News Briefs and Product Shorts
CNX's ATOMIC Goes 'Lean'
CNX is now shipping a new release of its Automated Total Order Management and Inventory Control (ATOMIC) planning and execution system suite for BPCS and PRMS applications, from SSA Global, as well as other ERP systems. With ATOMIC Version 3.3, the Chicago company has enhanced the suite's Radio Frequency/Inventory Control (RF) and Shop Floor (SF) modules. RF enhancements include support for paperless "wave" picking of customer orders, which allows multiple orders to be grouped together and sorted in an order that minimizes travel through the warehouse. There are also new lean manufacturing capabilities in the SF module, including the capability to set up rules that will automatically adjust work order schedules and inventory allocations to meet changes to forecasts or customer requirements. Pricing for the modules starts at $36,000 for SF and $29,000 for RF, which includes all free-format RPG source code. ATOMIC works with PRMS Version 8.4 and later versions and BPCS 4.05CD. CNX is currently looking for a user of SSA Global's KBM ERP system as a beta site for ATOMIC. Contact the company at www.cnxcorp.com for more information.
Tier-One Auto Supplier Standardizes on MAPICS
Meridian Automotive Systems will install MAPICS ERP for iSeries software at its 22 North American manufacturing plants, it was announced last week. The Dearborn, Michigan, company, which specializes in exterior composites, lighting systems, and front- and rear-end modules, was so impressed with MAPICS OS/400-based ERP software, which it already used in some of its facilities, that it has decided to standardize its global operations on it. "With MAPICS, my staff can provide our enterprise with an effective approach to systems standardization that assists us in maintaining high supplier ratings, excelling in business-critical metrics, reducing operational costs, and improving overall business efficiency," said Bruce Knoll, IT director for Meridian, which had $1.1 billion in revenues in 2002.
Cooper-Standard Finds Help for Large Paper Problem
Cooper-Standard Automotive, a tier-one supplier of auto parts, has saved a small fortune by moving from paper-based documents to electronic documents, iSeries software specialist Help/Systems announced. Before implementing Robot/REPORTS, the company's Canadian operations were generating about 430,000 pages per month, or more than 5 million pages of reports per year, from its BPCS, Lotus Notes, Infinium, and Kronos AS/400 applications. This required a substantial investment in paper, paper disposal, and printers, in addition to the labor cost of sorting, collating, and delivering those reports. In 1996, Cooper-Standard had already automated much of its server processes with Help/System's scheduling and alerting software, when it decided to give the Robot a shot at cutting down on printed reports (instead of cutting down trees). Instead of printing and filing paper, the company used Robot/REPORTS to electronically store spool files, which could be kept for a specified amount of time online, then moved to short-term storage, and finally to long-term storage, depending on business requirements. This method resulted in an astounding reduction in printed output, according to Gail Kapcza, Cooper-Standard's iSeries operations supervisor. "By 1999, we had reduced [printed output] to 220,000 pages per month, or about 2,640,000 pages a year," she says. "We've tracked our print volume from the iSeries over the last eight years, and we've seen substantial reductions every year."
Innovatum and Seagull Scientific Become Partners for FDA Compliance Solution
Software developers Innovatum and Seagull Scientific have established a partnership to sell a label-printing package that is compliant with the Food and Drug Administration's 21 CFR Part 11 rule. The FDA ruling mandates that pharmaceutical manufacturers meet certain minimum requirements in handling of electronic documents to ensure accurate tracking of batches of drugs. Innovatum, based in Sugar Hill, Georgia, has been an active participant in 21 CFR Part 11 remediation, with several tools, including an OS/400 auditing tool called DataThread; Radio Frequency Order Picking and Inventory Control System (ROPICS), which was initially developed for SSA Global's BPCS years ago; and ROBAR, a barcode label package that works with ROPICS. As a result of the new partnership, companies can now pull data out of a range of ERP systems with ROBAR and send them to Windows printers using Seagull's BarTender barcode label print drivers for Windows.
Software Simulates Attacks on Your Web Apps
To combat the growing threat of denial-of-service attacks, which occur at a rate of 2,000 per week, according to a recent study, RadView Software last week announced new software that allows users to test the resiliency of their Web applications by simulating attacks. Built with real-world attacker tools, WebLOAD for DDoS simulates the storm of packets that have been known to bring Web servers to their knees, including TCP Flood and UDP Flood techniques. WebLOAD for DDoS collects application performance and response metrics and works with TestView, RadView's Web testing suite. The software supports major Web servers, such as WebSphere, Apache, JBoss, and IIS, running on Windows, AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat Linux operating systems. OS/400 is not supported, but eServer i5 is, through Linux and AIX.
Adobe Announces New 'LiveCycle' Electronic Document Management Software
Adobe has been hinting that it would like to break into the enterprise document management space, and last week it took one step closer to that reality with the announcement of LiveCycle, a collection of Java-based software server products that use XML to pull data residing on back-end enterprise applications and deliver it as malleable, "intelligent," PDF documents. The LiveCycle products are key components of Adobe's Intelligent Document Platform, which has three components: the "intelligent" document (the PDF), the universal client (Adobe's free Acrobat Reader), and document services, which is where the LiveCycle software comes in. Several Adobe software server products made it into the LiveCycle lineup, including Adobe Designer, Form Server, Form Manager, Reader Extensions Server, Barcoded Paper Forms Solution, as well as two new products, Document Security Server and Policy Server (Policy Server will be available later this year). These Java applications require a Web application server, and Adobe prefers you use the WebSphere server from its partner IBM, running on Windows, Unix, AIX, or Linux operating systems. The LiveCycle software doesn't yet support OS/400 (Adobe bought OS/400 forms management developer Accelio in 2002, so we know they know OS/400), but that doesn't mean LiveCycle products can't live on the iSeries and access OS/400 ERP systems, via Linux or AIX. LiveCycle support for BEA Systems' WebLogic Web application server and Novell's SuSE Linux operating system will be delivered in 2005.