News Briefs and Product Shorts
DSTWare Boosts Distributors Bottom Line by 10%
Distribution Service Technologies, a Mission Viejo, California, developer of OS/400-based warehousing and distribution management software, announced that its client Drive Train Industries has reported that its bottom line has improved by 10 percent as a result of its DSTWare implementation from Distribution Service Technologies. Denver-based Drive Train Industries installed DSTware to manage the flow of after-market truck parts at its seven warehouses in the Rocky Mountain region. Among the improvements that Drive Train Industries reported were reductions in pulling process errors by 20 to 30 percent, due to the use of barcodes and the elimination of 70 percent of the inventory-handling cycle at its central, 100,000 square foot warehouse, as a result of the cross-docking capability enabled by DSTware. The OS/400-based application also allowed 11 people to accomplish the jobs in that warehouse formerly done by 17 people, and the barcoding allowed two people to accomplish work that previously required six. "DSTWare gives us with the competitive edge to better predict what our customers will need and want," says Bruce Sommerville, Drive Train Industries general manager.
CommercialWare Offers 'Bill Me Later' Option
CommercialWare has partnered with I4 Commerce to add I4's "bill me later" option to CWDirect, CommercialWare's OS/400-based point-of-sale and merchandise-management system, used by more than 100 multi-channel retailers, such as Patagonia and Frederick's of Hollywood. Qualified consumers who purchase items over the Web or by telephone, but who don't want to pay using a credit card, can opt to receive a bill in the mail and pay it within 14 days, or they can arrange for financing, using the new "bill me later" option. The new system gives qualified consumers instant credit for purchases by only providing "top of mind" information, like a birth date or the last four digits of a Social Security number. "The bill-me-later payment option allows our merchants to reach new segments of customers not currently served by traditional payment options," says John Coskie, CommercialWare's vice president of sales and marketing. "Bill me later" is a service provided by I4 Commerce, which has agreements with First Data Corporation and Paymentech for use of their payment networks.
Protocom Releases SecureLogin SSO 3.5.1
Protocom Development Systems announced last week a new release of SecureLogin Single Sign-On, one of the components of its password management suite. With SecureLogin SSO Version 3.5.1, the company has delivered a new GUI and has improved support for Citrix emulation, framed Web pages, and Java clients. The new release also provides what Protocom calls Active Directory Application Mode, which allows companies to use directory-enabled sign-on before they have fully deployed a Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure. SecureLogin SSO supports OS/400, LDAP, mainframe, and other platforms, and can be had for $79 per seat in volume deals. The product integrates with the rest of the Australian company's SecureLogin product suite, which includes Advanced Authentication and Self-Service Password Reset.
Twenty System21 Aurora Installations Underway
More than 20 companies around the world are installing System21 Aurora, the refreshed OS/400-based ERP system that Geac introduced 12 months ago. Evans Vanodine International, a hygiene chemical manufacturer that is upgrading to System21 Aurora for its warehouse operation in England, expects the new software to help it reduce its finished goods inventory by 20 percent over the next year. Other companies that expect to complete their System21 Aurora implementations and go live before July include Elekta, a Swedish supplier of advanced radiation oncology and neurosurgery solutions; Stork Gamco, a Georgia manufacturer of poultry processing equipment; and Snapper, a manufacturer of lawn and garden equipment, also based in Georgia. Glen Dimplex, an Irish manufacturer of electric heating and domestic appliances, also plans to go live later this year, while Cornelius van Dijk, a Dutch distributor of bedroom and bathroom fashion items, will become Geac's first System21 Aurora upgrade in the Netherlands. Other companies that have already undergone the installation include Applegate Farms (see "Organic Food Company First in U.S. to Purchase System21 Aurora"), a major shoe manufacturer in Thailand, and Latham Plastics, an Upstate New York company that molds structural foam materials.
Oil and Gas Software Sales Up for Avatar Systems
Avatar Systems added eight new customers during its fourth quarter, the Dallas-based developer of OS/400- and Windows-based software for the oil and gas industry announced last week. In the fourth quarter of 2003, Avatar clients purchased 14 Check Solution modules, one CDEX module, one Sales Billing module, and three Land Systems. (Avatar did not indicate which module sales were for its PC-based Petroware 2000 system and which were for Avatar400.) Overall, the company's revenue for fiscal year 2003 declined about 1 percent, to about $2.1 million, for the quarter, but the bulk of that decrease was due to a 26 percent decline in consulting revenues. Software sales were up 8 percent, and net income increased to 24 percent, or $164,000. The company expects 150 participants for its annual conference being held May 13 through 14 at the Stonebriar Hotel in Frisco, Texas.
Just Don't Call These iSeries Robots 'eServers'
Adept Technology last week announced its results for the third quarter, during which time its revenues increased by 40 percent over the previous year. One of the factors for the Livermore, California, based company's successful quarter was the launch of its new line of Cobra iSeries robots, which the company's chief executive, Robert Bucher, says is the world's first assembly robot that includes a full robot motion controller inside of the robot's arm. Using the MicroV+ operating system and programming language, the Cobra i600 and i800 robots can be programmed to handle a range of tasks, including mechanical assembly, materials handling, packaging, palletizing, and screw driving.