Warehouser gears up for e-business

Warehousing company Serco is gearing up for e-business with a new management system that will exchange files with the systems of major customers - the police and the army.

Warehousing company Serco is gearing up for e-business with a new management system that will exchange files with the systems of major customers - the police and the army.

Serco manages warehousing and operational repairs for both organisations. In October 1999 it was awarded the police contract to acquire, manage and dispatch 1700 items to 600 locations throughout the country. It also assembles ration packs and medical kits for the army and manages base level maintenance and repairs for its equipment fleets, which include vehicles, weapons and field equipment.

To manage new plant and provide better service on its contracts the company replaced its old financial system, Maximise, and Geac’s Mainpac manufacturing module with JD Edwards OneWorld. The new system also replaces a manual fax ordering system with an electronic interface, which will generate orders and manage XML files across the internet between Serco and the police and army’s SAP systems.

“What it means is no more order entry. Eventually we will automate tracking from order to receipt. Ultimately we’re looking at a full MRP [maintenance, repair and purchasing] system and anticipate turning on procurement modelling and automated warehousing over the next few years,” says IT project manager Tim McMahon.

OneWorld financial and warehousing modules have gone live and manufacturing modules are expected to be operating by the end of the year. The company expects most of its procurement and tracking systems to be fully automated by February 2001. Serco chose OneWorld over SAP and Intentia and the system was implemented by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

The system will support up to 37 concurrent users and will run on Windows NT-based Dell servers and a LAN connecting the 10 buildings at the Trentham base. The implementation is a test run for possible implementations of JD Edwards within other Serco sites throughout Australasia.

Meanwhile, The Fire Service and New Zealand Sugar are in the process of implementing OneWorld.

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