ITT Flygt, the global pump manufacturer, is centralising its distribution centres for Europe and elsewhere, and automating its global quotations and order management transaction processing – and using a web-based system from manufacturing enterprise software firm Scala to integrate its existing systems in order to do it. The company expects to cut costs and improve customer service. The firm has bought Scala’s iScala Global Commerce Server and Data Exchange Server to integrate its bespoke quotation system with its on-line and Scala 5.1-based back office systems. It’s thus synchronising its part- and product- databases world-wide and integrating its separate quotation, sales order processing, production and distribution processes. Real-time integration between the firm’s web-based transactions and the back office ERP system, with iScala Manager providing business logic automation is the key according to Kenneth Arnesson, ERP systems manager for ITT Flygt. “The quality of communication links today means we can get the real-time access we need to trade effectively on-line, while Scala’s technology allows us to exploit true real-time access by giving us the business processes we want for trading. Scala’s system automates our transactions so effectively that there is no need for staff to get involved in manual processes, such as raising purchase orders, so our offices around the world can concentrate on sales and marketing.” On the quotation system side specifically, Scala’s technology means salesmen can provide customers with an immediate quote and, once the price is accepted, the quote is sent to Scala where it automatically becomes an order. With real-time data synchronisation and EDI in place, ITT Flygt achieves automated business process workflow, from order, to delivery all the way through to payment. As Arnesson says, “Now we can save time and work by getting it right from the beginning.” Scala is cropping up ever more frequently with this kind of e-business integration story. Last week the firm also released an adapter for Microsoft’s BizTalk Server which it bel;ieves will add even more connectivity potential – by enabling companies to exchange business documents electronically between Scala back-office systems and “virtually any other ERP system”. The iScala Adapter for BizTalk Server uses XML (extensible markup language – the web standard for creating common information formats and data sharing). Says Sergey Shvedov, Scala’s senior vice president of R&D, “This will enable businesses to seamlessly exchange information between their Scala systems and the ERP and other applications at their headquarters (SAP, for instance), or at their customers, suppliers and partners.” Also, users can integrate their disparate ERP systems, whether in subsidiaries, divisions or wherever, with electronic trading. They could also use the system to for the foundation of a web exchange, or to help with optimising their supply chains. It’s moving to real ‘collaborative commerce’ with integration standards.