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INTEGRATION: What SRI does best!

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The SRI Outsourcing Advantage

Our Success Stories

Sales Analysis Reporting Reduced from Hours to Minutes!
Our client, a local fast food franchiser, spent an hour each day printing reports from a point-of-sale data collection system, then keying that information into 6 different Excel spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet represented a different analysis of sales data requested by the owner. 

One spreadsheet compared sales trends daily; another weekly; another compared this year to last year. SRI designed and implemented a Microsoft Access application that pulls data directly from the data collection system using ODBC, and generates the sales reports automatically. A task that once took hours now literally takes minutes to perform.

 

Socket Programming Makes Processes Talk to Each Other
A local provider of outsourced purchasing services landed a client in Europe. Suddenly, they needed a system that computed VAT tax and assisted in preparing the VAT tax return, the VEIS and the Intrastat reports required by European taxing authorities.

 

The best package they could find was called WorldTax and ran on Unix and Windows server platforms.  However, most of the legacy systems that needed to interface with this package were running on an AS/400.  WorldTax provided a programming interface called UTL (Universal Tax Link) but this interface was only offered as a Windows-based DLL.

 

SRI designed and programmed a Visual Basic WinSock server running on the client's Windows server to make calls to the WorldTax DLL.  We also designed and programmed a socket client utilizing the Unix-style API provided by the AS/400 operating system.  The AS/400 based socket client was then called by the various AS/400 based legacy applications that needed taxes computed.  The socket client connects to the Winsock server, which then calls the WorldTax DLL which returns tax information that is passed back to the AS/400 socket client via the Windows socket server.  Pretty cool stuff... AS/400 programs actually calling a process running on a Windows server and doing so at a rate of 20 per second.

E-mail Robot
The same client mentioned above subscribes to a service which notifies them daily of currency conversion rates.  A clerk would take this newsletter each day and key the conversion factors into an AS/400-based table.  This table was used by numerous legacy systems to convert various currencies into US dollars.

 SRI discovered a free service called XE which emails you daily with currency conversion factors.  We worked with the client's System Administrator to get a special mailbox set up to receive this email.  We then utilized Visual Basic and the Outlook API to automatically open this mail box each morning, look for the email, open and parse the email and then update the AS/400-based conversion factor table automatically using ODBC.  This saved the client about 30 minutes each day and eliminated errors that sometimes occurred when the clerk would inadvertently key in the wrong conversion factor.

 

Be Wary of Imposters Like Mary!
In this case our client is a local charity that pays for the medical care of impoverished children.  They had an old (but feature-rich) system developed in a DOS-based environment called Q&A, which they wanted to migrate to Microsoft Access.  They initially hired Mary, a Microsoft Access consultant, to perform this task. 

 

Mary told them that data could not be converted from Q&A to Access.  Mary also told them that Access could not automatically move from one form to another.  Mary was obviously misinformed about the capabilities of Microsoft Access!  SRI took over from Mary, converted the client's data from Q&A to Access, and accomplished every single thing that Mary said could not be done.

Format Data to Work for You!
Another client of SRI is a local market research firm.  They use a time accounting system designed specifically for market research forms to keep track of their time and to bill for their services.  They recently replaced their aging accounting system with ACCPAC.  In order to get their time accounting system to "talk" to ACCPAC, they were printing time and attendance reports from the time tracking system and keying this data into ACCPAC.
SRI knew that the time accounting system had the ability to export data and that ACCPAC has powerful import and export capabilities.  Therefore, we wrote a Microsoft Access application that pulled the ascii file export from the time and attendance system into Access tables, converted and summarized the data to conform the ACCPAC requirements, and then generated a properly formatted ACCPAC import file.

Is Bar Code the Answer?

A large distributor of software needed bar code printing integrated into their existing inventory receiving procedures. They also wanted bar code readers used during order staging to verify that the correct items were pulled. SRI did it ! How did we do it? Our usual way - drawing upon the skills and experience we have acquired in helping hundreds of clients design and install custom solutions.


Ensuring our client's satisfaction often requires more than knowing than their expectations.  It requires understanding their business processes, seeing their visions and providing knowledge of the technology that they feel will increase their competitive advantage.  If our customers want barcode systems, then barcode systems it will be!

 

Four Hour Batch Job Reduced to One Hour

A distributor of sporting goods had a batch job that ran every night on their IBM System/36 minicomputer. This job created a snapshot of the inventory at all of their stores. The snapshot was then downloaded into the retail POS system. After their programmers did everything they thought possible to speed up this batch processing, the job still took four hours to complete.

Software Resources cut the processing time to only one hour, using the same number of records in all of he files involved. How? By using the much maligned and little understood concept of matching records, sequential processing and large buffers. Now this nightly batch job runs in one quarter of the time!

Network Printing Problems Solved

A large local programming firm was having problems with printing on their Novell network. Their staff of experts called us to assist in troubleshooting the problem. Guess what? SRI fixed it!

 

The problem was occurring because of incompatible versions of their printer drivers. Our networking experts know the popular hardware and the software products....and their bugs. Why waste your network administrator's time looking for the answers to issues we have already encountered? We'll assist you in your troubleshooting, share our prior experience and provide additional training for your company's personnel.
 

20/20 Vision

An optometrist who sells thousands of pairs of eyeglasses each month was looking to automate his patients' records and billing system. The process of shopping for a new system was quite daunting, so he hired Software Resources to assist him in the process!

 

Our experienced staff can separate truth from fiction. We prepared a Request for Proposal, then selected the bids that provided for our client's growth and long-term staying power. SRI outlined the pros and cons of these remaining proposals and assisted our customer in making the best decision for their business.


EDI Increases Productivity by 50%

A local software distributor implemented EDI interfaces into their order entry process and recognized a 50% increase in productivity efficiencies. By using an EDI package recommended and SRI, and our customized programming to feed the existing order entry system, this company was able to accept a tremendous increase in orders without adding personnel.
 


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Last modified: 01/04/05