Newsletter 2001-03       Go Back
May 18, 2001
BJ Electric recently completed a project implementing what might be called a custom EDI link with one of their major contractor customers. In BJ's case, the customer's employees in the field still place their orders the same way as before - calling or faxing in. But, then BJ extracts the order data and sends it back to the customer for importation into their purchase order system. Subsequently, the invoices are also sent to the customer for importation into their Accounts Payable system. Additional codes had to be added to the order entry screen in order to facilitate the customer's job costing system. (This aspect is something a distributor should try to avoid).
This project has saved the contractor a bunch of time. The idea is that they will then buy more of their material from BJ. No feedback on that part yet.
BJ and Idlewood Electric recently upgraded to the Unisys 4.6 operating system. Most users are now on 4.6. 4.7 is out, and is what is being loaded on new Clear/Path units being shipped from the factory. In case you missed the announcement, Unisys has stated that 4.7 will be the last MCP supported on the NX4200 & 4600 systems.
Idlewood also recently hooked up an IP network of about 17 PC's using NxView (the IP based emulator that's included with Clear/Paths). Almost all of our Clear/Path users now utilize the network capabilities that come with their systems.
LaSalle Company was the subject of a recent Unisys Client Profile. The review can be read at the site www.unisys.com/marketplace/profiles/lasalle.htm.
LaSalle also has moved their offices to the same location as their warehouse. The new address is:
Their new phone number is 219-271-7644.
Hein Electric recently upgraded to the latest release of Power Plus. The users seemed very enthused about the new order entry features - in particular the ability to order multiple line items on the OE30 partial item number look-up screen, the Trade Service Search being integrated into the order entry screen, and the customer favorite list feature.
Cleaning up your item master file. One of the byproducts of the increased electronic integration with distributors' customers is the increased visibility of your item master data. With several sites now sending price files to customers, implementing Web Order Entry and other e-commerce projects, this has exposed the following:
What's the effect? As you start sharing data with your contractors, you will find that many of them have Trade Service's Traser Pro package that also relies on DCI numbers. Your invalid numbers thus tend to stick out like a sore thumb. If you implement the Web Customer Service Center, the links to electronic catalog pages will not work if the DCI number is invalid. Also, the Traser drill down search built into WCSC would not work. Granted, the items with bad DCI numbers tend to be "C" items and below. So, it's not the end of the world. But, it can be embarrassing.
There is a report available, WFL/LIST/BADNAED, that will print out those items with invalid NAED (DCI/UPC) numbers.