Daewoo PathFinder SAP Implementation

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Daewoo Electronics

Daewoo Electronics Sales UK Limited has been a world leader in the home electronics and multimedia markets since their establishment in the UK in 1993.

In 1999, Daewoo selected Orion to design and install an EDI solution for their new SAP system. At the time, the software chosen to implement this solution was Data Interchange's ODEX for Windows, using the XLATE translator, and was the first ODEX/XLATE implementation for SAP.

In 2002, Orion implemented a gradual replacement of this software with its own PathFinder product. PathFinder's ability to use 3rd party external translators, as well as its own superior PFTrans module, has allowed the new technology to be phased in as required, without any disruption to Daewoo's own business or that of its partners.

Putting PathFinder In Control

The first phase of the project was to put PathFinder in control of the legacy process. PathFinder's ability to analyse data files, either in delimited form (such as EDI), or positional, (like SAP IDocs) was used to intelligently route data through to the legacy system, keeping it in operation, while also making the data available to PathFinder itself, to enable development.

PathFinder's client software allows for all operations to be easily monitored, whether they are handled directly by PathFinder, or translated by external systems.

A Gradual Transition

PathFinder's facility to run multiple Translation processes in parallel allowed for the legacy translator to continue supplying outbound EDI to the trading partners and inbound data to SAP, while the PathFinder maps in development "shadowed" each operation, allowing for easy comparison of the old and new systems with live data. This allowed for a gradual transition from the legacy system to the new PathFinder system, with the ability to switch each process across individually, rather than going live with a dozen different messages on the same day.

Advanced File Routing System Streamlines Operation

PathFinder's versatile file routing system allows for both EDI messages and flatfile data to be automatically sent via a variety of methods, including FTP, email and fax.

Communications with Daewoo's transport contractor was the most time-critical process to be considered. Conventional methods of sending EDI via a Value Added Network could introduce costly delays, resulting in goods not being despatched on time. Using PathFinder, despatch advice information from the SAP system is translated into shipping orders which are then sent directly to the transport company by FTP, resulting in savings in manpower costs, and increased speed and accuracy of delivery information.

Selected inbound EDI messages, such as Product Planning Reports and Order Changes, are also translated into human readable formats, and emailed directly to the departments that require the information - this can be done either as an alternative, or in addition, to sending the data to the SAP system.

Ease of Mapping

PathFinder's graphical mapper proved to be a great improvement over the previous XLATE mapper, allowing simple map changes and refinements to be made in-house, as required.

Improved Communication Methods

Even after the legacy translator has been completely replaced with PathFinder's own internal translator, PathFinder continues to use ODEX to provide dial-up Comms to the Value Added Network (VAN), using the OFTP protocol. The next phase of the project is to replace this functionality with OFTP over IP, using Daewoo's own connection to the Internet.

This will allow for more regular collection of EDI from the VAN, and a greater throughput of data. A dedicated ISDN dialup to the Internet provides automatic backup in the case of LAN/WAN problems.

Orion are working closely with both GEIS and DINET in implementing modern methods of communication with EDI.

Customer Comments

David Wareing, IS Manager at Daewoo Electronics Sales UK Limited, says:

"PathFinder has provided significant business benefits beyond standard EDI such that I view it more as a business data communication gateway. The direct FTP link was impossible until we got PathFinder, and is one of the most critical processes we have. I certainly intend to make more use of its ability to send data via E-mail, IP and FTP in the future".

Technical specifications