Food Company Gets a Leg Up on Errors with CCSS
September 9, 2014 Alex Woodie
From time to time, a processing error would cause a truck to leave the Lipari Foods warehouse before electronic invoices were generated, which would sometimes lead to stores refusing delivery. Now, thanks to system monitoring software from CCSS, errors like this can be detected before they cause problems.
Lipari Foods is a Michigan-based food distributor that delivers deli, bakery, packaging, seafood, confections, and groceries. Millions of square feet of warehouse space and a fleet of semi-trucks enable it to serve customers spanning 12 Midwestern states.
A heavy reliance on Power Systems servers and IBM i software enables the family-owned company to run a lean IT operation. Among the IBM i apps are a warehouse management system from Retalix, time clock software from Kronos, and document management software from S4i Systems. Now you can add systems monitoring and management software from CCSS to that list.
The lean approached meant a reliance on manual monitoring methodologies, according to a Lipari Foods case study on the HelpSystems website. “Basically, we’d cross our fingers that somebody looked at QBATCH or remembered to do a WRKACTJOB every hour,” Michael Hegarty, director of ERP and CRM corporate strategy, said in the case study. “Often, we’d wait for a user to call us saying that a job didn’t run or the system was frozen.”
That approach led to situations like the one previously mentioned, where trucks rolled out of the warehouse before electronic invoices could be generated. “If a user went on vacation or forgot to run a ship notification manually,” Hegarty says, “our trucks would show up at stores and the electronic file wouldn’t be there. So the driver would try to make the delivery and the store wouldn’t allow it without the invoice. Sometimes it was simple enough for the driver to wait. Other times they would have to go back to the store the next day.”
Lipari Foods found a solution in QMessage Monitor, which keep an eye out for subsystems, jobs, and events. If they haven’t occurred by a certain time, a second product, QRemote Control, steps in to automatically send mobile notifications. “It’s done a really nice job helping the entire supply chain,” Hegarty says in the case study. “It really has benefitted the entire organization as well as our trade partners.”
The company also bought a license to QSystem Monitor, which monitors the IBM i server and tracks file and library sizes and various other performance metrics.