GNResound Operate Kanban on the Internet

Background

GN Resound Ireland Limited has a core business of manufacture and distribution of high-end programmable Hearing Devices. GN ReSound Ireland Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of GN ReSound, is located in the Cork Business & Technology Park in Cork City. The Irish facility is the primary European-based producer for GN ReSound with an increasing focus on the high technology Digital Signal Processing (DSP) products. This facility has been proactive in establishing World Class Processes in both Production and Supply Chain Management. The Corporate Purchasing function is also based in Ireland.

The Cork Plant, which is ISO9002/EN46002 approved, manufactures the leading-edge behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing device products and distributes these through GN ReSound's worldwide network. In addition this plant supplies GN ReSound faceplates assemblies to its various shell making facilities around the world for use in the custom, in-the-ear (ITE) devices.

Business Requirement

GN Resound supplies hearing aid devices to many countries throughout the world. Originally the company had purchased a MS Windows based software application to facilitate specialised client ordering. This was rolled out to a small number of their clients. Given the geographical spread of their clients throughout the world (different timezones etc.) it became very difficult to support this product. There would have been a large investment required by the company in license fees if they were to use this product for all of their clients.

GN Resound decided that an extranet solution would be the most cost affective means of implementing an ordering system that met the requirements of their business and could be managed and supported centrally.

The key requirements of the system were :

  • A web based data capture system that would be used to collect data from client browsers. This will provide the same functionality as the existing MS Windows based application they had used for a subset of their customers.
  • A data extraction module that would allow for downloading of captured data from the web server to GN Resound GDC in a format that could be quickly imported into their back end order fulfillment systems.
  • Given the geographical spread of the client users that system would have to be intuitive to the client users and require a minimal amount of support from GN Resound IT personnel.

Solution

Genbase Solutions worked in partnership with GN Resound over a period of three months to deliver the completed solution. A mixture of Microsoft Active Serve Pages and Javascript was used to implement the client and administration interfaces. The data is stored in a SQL Server database. Genbase solutions were responsible for the requirements analysis, system design, development and installation of the solution.

Conclusion

  • GN Resound has significantly increased the level of service given to its customers by improving the quality and speed of information collection and feedback.

System Architecture

  • MS Windows 2000 Server (incl. Internet Information Server)
  • MS SQL Server 2000
  • Extranet application developed using MS Active Server Pages, HTML and Javascript.
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