PURAC biochem, headquartered in the Netherlands, is the world's largest producer of natural lactic acid, lactates and other related products. PURAC ingredients are widely used in the food, cosmetic and medical industry and also in several types of industrial applications. PURAC biochem achieved significant savings by implementing EZ Banking Enterprise (EZBe), a LANSA and Web based banking solution for BPCS users from LANSA Business partner and BPCS specialist SOLAR-IT in Belgium.
Ton Gorter, Project Manager EZBe implementation at PURAC biochem, says, "We have improved the promptness and accuracy of our administration, and we have done so without having to hire extra resources. With EZBe we can process receipts and payments in one easy step, a functionality not offered by standard BPCS, but now available to us as an integrated Web extension to BPCS."
We have improved the promptness and accuracy of our administration without having to hire extra resources
Gorter explains some of the issues that administrative staff experienced before implementing EZBe. "In our old procedures we used to manually instruct our bank to pay a certain vendor's invoice. Then, in a second step we needed to mark that invoice as being paid in our BPCS system. Then a few days later, when the bank statement arrived, we would enter that same payment for a third time. In case of multiple currency transactions or payment discounts, the administrative hassle was even greater."
"Even though our bank offers electronic banking facilities, it would be a development effort to integrate these with BPCS."
Piet van Hemert, General manager at SOLAR-IT, explains how several of his BPCS customers indicated similar inefficiencies in their administration and that this lead to the creation of EZBe. "We developed EZBe in close cooperation with our customers. First of all we listened to their functional requirements, but we also discussed platform options with our customers."
"Our customers were strongly in favor of LANSA and iSeries. The iSeries offers a proven reliable environment and LANSA a powerful integrated Web solution."
Piet van Hemert, General manager at SOLAR-IT, says, "In an ever changing environment, activities that are not related to the core business of a company, such as administration and banking, should be dealt with in a fast and standardized way. It is for exactly this reason that EZBe has been received so successful."
"EZBe carries out banking actions including entry of bank statements, execution of electronic payments to national and international banks, processing of cheques and bills, automatic entry of bank transactions, handling of reports and much more. Because EZBe has been designed modularly, customers only need to purchase the functionality that they really need." (see EZBe System overview)
"Because we think globally, we offer EZBe in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. It would be easy to add another language if required, because we use LANSA's Multilingual facilities."
"A standard feature of the product is the possibility of communicating with many international and local banks. We also allow for local customizations, because every country has its own standards and rules. For example our South European and Scandinavian customers have to deal with remittances, reconciliation and pro-forma invoices."
"Rule number one is to listen to your customers," continues van Hemert. "They are the experts in their business and should decide on the functionality and look-and-feel of a solution. As we encounter new requests and regulations, we adopt these in the standard version in a flexible parameterized way, so that all customers can benefit. This means EZBe is in most cases ready-to-use out of the box, without the need for our customers to make modifications. This approach also ensures that EZBe keeps evolving and improving."
"We are the experts in our business, and therefore rule number two is to build and keep product expertise in our own team of developers. LANSA proved to be an easy-to-learn development environment. This made it possible to deliver the entire solution with our own development staff, without having to rely on any third party experts."
LANSA made it possible to deliver the entire solution with our own development staff
"EZBe offered an easy to use and fast to implement solution. Now, almost one year after implementing EZBe, we are still very happy with our decision," explains Gorter.
"With EZBe we can process receipts and payments in one single easy step. Our users experience significant more productivity thanks to EZBe. We also save time because there are less erroneous transactions we need to follow up upon, and because we can inquire very efficiently into accounts and invoices. Moreover we find the browser interface easy to work with."
"EZBe doesn't require any configuration or installation effort on the PC client. Installing and upgrading Windows software on user PCs was quite a burden before, because we have multiple branch offices. With this LANSA based solution our computing environment is much easier to manage and allows for more flexible staff locations and PC allocation to staff."
"Another advantage of this fat-server/thin-client solution is minimal data traffic volume over the network and therefore faster performance."
"In short, EZBe meets our needs perfectly, both from a business and technical point of view."
Arthur Faulhaber, Service Manager at SSA Global Benelux, the vendor of BPCS, comments, "EZBe is the best product currently available, because it is easy to use, seamlessly integrates with BPCS and offers very good value for money."
"We noticed that our customers who use EZBe have fewer problems compared with customers who implemented similar solutions from other vendors. This can partly be attributed to the excellent service SOLAR-IT provides, but it is mostly because of the quality of the EZBe solution itself. We aim for a long lasting partnership with SOLAR-IT."
"The robustness of the iSeries, the productivity of LANSA and the openness of BPCS fit in our strategy. These qualities have attracted a huge number of users all over the world. The open structure of BPCS offers us the chance to build extensions, and the customer the choice of selecting the best product to run their business," says van Hemert.
"A new product in the Easy Software Suite, EZ-CRM, is about to be rolled out. EZ-CRM offers Customer Relationship Management for BPCS users. PURAC biochem is currently in the process of implementing EZ-CRM."
Josė Roseboom, PURAC's project leader for CRM, comments, "EZ-CRM will result in single source of on-line information about customers and sales related information. We expect that this tool will optimize the communication towards the customers and internally. Furthermore, it will improve the analysis methods of sales and marketing activities, which will result in improved effectiveness of these activities."
"EZBe and EZ-CRM are developed and maintained by our own staff, so we know the solution thoroughly. LANSA's ease of use and productivity allowed us to develop a sophisticated and integrated Web solution with our own staff," concludes van Hemert.
"To build the Easy Software Suite with LANSA is a choice that we never doubted and that our customers fully support."
Company and System Information
- PURAC biochem, headquartered in the Netherlands, is the world's largest producer of natural lactic acid, lactates, lactitol, lactides and polylactides. PURAC biochem has offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Poland, Spain and representative office in Hungary. PURAC also has offices in North America , Brazil, Singapore, China and Japan.
- PURAC uses an iSeries model 9406/820 with 2435 processor four HSL integrated X-series 350 with a Windows 2000 server edition.
- For more information see www.purac.com
- SOLAR-IT is a LANSA Business partner specializing in BPCS and iSeries, located in Antwerp, Belgium.
- For more information see www.solar-it.com
EZBe system Overview
- Registration of Customer cheques with the paid invoices, When the cheques are post-dated the invoices can be booked as paid on an interim account
- Creation of the Spanish remittance with invoices due. Automatic booking procedure for the remittance in advance and the normal remittance. Bounced invoices are easily booked again with corresponding bank charges.
- Creation of electronic debit runs by selection invoices due. Interim accounting can be applied. Bounced invoices are also easily booked again.
- Creation of electronic payments by selecting due vendor invoices. Here invoices can also be booked as paid on an interim account. Payment can be done by a transfer to the vendor bank account or a cheque issued by the bank. Most common European electronic bank file formats are supported and available.
- New ones can be created on limited time.
- Creation and printing of cheques for vendor payments. With also the possibility of interim accounting.
- Support for the Spanish electronic confirmations.
- Manual bank statement processing with corresponding currency rate differences and amount adjustments for amount paid, amount kept open, discount, financial discount and payment difference.
- Transfers between booking accounts.
- Other transactions with corresponding charges.
- Currency rate difference bookings for the electronic payments and electronic debits.