Success Story

X-Analysis Streamlines Development of IBM i Systems that
Power Harmonick’s Gift Catalog

Harmonick

Originally founded in Sanjo City, Niigata Prefecture in 1946, Harmonick was a leading hardware wholesale business In Japan. Over the years, Harmonick’s business evolved to the point where the company now sells numerous product lines including textiles, pottery and food, and has become a premier gift retailer, specializing in experience-based gifts (spa visits, hot springs, salons, etc.) and ethical gifts, such as organically produced foods. Its catalog gift business has more than nine million users per year, ranking it first in the industry.

 

In 1991, Harmonick began using an IBM System/36 to run the business, and the following year, developed a dedicated system as it entered the gift catalog business. The company’s IT has evolved through successive versions of IBM i and integrated a wide variety of technologies including specialized logistics systems, AI and B2B systems used by its partners.

Challenge

As Harmonick expanded its business and began handling more products and developing logistics systems apart from the main gift business, they needed a quick, flexible method of bringing IT into line with changes in the business and operations. In addition, the number of experienced RPG programmers with deep system knowledge was declining. Making changes was slow and causing problems with business continuity. Both IT and business management recognized the problem and began considering a solution.

Solution

Harmonick decided that they needed a solution that would give them a high-level understanding of their application environment while also providing sufficient detail to make changes with confidence. After evaluating several solutions, they acquired Fresche Solutions’ X-Analysis Advisor from their business partner GRSolutions (GRS), a leading IBM i modernization solution expert. As Fresche Solutions’ master distributor in Japan, and a long-time member of the Fresche Power Partner Program, GRS has the product knowledge and service capability to help IBM i customers like Harmonick.

 

After acquiring and using X-Analysis Advisor, Harmonick found that most of their IBM i development issues were quickly addressed. Takeshi Yamamoto, Information Systems Department Manager at Harmonick, said that “the problem of understanding highly customized RPG code has been resolved with X-Analysis; we now have detailed documentation of our IBM i applications and can make changes with complete confidence. We no longer have to rely solely on the memory of our original System/36 programmers.”

Results

With X-Analysis, anyone at Harmonick can easily and accurately assess the impact of code changes without having to manually analyze programs. As a result:

  • Reliance on expensive IBM i experts has been reduced.
  • The burden on technicians has been reduced and their job made significantly easier.
  • The scope and impact of a modification can be accurately assessed, greatly improving project planning.
  • Speed and quality of system maintenance has improved; productivity has grown by approximately 30%.

X-Analysis use has become widely established in the IT department at Harmonick, and the team continues to work with GRS to learn all they can about the solution. The full range of X-Analysis functionality holds numerous advantages both for Harmonick’s gift catalog and its development of additional product lines and businesses.

Testimonial“The problem of understanding highly customized RPG code has been resolved with X-Analysis; we now have detailed documentation of our IBM i applications and can make changes with complete confidence. We no longer have to rely solely on the memory of our original System/36 programmers.”

 

– Takeshi Yamamoto, Department Manager, Information Systems, Harmonick