AlphaLife

Finding your bearings with aXes

CBC Australia (CBC), headquartered in Sydney, Australia and part of the Inenco Group, is a leading distributor of bearings, sealing products, power transmission and related products to the Australian industries. CBC's distributors are located throughout Australia, some in remote places and with varying Internet throughput profiles. CBC uses aXes to provide its distributors with Web browser access to its ERP system. aXes zero client architecture and the small Internet screen packets it generates allowed for a successful rollout, providing even those distributors who have slow internet connections, with reliable system access without delays.

Rick Masjuk, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at CBC, said, "We were looking for a product that was easy to install, configure and maintain. After a demonstration of aXes, we very quickly moved ahead with it. aXes provided a painless installation process that gave us an instant, easy and inexpensive solution allowing our customers to quickly access our ERP system via the Web and browser."

The Challenge

CBC employs over 1,200 staff in more than 50 branches around the country, often in remote outback locations. To meet the complex demands of mining and heavy industries, CBC has a team of internationally trained and experienced, highly specialised, technical personnel. To support its staff CBC uses an RPG-based ERP application originally supplied as a package, but now heavily customized to suit CBC’s requirements.

CBC’s major customers are distributors who each have multiple resellers relying on them, and hence need effective, reliable and 'live' access to CBC's ERP system. Typical functionality required includes order entry, stock enquiry and automotive catalogue enquiry.

CBC had already tried a Java-based client solution to provide connectivity for its distributors. The solution was successful across single user sites, but was unreliable across multi-user sites sharing a single communications node.

Application performance is very important for CBC. The company's distributors are located throughout Australia, some in remote places and with varying Internet throughput profiles. Accordingly CBC looked for a browser-based Web solution with high performance characteristics. Delays or unreliability in accessing the CBC system were not acceptable.

The challenge was to find a solution that could be administered centrally from the IBM i server, be very fast across multi-user sites and low-speed broadband and satellite lines, and not require any special software to be loaded on the client desktops.

Solution

CBC looked at several web-enablement solutions and selected aXes. “We were looking for a product that was easy to install, configure and maintain. After a demonstration of aXes, we very quickly moved ahead with it.” said Masjuk, IT Manager CBC.

Installation took less than 30 minutes by just loading a couple of libraries and starting the aXes server. aXes has a very light footprint - the entire solution took only about 10Mb of disk space on CBC's IBM i server and consumed very little CPU and memory. CBC was very impressed with how quickly aXes solved its needs and with the level of customer service provided.

Using aXes, CBC's distributors can now come across the Internet and quickly access their authorised menus and screens through a browser interface.

Since aXes is a true ‘zero’ client, no additional software needed to be installed on the distributors’ desktops. All they need to access CBC's ERP system is a browser, such as Internet Explorer (as included with Windows), Chrome, Firefox or Safari. The small Internet screen packets generated by aXes (averaging a little over 1KB) are also of importance to CBC, as it allows its system to be accessed over slow connections without significant delays.

"aXes provided a painless installation process that gave us an instant, easy and inexpensive solution allowing our customers to quickly access our ERP system via the Web and browser. The ability to customize our screens via stylesheets (with zero double maintenance impact) was also very easy” concluded Masjuk.

Company and System Information

  • CBC Bearings and Power Transmission specializes in ball bearings, oil seals, lubricants and power transmissions. CBC services a wide variety of industries from its headquarter in Sydney Australia and offices throughout the country. CBC also has a branch office in Indonesia. CBC is part of the Inenco group.
  • For more information visit: www.conbear.com