History, System Expertise, Project Management
Total Distribution & Control (TDC) System
System Overview, Web Sales, Workshop Services, Sales Orders, Invoicing, Credit Control, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Inventory Control, Stock Forecasting, Inventory Control, Stock-take, Online Help, Output Control and Email Reporting.
Site Installation, System Configuration, Hardware & Communication Requirements, Service Hosting Configuration, Service Configuration, Service Hosting Benefits, Availability and Reliability of the Allaw Service Hosting
Implementation & Management
Planning, Training, Services, Help Desk, Product Support, System & Network Support, Service and Support Contract, New Features - System Development
Do you have a jBASE, UniVerse or Advance Pick system on Unix and need some assistance, perhaps you would like to email reports and invoices directly from your application programs, or would you like a web application that talks directly to your database and builds dynamic web pages based on your live data. Allaw can help, drop us a line via email
Our IT team has extensive experience with Multi Warehousing, Distribution, Sales Orders, Point Of Sale, Service Repair, Financial Control, EFT, Web Interface and email.
The TDC (Total Distribution and Control) system was implemented by Allaw to manage our Distribution division and later to include Computer Equipment Manufacturing and Repair Services. Allaw has been providing ongoing development and support of the TDC product implementing solutions to meet the Australian business requirements and providing innovative commercial solutions. At Allaw we are not only the system developer but we are also system users; this allows us to understand firsthand the system performance and issues experienced by our Customers.
Business requirements are dynamic and any systems supporting the customer's operational requirements must also be flexible and adaptable to meet their changing needs. New business requirements can be delivered on the TDC system by utilising available functionality or by providing custom development.
The TDC system described is independent of the hardware platform; supporting various operating systems and multiple databases formats. With the TDC system Customers can control the ongoing costs of Licensing and product support by selecting an implementation configuration that minimises these costs.
Allaw are confident that the TDC system will not only meet the current needs of Customers, the system is also adaptable to meet future requirements for many years to come. Teaming with Allaw, Customers can identify an implementation strategy that will ensure no business impact on the current operation. Allaw will also support Customers in developing a rollout strategy to minimise capital cost enabling you to implement the services independent of capital requirements.
Allaw have a trial system available that can easily be set up to demonstrate the TDC system capabilities at your site with virtually only a days notice. We will be happy to have our expert team show you how easy it is to establish the system and the broad range of capabilities to support Customers requirements whenever your team is ready.
Allaw have provided the following System Overview to define the TDC system functionality and how this meets Customers requirements. Understanding that the success to the implementation of an operational system is also the implementation method, Allaw have included a high level project and implementation overview for your consideration.
Allaw Pty Ltd is a wholly owned Australian Company with over 40 years of experience in importing, design, manufacturing, and repair of electronics and telecommunications equipment. Established in May 1963 to provide contract design and manufacturing to meet the requirements of the Australian market, Allaw has developed and evolved to focus on system development and the delivery of product support services for network operators, commercial Customers and the consumer market.
At Allaw we are proud of the technical capabilities and experience of our engineers and technicians making us one of the most capable service and support teams in Australia. Our vendors review and certify the processes used by our staff enabling us to extend full vendor warranty support to our Customers. ALLAW has a strong reputation for efficient turnaround times and meeting the highest of the industry standards - essential to sustain a competitive advantage in today's market.
Allaw have maintained and supported the TDC system in Australia for over fifteen years. During that time we have extended the implementation of the system to include operation and support at several locations throughout Sydney. Our in-house system design expertise maintains the system architecture, developing new features to meet the Australian business environment and providing rapid response to any issues identified during the course of operation.
Allaw maintains not only the software system but also provides interfaces to devices such as scanners, printers and other network interfaces associated with overall operation of the solution implemented for our Customers providing hardware and software support.
Allaw provides Project Management and Operational Consulting to support the implementation of the TDC systems and also to provide our Customers expertise in the development and improvement of operational processes. Allaw has delivered these services to improve the commercial interface from our Customers to their clients and also to improve their internal materials management, warehousing, distribution and cost control processes.
Allaw can provide a Project Manager to support the Customers implementation providing a single point of accountability and a common interface your commercial, IT and operations staff during the implementation process. The Allaw Project Manager will manage the Allaw implementation team and will work with Customers staff to develop the required implementation and operational process that will be required to ensure a smooth and seamless transition to the TDC system.
Total Distribution & Control (TDC) System
The TDC system is a fully integrated Multi Warehouse Distribution product designed to meet the requirements of small to medium sized enterprises. The system provides an integrated solution and business interfaces to support Workshop, Sales, Accounting, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Distribution, Logistics requirements and full serial number tracking for sales and repair warranty.
TDC System Feature Summary
The TDC system offered to Customers includes the following modules:
Online Web Sales
Our web sales system is integrated real time to our live database via Perl programs written by Allaw. As with our TDC system goods can be shipped to a different address to the billing address. Once the web order has been submitted customer details are updated where required and a picking slip is generated at our office. The web customer receives a conformation email with the order details attached. Account customers have the option to place their web orders on their normal Allaw account. There is also an option for customers to include a Purchase Order (PO) and any special instructions that they feel are relevant.
Workshop Services, Repair Component & Module board repairs, Product Refurbishment, Test and Re-certification Full serial warranty and repair tracking Product Services
Country, site or order specific configuration and consolidation Processing and management of Software & Hardware Upgrades, Reverse Logistics Support
Manage customer spares inventory Provide an integrated spares management solution Logistics Services (Repackaging, Forwarding, Consolidation)Technical Support/Help Desk
Calls to 1800#'s Manage internal Corporate and Consumer product queries Web real time Job Status Enquiry by serial number Web RMA Request, Consultant Services
Repair and Reverse Logistics process review and process improvements Establish and certify repair, refurbishment and reverse logistics for customers domestically or internationally
Orders can be submitted using a one or two step invoicing process selectable on an order by order-by-order basis as required. The system also provides the user with the ability to drop ship or use customer's delivery addresses. Contact details are flexible maintainable down to the delivery address level.
Future orders, back orders and partial shipments are catered for as an integral part of the system. An automatic back order filling system is also available. Substitute products and locations are suggested during order entry when the available stock on hand is insufficient for the order quantity requested.
Online tracking of shipments by the Internet is available via "click-on" or direct from TDC for shipments sent via commercial couriers such as TNT, DHL, Australian Air Express and Couriers Please. An option to automatically send an email from the system to those users that absolutely need to be able to respond to shipping details when their customers call them is also available.
The TDC system provides a configurable parameter that enables the shipment of goods in the current month and to have the billing update in the following month.
Billing to a consolidated customer account is another standard TDC feature that simplifies the overall billing process.
Credits can be raised referencing an invoice with an option of returning the goods to stock or scrap and the flexibility on selecting the stocking warehouse.
Sales Analysis Reporting
A large variety of sales reporting is available with the facility to create your own queries and reports ad-hoc or on demand. Pre-defined reports available provide full invoice detail or summary reporting of the information. Some of the reports currently available include Customer Sales, Customer by Product, Customers Not Buying, Customer by Sales Group, Summary Sales by Salesperson, Top 10 Customers per Rep and Customer History By Salesman Past 3 Months. This is by no means an exhaustive list with additional pre-defined reports available and custom reports limited only by the user’s imagination.
Available credit is calculated based on the customer’s credit limit, invoices outstanding and orders booked. The credit control officer can also place the customer on hold and release held orders. The customer can also be placed on hold when they are outside their credit terms with a tunable number of days buffer. The credit terms structure is very flexible and includes number of days from invoice, end of month from invoice date, end of month plus number of days and end of month plus end of month and additional functions including settlement discounts which should meet your customers' requirements.
The user has control over the period end dates and the number of periods in a financial year. The start and end dates of the financial year can also be set to suit the client requirements. Periods can be left open as long as required by the financial controller without affecting the normal day-today operation such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, month and year-ends activities.
Entries are posted to the General Ledger via an interface file, this ensures integrity and allows for flexibility of detail information to be passed to the GL.
Accounts entries can be viewed at a summary and detail level with month-end and year-end figures are available. All the standard reporting is available such as Trial Balance, Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Operating Statement, Budget Analysis, and Operations Analysis. TDC's Financial Report Writer is available to develop custom reports and summaries required.
Accounts payable payment terms is flexible and can be set on a per customer basis to invoice end of month from invoice date, end of month plus number of days and, end of month plus end of month and additional variations of the these. Settlement discounts are also available. Entries can be made to the new month while previous month is still open. This is very useful where near the month end payments are received and the month-end report has not been run. EFT is available for creditors where account and BSB details are available. Checks within the TDC system make it virtually impossible to pay invoices twice or to overpay them. Notification of the payment is sent by email or electronic fax direct from TDC or by post dependent upon the information on the vendor master file.
Computerised and manual (urgent) cheques are also available including a cheque reconciliation feature and Cash Requirements Forecasting.
Key functions included in the standard package are; Age, Trial Balance, Collection Log, Open Item Statements, Bank Deposit slip listing, customer payment history and a broad and flexible variety of reports and enquiries. Invoices and statements can be sent directly to the customer by email or electronic fax direct from the TDC system.
As with Accounts Payable, entries can be made to the new month while previous month is still open, i.e. A/R month-end has not been run.
Orders can be handled in local and foreign currencies and in units that vary from the stocking unit. Additional charges such as duty, freight and tax are catered for. Orders can be viewed by supplier or by product also utilizing the supplier's product code. Forecast dates are shown during purchase order entry with the ability to pro-actively view previous purchasing history on the fly. As with the other modules are variety of reporting is available.
Purchase orders can be sent by email or electronic fax direct from TDC or posted to the supplier. Buy-ins and indent orders are available as an integral part of the system functionality.
Inventory is held by warehouse and bin location with serial number tracking. Kits and product conversion is available. Actual unit cost plus average unit cost is carried for each product and warehouse combination. A Stock transfer system is in place. Fractional quantities are also handled to two decimal places.
Technical or descriptive product information can be made available from the product master by attaching links to Internet locations, Acrobat and Word files with access provided by launching the document direct from TDC.
Stock warning enquiry and reporting is provided as an integral part of the TDC system functionality. This feature uses the stock usage, sales, lead-time, trends and other user specified information to forecast suggested purchasing and expected days stock currently available.
Core functionality of the TDC system is reporting on all aspects of the information that is stored. Inventory reporting has a comprehensive list of pre-defined reports that include Stock Status Report, Inventory Evaluation, Backorder Action Report, Inventory Kits, Stock Transfers & Adjustments, Obsolete Products, Stock Aging & Value, Stock On Hand In Weeks and Stock In Transit Report to list but a few. Custom, ad-hoc and scheduled reports can easily be generated by the user to meet product, seasonal, organizational or any other specific requirements.
The stock-take system allows you to conduct a stock-take without having to stop trading. Count Sheet Valuation and Count Sheet Variance reports are available and the relevant postings are made to the General Ledger.
On Line Help
The TDC system provides Online help available at program and prompt level.
Default printer assignments can be established by user, location and application. Specific requirements as slave invoice and consignment note printers are easily catered. Emailing Reporting
Emailing of standard reports is available with options for plain text, Comma Separated Values (CSV) and Rich Text Format (RTF). Invoices, Statements and Purchase Orders are sent in Portable Document Format (PDF). Operating Software Requirements
The TDC system is flexible and can be implemented in a number of configurations. This flexibility will allow Customers to select an operating environment to suit the existing level of internal expertise and to ensure that you are not tied to complex and expensive licensing agreements.
Definition of all new functionality is carried out in an interactive manner with Customers ensuring clear definition of the requirements as well as the business impact. Development timeframes will be negotiated with Customers in an interactive manner ensuring your commercial requirements are met with minimum risk. All systems development is performed and tested in our off-line customer simulation environment. Only when the system meets all of the test requirements are new features activated and implemented. Fall-back procedures are always included as part of the implementation and integration plan to ensure that the Customers ability to continue trading is not impacted.
The solution offered to Customers can be delivered either as a fully stand-alone system configured at Customers site or Allaw can provide a "Service Hosting" solution whereby Allaw hosts the application at our site with access provided to the various Customers locations. Both solutions are described below.
Installation and network configuration required to support typical multi-site requirements of a customer is shown below.
The TDC system is very efficient in the use of data and the control information required in delivering screen updates, high bandwidth data links are not required! With the TDC system installed at the Customers primary site, the remote sites can be configured to access the system remotely by providing ISDN links, or any other secure connection from the Host to the remote sites. The selection of the connection method can be made independent of the system allowing Customers to focus on the cost of the links, security and reliability requirements.
Hardware and Communications Requirements
The TDC Host system can be installed on virtually any hardware platform; most new Pentium 4 systems would be adequate for 15-20 users and the transactions they would typically generate; Allaw does recommend that the computer system selected be dedicated to the TDC system for reliability and system availability requirements. A PC capable of running "Telnet" software is all that is required for Users to access the system over a simple "Telnet" session. The remote locations can be connected to the system by selecting any secure communications connection; high data speeds are not required. Allaw can provide support to Customers in the selection of a suitable communications method that will meet the users performance requirements while also managing your ongoing IT costs.
Service Hosting Configuration
Allaw offers a cost effective, low-risk "Service Hosting" option. This service is suited to Customers who do not want to take on the responsibility and costs associated with supporting a mission critical operational system at their site and to gain additional benefits of more closely managing their IT and systems costs. In this configuration the hardware and operational system would be located at Allaw; Customers Users would access their service via a secure connection to the application at our site.
The Service Hosting network configuration is shown below.
Service Hosting Benefits
Service Hosting is becoming more commonplace and a commercially attractive solution to those companies who want to focus on their core business and mange escalating internal IT costs. Several benefits associated with service hosting that should be considered are:
Annual system operating costs can be reduced as support is consolidated to a single support team Once the system is operational Allaw is responsible to ensure the availability of the system meets performance criteria agreed with Customers. The application is running at the site with the highest level of expertise. Response to customer identified issues will be almost immediate System maintenance, security and Data Back-up are provided as part of the integrated support service included in this offering. Secure Dial-in capability to Customers system can be provided at no additional costs enabling sales and other designated staff to access the system from customer sites or from other locations. (This is a significant enabler for the development of Wireless applications on sales terminals). Availability and Reliability of the Allaw Service Hosting
The TDC system installed at Allaw is designed to meet 99.99% availability. This means less than 60 minutes of total downtime per year! Required system upgrades and maintenance is scheduled after hours to ensure that Users are not commercially impacted by these activities.
Reliability and Security of customer's data is the primary focus in the design of the Allaw system. The TDC system is configured in a RAID (2) configuration with Mirrored disks. This provides maximum protection for user data in the unlikely event of a hardware Disk failure.
System back-ups are performed daily. On a weekly basis system back-ups are taken and stored off site. All back-ups are stored in secure fireproof locations. Allaw also perform weekly restoration of back-up media onto off-line systems to absolutely guarantee that the system can be recovered in the unlikely event of a system failure.
Utilising these "World Best Practices" for data storage and recovery procedures Allaw can guarantee Customers that the highest standards to protect user data are implemented.
Reliability of the communications links to support Service Hosting is also a consideration when designing the end-to-end reliability and availability of the system. The major communications carriers in Australia each provide data links that will meet the service requirements anticipated for Customers implementation. These data links can be designed with inexpensive back-up strategies such as dial-up connections that will ensure a level of availability to meet customers needs in a cost effective manner.
Implementation & Project Management
Allaw has demonstrated experience in providing Implementation and Project Management expertise to deliver the TDC solution. To support a typical installation for our Customers, Allaw would recommend a staged approach transitioning specific areas to the TDC system in a structured manner to minimise implementation risk and to allow each functional area to be trained and adapt to the new system. A project plan would include:
a. Detailed study of Customers systems, data structures and outputs
b. Evaluation of installed hardware to confirm hardware compatibility
c. Format analysis results to develop TDC data structures
d. Provide recommendations on hardware configurations to meet the network requirements
e. Ensure hardware interfaces are defined and compatible drivers loaded
a. Establish an off-line environment that duplicates Customers requirements.
b. Verify System functionality on the off-line system
c. Develop the operating processes that will be required
d. Train staff using the off-line environment
e. Establish an agreed functional implementation plan
f. Establish an agreed implementation timeline
g. Develop data transfer mechanisms
h. Develop fallback procedures
a. Upload current data to the TDC System
b. Implement the new process to utilise the new system
4. COMMISSIONING AND VERIFICATION
a. Monitor and verify process activity and system performance
b. Identify issues - Prioritise and take corrective action
5. QUALITY ASSURANCE AND PERFORMANCE MONITORING
a. Daily performance reviews for the 1st two weeks to benchmark system performance and process activity to committed targets
b. Log product and network performance issues
c. Prioritise and action as appropriate
6. TRANSITION TO OPERATIONAL SYSTEM STATE
a. Handover day-day maintenance activities to designated staff
b. Implement support and maintenance plans
c. Implement development request process
Allaw will provide resources to train key Customers staff in each department on their specific application of the system. These resources can then be used by Customers to provide internal support on process issues and to train new staff on the day-to-day operation of the system.
To support the Site installation option, Allaw also offers to provide additional technical training to a core technical team to deliver a detailed technical understanding of product functionality. This will allow Customers to be more self-sufficient in the handling of day-to-day operational issues and to help clarify descriptions of problems that are forwarded to Allaw support for resolution.
Allaw provides a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet our customer's requirements for the systems and products provided. Whether the requirements are to provide "Help Desk" support for systems users or detailed technical engineering or system analysis, we can provide a support plan to meet customers requirements.
Help Desk Services
Help desk services are offered to Customers to provide Users TDC application and process support during the course of day-to-day operations. Typically the Help Desk will be involved with queries such as:
Setting default values
Completing transactions where the user is having problems
Directing output to printers
Requesting and printing system reports
Specialists with TDC system expertise will be available to respond to your calls to ensure that your day to day operations run smoothly and uninterrupted.
For those situations where the TDC application, interface to the database or the solution provided is not meeting customers requirements and a resolution to the problem cannot be provided during a discussion with the specialist at the Help Desk, a problem report will be raised. Problem reports will be prioritised as Critical, Major or Minor issues as per the support agreement and will be escalated with Support Team.
System & Network Support
It is anticipated that System and Network support would normally be provided by the customer's IT support group. Allaw will provide the interface from the Help Desk or the product support prime to ensure that any product or performance issues are dealt with promptly and that Systems or Network issues are referred in a proactive manner to the appropriate responsible team. Where persistent issues exist, Allaw will provide technical expertise through our engineering team to ensure that these problems are resolved in a professional and pro-active manner.
Service and Support Contract
Allaw understands the services required to support an operational system of this type and that a support plan must be in place to service the ongoing needs of our Customers once the system is Active and Operational. Our customer's needs vary from site to site and a flexible structured approach is required to develop a plan that will meet the needs of Customers from a technical and commercial perspective.
Allaw will work with Customers to structure a service plan that takes into account:
Basic Help Desk
Or any other services that form part of the solution delivered. This will approach to developing a service solution will allow Customers to manage product performance internally or through a service contract.
Service Backed by Experience and Commitment
Allaw backs up all service contracts by ensuring the experienced resources are available to support the implementation at our Customers sites. This experience is guaranteed by commitment whereby Allaw measure the performance of services using key performance indicators (KPI's) agreed with our Customers. These KPI's are presented at regular review meetings and can also be "e-mailed" to our prime customer interface. Throughout the period of the service contract Allaw will ensure that the system performs to Customers expectations and that our service staff are available to address any issues identified in a prompt and professional manner.
New Features - System Development
The TDC system has a broad range of functionality that is sure to meet the needs of Customers. These needs cannot be met unless the system can adapt to provide new and improved functionality as identified by our Customers. Some of these requirements can be accommodated by changes to the processes implemented and where this is not possible a feature development request is required. Allaw provides a Change Request process to ensure that the ongoing and future needs of Customers are met.