Radica is now fully owned by Mattel. A LANSA customer from 1999 to 2010, Radica continually invested in LANSA-based solutions during that time. Due to the Mattel acquisition of Radica – and the associated duplication of applications when the two companies merged – all of Radica's iSeries applications have been phasing out, as the Mattel parent organization decided to deploy its systems and infrastructure into the Radica organization.
Radica Games Limited manufactures and markets a diverse line of electronic entertainment products, including brand names Radica, Play TV®, Gamester®, Girl Tech® and Barbie™. Radica is the second largest player in electronic handheld and tabletop games in the USA and sells its products in over 30 countries. In Asia, Radica uses LANSA to extend its BPCS implementation to suppliers with real-time Web access and to provide Windows and Web solutions that integrate tightly with Radica's other systems.
Hermen Yau, MIS director at Radica Limited, the general management office for operations of Radica in Asia, says, "LANSA is fast, easy to learn and reliable. We never have any downtime and we never have data corruption. We have two people looking after development and three people after network support and Domino. I am proud to support an organization with thousands of people with a very small IT team. Our small team is a sure sign how efficient the LANSA environment is."
I am proud to support such a large organization with a very small IT team
- The Challenge
- Web extending BPCS with LANSA
- Web extensions to Human Resources with LANSA
- Windows Extensions with LANSA
- Supporting a large organization with a small IT team
- Company & System Information
Radica started in 1983 in Hong Kong providing souvenir casino games for the Las Vegas market. The Company expanded into the electronic games business, setting up a factory in China in 1991 and a distribution operation in the United States in 1992. Now Radica is a leading player with over 5,000 employees worldwide. In addition to its own brands, Radica also provides sourcing services for other companies in the electronic game industry, including Hasbro and Lexibook.
Radica operates manufacturing, sales, marketing, payroll and accounting systems for its daily operations in Hong Kong, Macau, software engineering at Shenzhen in China and its manufacturing facility at Dongguan in south China.
Hermen explains, "We wanted to lift the level of efficiency, both internally and to our suppliers. Because of our dispersed locations and large number of employees, we saw an opportunity to improve communications to staff. We also saw an opportunity to enhance BPCS and other systems with Windows and Web extensions."
"High on our priority list was productivity and easy maintenance, because we did not want to grow our IT department unnecessarily and create maintenance problems. We needed a scalable and productive IT environment to support our enormous growth. Companies in China are obliged to report in Chinese characters to the local government, but because we are listed on NASDAQ we also need to be able to report in English."
"We were introduced to LANSA seven years ago when we looked for integration software for our factory in China. We were impressed with LANSA's productivity, its multilingual and DBCS (Double Byte Character Set) capabilities, and more importantly it was easy to learn. We decided to implement LANSA at both our China and Hong Kong operations."
The Web solution allows us to grow the business without an equal growth in overhead
Web extending BPCS with LANSA
Radica extended its BPCS procurement system with LANSA to allow vendors to accept orders online, trace order status and print orders locally. Because many vendors, especially in mainland China, still prefer to receive a traditional stamped copy by fax or mail, Radica developed a solution that posts purchase orders to the Web and to a fax server.
"Both the Web and automated fax solution save time and resources not having to print purchase orders or put them in envelopes for mailing," explains Hermen. "The major benefit of the Web solution is that vendors can visit our site to find out the status of their orders, rather than phone us."
"I believe the acceptance level for the Web will be growing, especially for online inquiries. We produce over 100 purchase orders each week and the potential savings are enormous. We have about seven people taking calls from vendors, but there are a lot of standard queries that the computer can answer. The Web solution provides a quicker service to our vendors and allows us to grow the business without an equal growth in administrative overhead."
Now employees have salary and tax details at their fingertips
Web extensions to Human Resources with LANSA
Radica's payroll system, developed in a mixture of RPG, LANSA and Visual Basic, has Web extensions to allow staff and local managers self-service access to HR information. The static Web pages are developed with Macromedia or Domino, while LANSA for the Web produces dynamic pages with database information from the iSeries.
Hermen explains, "We have thousands of workers in Dongguan and over 400 office staff spread between Macau, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Dongguan. When employees are so numerous and dispersed it is more efficient and secure to distribute information over the Web than by paper. And the Web solution is also very environmentally friendly, because we don't waste any paper."
"Now employees have salary and tax details at their fingertips. Our HR department gets far fewer queries, as most routine matters can be handled by our Web site."
LANSA allows us to develop multilingual applications without a need for any duplication
Windows Extensions with LANSA
Radica has been using LANSA Open middleware for over seven years with a mixture of Windows-based tools.
Hermen explains, "LANSA Open provides fast and smart middleware from the PC to the iSeries, and allows us to use various programming tools and technologies on the PC. LANSA works very well with MS Office. For example, we generate Excel and Word documents for the tax department and use LANSA Open commands in VBA with macros to get information from the iSeries. We define our data and business rules centrally on the iSeries and reuse them whenever we want."
"We continue to use LANSA because we find performance fast and the product reliable and easy to learn. LANSA offers us a genuine integration solution for client server and Web. And efficiently links our PC desktops and AS/400 Servers together."
With a single skill set, we can develop host-based, client/server and Web solutions
"We never have any downtime and we never have data corruption. LANSA just works. LANSA is fast, easy to learn and reliable and allows us to develop multilingual applications without a need for any duplication. And we are very happy with the local support from LANSA's business partner Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC)," says Hermen.
CK Lee, senior consultant e-Enterprise Solution Division HKPC, adds, "LANSA's platform independence is very important to us as a software company, as we need to provide solutions to wide variety of clients with ever changing deployment environments. LANSA shields our programmers from writing code that needs to cater for specific versions of operating systems and database engines."
"LANSA is committed to R&D and is continuously evolving. With a single skill set, we can now develop host-based, client server and Web-based applications. And with LANSA Integrator we can incorporate JAVA functionality into our non-JAVA programs."
Supporting a large organization with a small IT team
"Our IT department in Hong Kong consists of two people, of which I am one," concludes Hermen. "The two of us are responsible for the general IT development in the region. And we do in-house development as well. In China, we have three people looking after network support of over 400 PCs and Lotus Notes and Domino. Altogether we have five people looking after development and support of an organization that employs thousands of people."
"I am proud to support such a large organization with a very small team. Most other companies of comparable size have double the size of our IT department. Our small team is a sure sign how efficient the LANSA development environment is."
"My philosophy is that when you select the right product, and with the right product build the right application on the right machine, you will save a lot of time in maintenance. LANSA is the right product and we never spend much effort on maintenance."
We never have any downtime and we never have data corruption. LANSA just works
Company and System Information
- Radica Games Limited is the parent company of Radica Limited the general management office for operations in Asia. Radica Limited has offices for general management in Hong Kong, sales in Macao, engineering software in Shenzhen in China, IT divisions in Hong Kong and Dongguan in China and manufacturing in Dongguan in China. Radica Games Limited also has marketing and R&D offices in the USA and subsidiary offices in Canada and England. For more information visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radica_Games
- Radica has two iSeries model 170 in Hong Kong, one for Domino and one for database applications with LANSA extensions. In China, the company uses three iSeries: a model 820 running Domino, a model 270 running BPCS in English with LANSA extensions and a model 170 running BPCS in simplified Chinese and payroll in Traditional Chinese, both with LANSA Extensions.
- LANSA is distributed and supported in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Productivity Council. For or more information visit: www.hkpc.org