Dayton Parts knows that sending personalized price sheets to their valued customers on a regular basis is good business. This detailed personal attention continues to produce new and loyal customers. As the customer base grew, the amount of effort to create and distribute personalized price sheets began to affect productivity. Dayton Parts realized they needed to automate their file transfer process, so they started the search for an application that would streamline the data distribution process.
IBM i (iSeries) servers handle inventory and processing at Dayton Parts. However, converting the inventory lists and pricing information from DB2 into the required Excel spreadsheets is not a normal server function. Instead, staff manually extracted the data and pasted it into email, which required close to 100 hours from several staff members over a 6-day period.
Dayton Parts knew they had to improve the efficiency and speed of this critical process. In order to reduce staff time, they would need full automation of the data translation from DB2 to Excel and the distribution of the price sheets via email. Marketing and IT worked together to find a solution that would accomplish these goals. There were only a handful of solutions on the market that would install natively to IBM i (iSeries) servers. Most were complicated to use or didn't support the automation Dayton Parts required.
Dayton Parts was excited to evaluate a browser-based, automated file transfer solution: GoAnywhere MFT from HelpSystems.
A Smooth Ride - SQL Query and XML Translation
Dayton Parts had seen a demonstration using the SQL query options and the data mapping options inside GoAnywhere, but were interested to see if it would work in their unique environment. The implementation went smoothly and through the GoAnywhere browser-interface, a process was developed that queried the database, performed the calculations, created the Excel file and attached one or more price sheets per email.
"With GoAnywhere, the system can now run the complete automated file transfer process in just three hours instead of six days!" said Project Manager Rusty Foust. "We can also run a single ad-hoc customized price sheet at any time, and it only takes a minute."
The time savings alone was instant gratification for Dayton Parts. The ease of use and functionality within GoAnywhere's MFT solution would more than meet their needs. GoAnywhere was a great fit as it ran natively on the IBM i, easily communicated with other platforms, required little user interaction, and performed very efficiently. Another key factor in their decision was GoAnywhere's support staff who were helpful, able to quickly answer questions, and provide assistance when needed.
Overall Marketing Success
Distributing personalized price sheets to their customers is critical to Dayton Parts' marketing strategy and overall success in the competitive after-market for undercarriage parts for light and heavy-duty trucks. Dayton Parts has a new advantage with the powerful automated processing and file transfers performed by GoAnywhere.
Looking back on the project that started earlier this year, Rusty Foust summed it up for us: "GoAnywhere is intuitive, well documented, extremely versatile and well supported. It's a solid solution that dramatically improved and enhanced a critical process for us. It's hard to believe how we used to send personalized price sheets. GoAnywhere makes it look so simple."