Radwa builds network to run PeopleSoft software

Radwa Food Production Company has created a network infrastructure to facilitate the roll out of PeopleSoft's EnterpriseOne enterprise resource planning (ERP) application.

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By  Anna Karhammar Published  January 29, 2004

|~|Egg_m.jpg|~|BUILDING A NEST EGG: Radwa rolled out its network infrastructure to enable taking advantage of an enterprise resource planning application, now easily accessible over the new infrastructure |~|Radwa Food Production Company has created a comprehensive network infrastructure to facilitate the roll out of PeopleSoft's EnterpriseOne enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. The network comprises a range of connectivity solutions, including satellite, wireless and leased lines, and links the Saudi Arabian egg and poultry producer's geographically dispersed staff to a central data centre. Prior to implementation, Radwa had survived with ad-hoc communications that were unreliable and difficult to manage due to the remote location of some Radwa facilities. According to Mudhitha Welihinda, Radwa’s IT manager, this set up would have been unable to carry the EnterpriseOne software: “We had only the basic hardware and no real network infrastructure. We had lower capacity servers, which we could use to run just basic modules,” he says. “Also, we had problems because we are in quite remote locations — up to 60 kilometres away from the city,” Welihinda adds. To rectify its hardware and networking issues, the Radwa team implemented PowerEdge servers from Dell and a Citrix thin client solution at a data centre. On the network front, a combination leased lines, frame relay and wireless technologies were used from the likes of Cisco and Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC), while a point-to-point satellite connection was created to link the firm's data centre and head office. “Today we have a real network infrastructure and downtime is now 0.001%,” says Welihinda. Once the network was complete, a combined team from Radwar and BT Applied Technologies deployed the EnterpriseOne solution in four months. It replaced the company’s aging and ineffective FoxPro-based applications, which were limited in functionality and decentralised. “Because we had lots of different modules and things like general ledger were running separately as a standalone application, users would have to complete the sales invoices in one system and then have to move it into the general ledger,” says Welihinda. “This meant there was not the availability of information [we required] and that there could be problems with the accuracy of the data. Users would have to keep checking it from one system to another,” he explains. Today, Radwa’s EnterpriseOne application can be accessed over its infrastructure from PCs and workstations throughout the company. In addition, the egg and poultry producer has armed its sales representatives with wireless Symbol devices. Using Z files in the PeopleSoft application and the handhelds’ onboard database, users make requests, check inventory and reroute orders according to the needs of customers while on the move. This, in turn, allows sales people to provide a better service. “If a customer wants to change their order, we can feed this into the system and respond immediately,” says Ahmed Basoudan, sales manager, Radwa. The use of wireless technologies by Radwa helps its sales team know exactly what is, and is not, in stock. Such accuracy is key in an industry that typically dedicates 10-15 percent of its operating costs to managing returns. Basoudan says: “[EnterpriseOne] allows us to calculate the exact numbers and availability of our inventory, track where our stocks are and process orders accordingly.” The new set up also enables accelerated decision making throughout the organisation. “We can see an invoice generated in Jeddah in realtime in Riyadh. Also, users do not have to print reports out because they are online and can be seen immediately. Also, the implementation has also encouraged our senior management online and allowed us to build an automated workflow into our business,” adds Welihinda. ||**||

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