InterForm400 at Greggs
Why did Greggs plc first consider SpaceTec?
Greggs plc had a number of AS/400’s across the UK.
The initial approach to SpaceTec was made with the idea of redesigning the existing Shop Order forms and also improve and modernize the design & format of i-series reports. The modernization of reports was performed at the same time that Greggs plc were looking to web enable legacy applications to provide end users with better application front ends and reporting standards.
Has InterForm provided any additional benefits over and above those required for the original problem?
InterForm/400 has been used for other applications. These other applications include:
Producing multi-copies of dispatch confirmation reports from Greggs main savoury manufacturing site.
Automated fax/email of supplier orders from Greggs distribution centre in Kettering.
The ability for users of newly developed systems to receive reports in either PDF format, which are automatically e-mailed to them, or printed format.
What did Greggs plc hope to gain by installing InterForm/400?
Automation of supplier orders via fax or email. It was hoped that time would be saved by office staff not having to manually process orders which involved copying AS/400 printed information into spreadsheets, before manually faxing the order sheets to suppliers.
With respect to new applications, it was felt that by allowing users to receive e-mailed versions of reports, users would be more selective about printing only when it was needed. It also helps with reducing the use of paper as well as providing the additional flexibility of being able to file reports on the user’s local server instead of tying up cupboard space with filed reports.
What other options had Greggs plc considered?
Greggs researched the market to ensure they deployed the correct solution for all their needs. They considered other server based & AS/400 based products, but felt that InterForm/400 provided all the required functionality & enabled them to use the existing InterForm/400 skills of some of their IT staff which helped reduce the need for additional training and support.
Does Greggs plc use any other features of InterForm/400 such as the PDF email option or Zebra ZPL Printing?
The PDF e-mail options provided by the MRGSPLFPDF & SNDMAIL commands within the InterForm/400 application toolset are used heavily, as well as the ability to call external user exit programs from within InterForm/400 itself.
The ability to create new fonts, including barcodes, is always useful when reformatting dull and unimaginative reports.
The Zebra ZPL printing options is a feature that may well be used in the future.
How long did Deployment take?
Deployment of InterForm/400 was very quick as Greggs plc had all the necessary skills in house.
How much did InterForm/400 save Greggs plc in terms of cost and time? (against either the original solution or an alternative competitor solution)?
As far as the Automated Fax/E-mail Supplier Ordering solution, the main savings were the time needed by office staff at the distribution centre in Kettering to process the daily orders to suppliers. Originally this took about 1 ½ hrs per day, this has been reduced to approximate 30 minutes per day, saving 5 hours a week, and at the same time reducing errors within the orders as more time can be spent reviewing each and making sure it is right before sending it.
Is InterForm/400 used every day and have you seen any benefits over the original product? Increased features or production, cost savings etc.?
InterForm/400 is used every day in different areas of the business.
How did the users react to the change was it seamless?
For the Automated Fax/E-mail solution, the biggest change for the users was receiving email copies of all orders that have been transmitted, whether they were faxed or e-mailed. All those involved in generating the orders were extremely positive, as it cut down the amount of time & effort on their part when processing the orders.
How much training was needed for deployment and for the users?
Very little training was required as the solution used the original report from the Supplier Ordering application and by using InterForm/400 additional information could be added to the original report before being reformatted and sent to the relevant supplier.
Where users receive reports as PDF emails from some of the more recent applications developed within the business, the focus of any training is on how the user opens and reviews the reports from their Inbox and how to save the files for future reference.
None of the users know or need to know about any aspect of InterForm/400.
Is it of interest to Greggs plc that SpaceTec is able to provide constant upgrades to the InterForm solution & to offer additional features?
Greggs were also in need of a fax and email solution to run on the AS/400 alongside InterForm/400. SpaceTec were able to provide the BlueSeries Fax and Email solution which can be run in conjunction with InterForm400 and provided all the necessary tools.
SpaceTec have provided all the necessary support as required, particularly when questions have been raised as to how to do something new within InterForm/400. Responses to problems have been provided quickly and effectively.
Greggs plc are always interested in finding out about new features within InterForm/400 so that these can be taken advantage of, as required.