weidmüller Group, based in Richmond, Virginia, USA, is the leading manufacturer of components for electrical connection technology. The Weidmüller product portfolio ranges from terminal blocks, PCB connectors and terminals, protected components and relay sockets to power supply and overvoltage protection modules suitable for all applications. The Weidmüller Group has a strong international orientation with production facilities, sales companies and agencies in over 70 countries.
Weidmüller used LANSA Commerce Edition to extend its JD Edwards World 7.3 system to the Web. The solution is currently used by over 750 customers, who are mostly OEM partners.
Kevin Rackley, system analyst at Weidmüller, said, "We needed something we could implement quickly and painlessly, and that's what we got. We were in a crunch for time and also wanted something that was easy to maintain in-house. We knew that LANSA had JD Edwards knowledge and could work on our level when it came to working out strategies and best business practices."
"Overall, our customers are much happier with the LANSA solution than our prior system and enhancing the systems functionality has also helped bring in many new customers."
Global Data Synchronization with LANSA Data Sync Direct
LANSA Data Sync Direct was the first certified Global Data Synchronization solution for the iSeries in 2002 and has subsequently been certified for Windows as well. Its question-and-answer prompting makes for easy integration with a wide range of ERP systems, including JD Edwards. Although industry compliance is the main trigger to implement product synchronization, companies find that the efficiencies in streamlining and automating item publication to trading partners provide a substantial payoff.
Hundreds of companies worldwide have implemented LANSA Data Sync Direct, including most of the companies mentioned elsewhere in this showcase along with Cantex Inc, Casio Inc, Master Halco, National Manufacturing, UST Inc. and many other JD Edwards customers.
Campbell Hausfeld, headquartered in Harrison, Ohio, USA, is a leading manufacturer and marketer of air compressors, air tools and accessories, paint sprayers, welders and pressure washers.
Larry Rude, IT director at Campbell Hausfeld, said, "We selected LANSA Data Sync Direct because the solution was easy to use and easy to integrate with our JD Edwards World 7.3 solution. The data cleansing and the collection of item attributes were the biggest effort. Because everyone needs to do the attributes in a consistent way, we appointed a cross-departmental business coordinator to oversee it all. If I exclude the time we spent on cleansing data and collecting attributes, I estimate it took us less than 15 working days from initial training to starting to use the solution."
Hunter Fan Company, based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, is America's fastest-growing home comfort company with a comprehensive range of products, including ceiling fans, portable fans, air purifiers, humidifiers, thermostats and vaporizers. In 2003, Hunter Fan was one of the first hardlines companies to implement LANSA Data Sync Direct to synchronize product information from its from its JD Edwards World 7.3 system with retailers. Since then, many more hardlines companies have followed.
Hunter Fan has since implemented version 3.1 of LANSA Data Sync Direct. Ray Curry, IT director at Hunter Fan, said, "The new features of LANSA Data Sync Direct have made it more straightforward for our staff to manage GTINs and transactions. The hyperlinks and the explanation support provide us with more access to information that makes the entire data synchronization process easier to handle."
Integrating with JD Edwards Financials
Many companies that use LANSA have also integrated with JD Edwards Financials.
Three of Canada's largest Children's Aid Societies, the Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CAST), the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto (CCAS) and the Ottawa Children's Aid Society (CAS-OTT) use Visual LANSA-based systems that help to service tens of thousands of children and families in circumstances where instant data access is sometimes literally a matter of life-and-death.
The systems are implemented on separate iSeries machines and have individual variations in functionality. Modules include Client Information, Case Management, Service Planning, Workload Distribution, Decision Support, Correspondence and Contact Management, Reporting, Document Management and Financial Assistance Services. The JD Edwards financial systems of the societies integrate with the LANSA-based systems for case costing calculations. These calculations include hours usage for Outside Paid Resources, which allows for payments to the Foster Homes.
A representative of the societies, who have formed a consortium in partnership with LANSA, commented, "By law we have to take action within 12 hours in severe cases. But because we have all the information at our fingertips, we are usually out there with a plan within two hours of a call at most. Visual LANSA runs fast and stable and communicates efficiently with the iSeries, as well as with Windows-based text processing and document imaging facilities."
The Terminix International Company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands and the largest termite and pest control company in the world. Terminix replaced a COBOL mainframe system and hundreds of standalone UNIX systems at its branches with a central LANSA-based application on a single 595 iSeries. Over 12,000 employees at over 400 locations and 5,500 service specialists with wireless handheld devices use the system that also interacts with an increasing number of third-party systems using LANSA Integrator and Web services.
Terminix's LANSA-based Mission system integrates with JD Edwards World version 8.0 for the exchange of financial transactions. Most of the transactions from Mission are exchanged using Z-Files (a well-known JD Edwards provided integration facility) and Microsoft Data Transformation Services (DTS). In the near future, the Mission system will integrate directly at database level with JD Edwards Accounts Payable for refunds to customers and automating the creation of an accounts payable voucher.
Terminix also uses LANSA Integrator and Web services to exchange transactions with an increasing number of third-party systems and with the ServiceMaster IT enterprise group. "Our goal is to use a Web services infrastructure for all systems interaction," said Gabriel Sgolombis, director of systems architecture at Terminix. "We are making LANSA Integrator Web services our standard way of interfacing."
Neller Pty Ltd, a LANSA business partner in Australia, has been a leading provider of computerized payroll and people management systems for the Australia and New Zealand marketplace since 1976. Neller's LANSA-based Preceda application, with integrated modules for Payroll, Human Resources and Labour Management, is used by over 350 blue chip organizations including Woolworths, the largest corporate employer in the region with 160,000 people.
Many of Neller's customers process their payroll transactions in JD Edwards Financials General Ledger modules, including Blockbuster Australia Pty Ltd, Brambles Industrial Services, Brazin Ltd, Caterpillar Underground Mining Pty Ltd, Cleanaway, Costa's Pty Ltd, Dusk Australia, Electrolux Home Products, Hardy Wine Company, Hunter Douglas Ltd, National Foods Juice Division, SITA Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd and South Pacific Tyres.
Sam Xydias, technology director at Neller, said, "Integration with JD Edwards is simple and easy. We provide our customers with various options that best fit their business needs. Preceda comes with a configuration facility that prompts the user for the version of JD Edwards (or any other system). Subsequently Preceda knows in which format to generate the transactions. We are also able to leverage Preceda's application integration suite, which is powered by LANSA, to deliver application-to-application, real-time or batch, bidirectional integration between Preceda and any part of the JDE application."
Oracle Confirms Commitment to JD Edwards on System i
In April 2006, Oracle announced its commitment to provide continued enhancements to JD Edwards World and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne on IBM's System i. The continued development of the JD Edwards products on the IBM System i, combined with Oracle's Lifetime Support Policy signals Oracle's plans to protect the investments of JD Edwards customers. Customers can choose whether to upgrade to newer versions of JD Edwards or to Oracle's new Fusion application.
JD Edwards software has been available on the IBM platform for almost 30 years, and with over 4,500 customers globally, there is tremendous interest in this product combination from both new and existing customers. "Oracle and IBM are committed to the long-term success of our joint customers," said Oracle senior vice president of applications development John Wookey. "By continuing to support JD Edwards solutions running on IBM beyond 2013, we are giving our customers the flexibility to choose if and when they upgrade to Oracle Fusion Applications."
Oracle and IBM also announced an expanded investment to jointly deliver JD Edwards solutions for the small and midsize businesses market through IBM's reseller channel. The investment will support go-to-market activities for Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World software products with Oracle and IBM sales teams and value-added resellers.
"The System i market is growing, and we see tremendous opportunity for new customers running JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne on IBM System i," said Lenley Hensarling, Oracle's vice president and general manager for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.
"We strongly welcome Oracle's plans to support the JD Edwards applications on the IBM System i platform beyond 2013," said IBM System i general manager Mark Shearer. "Our mutual installed base as well as prospective clients can continue to invest with confidence and know that they have the flexibility to move forward based on their business requirements. We intend to continue our close collaboration with Oracle to deliver solutions that help our clients simplify their IT and drive business innovation."