Real-time iPad enablement of IBM i applications for mobile access

Riviana Foods

Riviana Foods was established in the 1950’s and is one of Australia’s largest and most successful food importers. The company is committed to continually developing new and innovative food products and has built an impressive portfolio of brands within the grocery business that collectively represent over 500 products. Additionally, the company boasts a strong presence in the Foodservice sector with key brands such as Riviana, Menu Master, Garden Supreme and Ocean Supreme.

Challenge

Riviana Foods had developed a number of homegrown RPG applications for data entry and warehousing. In particular investing significant resources in developing and refining their customer and order entry system. These applications had traditionally been limited to desktop access, therefore restricting the field sales team’s access to product information and spent a significant amount of time was spent entering orders, which reduced their revenue-generating capacity and productivity.

 

Riviana recognized the limited access to customer records and inventory impacted the company’s ability to reach order fulfillment targets, while the lack of mobile access to the system was impacting their reputation as a progressive organization, given they that represent many major brands.

Solution

Having already implemented a graphical interface with the newlook tool, Riviana were aware of looksoftware’s multi-channel philosophy and decided to use the lookserver tool to extend system access. They worked with the looksoftware product team to design and develop an optimized iPad version of the application that delivered real-time mobile system access to the team.

 

It was also necessary to integrate this system with various other desktop applications and product collaterals, in order to provide a bespoke sales tool for the team. This integrated tool was then presented in HTML by lookserver, and accessible to each sales rep via a password-protected URL.

 

This integration was one of the most important criteria for Mark MacGibbon, Computer Services Manager at Riviana, during the planning and selection process.

Results

By providing mobile access to back-end applications, product brochures, email and the internet, Riviana have seen significant improvements in the efficiency of the sales team. The optimized interface was designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, providing anytime, anywhere access to back-end applications. looksoftware’s dynamic rules-based architecture created on the fly UI, eliminating the need to rewrite RPG code or maintain two sets of code. This enabed the system to be rolled out in just three weeks, which represented a considerable cost saving for Riviana.

 

After some basic on-site training from looksoftware, the sales team was able to take immediate advantage of their remote system access and enhanced sales tools. Mark noted, “The early feedback has been incredibly positive, with many of the sales team commenting that customer relationships have benefitted from the simple availability of better information. We anticipate a positive impact on revenues in the longer term, however the project has already proved its worth in the appreciation of our customers.”

 

Now, the Riviana team presents an impressive sales and ordering system to the customer on state of the art technology, enhancing their reputation as an industry leader. Mark concluded “Thanks to looksoftware’s multi-channel approach, we have been able to implement a system that greatly increases our sales team’s capacity. Whilst the iPads are only one element of our sales support system, they are visual proof to our customers of our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. These are values we share with looksoftware, and we are happy and excited to partner with them going forward.”

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SummaryChallenge: Limited access to customer records and inventory impacted the company’s ability to reach order fulfillment targets, while lack of mobile access to the system was impacting their reputation as a progressive organization.

 

Solution: Riviana used Newlook’s dynamic rules-based architecture to create on-the-fly GUI, eliminating the need to rewrite RPG code or maintain two sets of code.

Testimonial“The early feedback has been incredibly positive, with many of the sales team commenting that customer relationships have benefitted from the simple availability of better information. We anticipate a positive impact on revenues…”

 

–Mark MacGibbon, Computer Services Manager