Tenex is a worldwide organization that develops, manufactures and markets innovative plastic products for the home and office. Their best seller is a plastic chair mat that lets offi ce chairs glide easily over carpeted floors. Tenex’s assets include a state-of-the-art compounding center, a high-output extrusion facility and a fully computerized injection-molding outfit.
Tenex changed their ERP reports from paper to digital and used Autobahn to make these reports available to overseas offices via their Intranet. Autobahn helped them save on manpower, paper and shipping costs. Tenex also used Autobahn to rework their shop floor system to make production data available in real time.
- Speedware/4GL and Speedware Autobahn II
- interBiz ManMan
- HP 3000 and HP 9000
Fresche Helps Tenex Grow
For the past six years, Speedware/4GL and Speedware Autobahn have been part of Tenex’s application development tool kit. Most of Tenex’s core applications were based on ManMan, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, but about ten percent were custom applications built with Speedware.
Due to a happy combination of success and global expansion, Tenex was faced with two critical issues requiring immediate attention: they needed a way to distribute corporate reports worldwide, and they needed to expand and improve their shop floor system.
Corporate Reports Around the World
Tenex managers had the tedious and time consuming task of printing large volumes of reports from ManMan on a weekly basis. Most people who received these reports just skimmed a few pages and threw out the rest, so all that effort was largely wasted (along with the trees). Plus, as Tenex’s business expanded, they needed to make these reports available to their European offices in a secure and controlled way, without spending a fortune printing and distributing physical copies.
To solve these problems, Tenex decided to make their reports available over the Internet, using their Intranet system. With the help of Speedware/4GL and Speedware Autobahn, Tenex built an additional database to complement their HP e3000-based ERP system and created an automated data pump to populate multiple new data marts on a daily basis.
Using Autobahn, Tenex quickly and easily created an Intranet Report Distribution System that efficiently distributed information to their global managers. The new system used less manpower to produce these lengthy reports, and it saved money on paper consumption and shipping costs.
As part of their new system, Tenex opted to move to an HP 9000 platform in order to remove some of the processing burden from the HP 3000. Fresche’s rapid application development tools, supported on both HP 3000 and HP 9000 platforms, allowed Tenex to redevelop applications in a matter of months, not years.
Some of the major benefits realized through this project were:
- Electronic distribution
- Elimination of shipping costs for reports
- Reduced manpower requirements
- Automation of report distribution on a global scale
- Security on reports
A Real-Time Shop Floor System
Tenex’s second challenge was to improve their shop floor reporting system. They wanted to make their production data available in real time rather than on a 12-hour delay, to allow floor managers and other supervisors to manage team performance, compare performance against costs and analyze the profitability of each shift.
In order to achieve this objective, Tenex took applications from their existing ERP system, ManMan, and rewrote some of the modules in Speedware Autobahn. Other modules were written from scratch in Autobahn, including a manufacturing “Backflush” module and a scheduling module. This new system captures work area activity and production as it happens; it also tracks stock movement and produces reports that compare performance and routes with schedules and budgets. Tenex’s operational data are now processed on an HP 9000, with most of the data residing in a TurboImage database on their HP 3000, accessed via Netbase. For Tenex, this choice was better than other alternatives such as buying an Oracle database.
Some of the benefits realized by Tenex in enhancing their shop floor system include:
- Improved front-office knowledge of available product
- Real-time data
- Increased shop floor worker efficiency
- More control and feedback to floor managers about shift profitability
- Reduced cross scheduling of products
- Fewer missing parts for a run
- Reduction in data entry clerks and part-time workers.
With these changes to their system, Tenex is now in a better position to fulfill orders on time and on budget. This is crucial for Tenex since their payment is based on their order fulfillment percentage.
Migration made easy with Fresche
All of Fresche’s development technology tools are cross-platform portable.
Improve the user interface of your applications: Fresche’s tools can easily GUI- and web-enable them.
No need to modify existing code.
Compile the application on multiple platforms.
Additional layer of protection that simplifies database migration because DBMS-specific information is abstracted away from the programming language.