New Zealand developer gets window into Oz market

Australian window manufacturer James Hardie Windows is using a New Zealand-originated business-to-business online ordering system for its Kiwi customers.

Australian window manufacturer James Hardie Windows is using a New Zealand-originated business-to-business online ordering system for its Kiwi customers, and may extend the same system to its 17 sites in Australia within the next few months.

Hardie’s use of the Adagio ordering system from Auckland-based Electronic Data Interchange Services (EDIS) came about with the window company’s acquisition of part of New Zealand’s Interlock Industries; specifically, the unit making louvre windows. “It made a louvre window very similar to our Breezeway model,” says MIS manager Ray Schroder. “We acquired it in July and moved its plant to our base in Brisbane.”

Interlock already used Adagio, so it seemed sensible to continue with the same system, he says. New Zealand’s “prime dieholders” – the companies that supply parts to window manufacturers here – use the system to order louvre blades from James Hardie.

By comparison, the ordering systems Hardie uses in Australia are based on phone and fax, says Schroder. The company is planning to introduce online ordering throughout its operation, and Adagio is in with a good chance, though Hardie may decide to go with Australian software. “We’ll be making that decision in the next month or two,” says Schroder.

James Hardie has a strong relationship with another New Zealand specialist software company, Softtech, which makes computer-aided design and cost-estimating software for aluminium windows and doors. “We’ve been using its Alexsys [design software] for 10 to 12 years, and later adopted its Aluminate quotation system, which interfaces directly into our manufacturing system.

“Now we are rolling out version 6, their successor to Alexsys.” This enables windows to be simulated in three-dimensional views, rotated and opened (see Computerworld October 2). V6 has already been implemented in the majority of Hardie's 17 sites, and will be used for the company’s new line of Quantum windows.

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