GASA Odense, a leading fruit and vegetable sales cooperative in Denmark, sets the pace for the Danish market with 40% to 50% of all sales. In only a few weeks, GASA Odense used LANSA for the Web to build a flexible, productive and portable AS/400 based eBusiness solution that seamlessly integrated new functionality with existing RPG and LANSA applications. This eBusiness solution gives earlier and better information to growers and resellers, enabling better decision making and higher revenues from sales of produce.
Based on the members forecast, also entered online for the coming weeks and even the coming seasons, GASA Odense will advise its 250 members and growers how to distribute the delivery of fruit and vegetables evenly over time. Within the fluctuations of the weather, this allows the cooperative to stay in control of the quantity and price of their own produce.
Per Flor, IT Manager at GASA Odense, explains why Odense chose a LANSA based eBusiness solution on the AS/400.
"For the last few years we were looking for a way to provide better information to our growers. We looked at client/server, but with only three IT staff we could not support 250 remote clients. We don't have time to learn new languages and communication protocols and we don't expect our growers to make large investments in time, computer hardware or software. So we came up with the following criteria for our preferred solution."
- Easy to develop and easy to maintain.
- Changes should only be necessary in one central place.
- The system should be accessible from any platform with a simple browser.
- Scaleable, the system needs to start small and grow fast.
- The Web application needs to integrate with our existing AS/400 applications.
"LANSA for the Web met all these criteria, so I thought we should give it a try and we were certainly not disappointed," continues Per.
"We only needed a few man weeks to setup the application. We used LANSA's templates and adopted the default presentation style. At one point we added more graphics, but removed these again for better performance. We didn't need to adapt or copy any of our existing database files."
"At this stage only a small number of our growers are using the new system. This allows us to pilot the system on a small scale in a real life situation. In September/October, after the peak of the Danish harvest season, we will implement the system for the majority."
"The robust and scaleable AS/400 and LANSA's flexibility and productivity means we can quickly adapt our eBusiness solution to the increased workload full implementation will bring," concludes Per.
"The system gives both our growers (the members and owners of the cooperative) and customers quicker access to better information. For example, using the forecasting system we can advise our members how to spread the seeding and harvesting of produce over different weeks. In some cases growers are even advised to change to a different crop to avoid over supply. Balancing the delivery of produce helps us to guarantee the best possible price for our members. Members can access the forecast totals online, but not the details of other growers."
"We also use these forecast figures when we enter into contracts with our customers regarding future supplies. Hotels, for example, are often willing to pay a quite high price to get certain fruit and vegetables outside their season. Now we can sit better informed at the negotiation table."
"Because growers now enter details of deliveries to the next morning's auction online using any browser, our big customers have online access to information about the quantity and quality of the produce a day earlier. If they know today what will be auctioned tomorrow, they can prepare a better buying strategy for their customers." Per continues, "While the actual price is still determined by the clock at the auction, the entire process is better planned and with less surprises for both our customers and growers."
"We plan to extend the system with even more information for our growers. Growers will have access to the sales price of their own goods, the average auction price as well as information about the quantity sold, immediately following the auction. The grower can then use the available information to set his minimum price."
"This LANSA eBusiness solution will help us keep ahead of the market."
Company and System Information
- GASA Odense has a turnover of over 400 million Danish crowns per year.
- 98% of the fruit and vegetables that are auctioned go to Danish customers. Danish people (5 million) like to eat Danish goods, even if countries with a more suitable climate can deliver the same produce for a lower price.
- GASA Odense Blomster, a sister company specializing in flowers, exports over 75% of its flowers.
- GASA Odense uses an AS/400 model 200 for development and a model 500 for deployment. I/Net's CommerceServer/400 is used for user authentication.
- All of GASA's applications are developed in house in either RPG or LANSA.
- For more information visit www.gasa-odense.dk