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Automating Manual Processes with Orchestrator at PennEngineering

“Our department is now viewed as innovators instead of roadblocks, so thank you so very much for that!!”

—Melody Bivona, Director of Enterprise Application Services at PennEngineering

Melody Bivona, Director of Enterprise Application Services at PennEngineering, outlined the business value of the orchestrations they have created. PennEngineering’s brilliant use of Orchestrator helped them reduce processing times by 80 percent and automate manual processes for the end users.

About PennEngineering

Headquartered in Danboro, PA, and founded in 1942, PennEngineering is a global leader in fastening solutions with over 14 locations worldwide. Key markets include automotive, consumer electronics, data/telecom, medical, and industrial.

Visit PennEngineering’s Website

What is your history with JD Edwards and your JD Edwards footprint?

PennEngineering has been a customer of JD Edwards for 20 years. We first implemented JD Edwards Xe in 2000 just for Distribution. We are currently on JD Edwards Application Release 9.2 and Tools Release with 600+ users in 12 locations. We use A/R, A/P, G/L, Sales Order Processing, Inventory Management, Procurement, Product Data Management, Forecasting, Material Planning, and Shop Floor Management.

What has been your biggest challenge?

We have a very lean IT department to support all of our internal customers in each of our locations. We don’t use custom code, which has enabled us to stay current – but has also limited us in our ability to quickly provide streamlined solutions until we discovered Orchestrator. Having a JD Edwards developer on our team was not necessary, since we did not modify code, but I like to think that we have developers now with “orchestrations.”

Can you give me examples of orchestrations you have created?

Recently, we took two automotive divisions, that had been on heavily customized legacy systems for 20 years, live on JDE. They make components and do large runs of a certain part. Until that part gets to the last one or two processes, they do not know what part it is going to become. They were able to change it to a different part in their legacy system in a dropdown.

The challenge was to take a work order, have the end user complete it, create a new work order, issue the components for that work order we completed, and print a router for the new work order in one step. We were able to create an orchestration to do this and to call it from DSI.

It took two hours to design and document and four hours to develop and test. We were able to take that same orchestration and use personal pages and form extensions to create an automated process for administrative users for an outside operations process.

We go through this process many times a day. The orchestration has reduced the time spent by 80 percent and reduced the number of data entry errors due to the simplified process.

Very impressive! How else have you used Orchestrator?

A division needed to print customer labels from JD Edwards for a new line as part of the shipping process. We wanted to create a label without having to switch screens. This process typically would take about 20 steps to complete from the user. The plan was to bring up all of the data on the screen while shipping and use the data and pass it on to an orchestration that would then send it to the Print Server and print the label.

We combined all the steps into an orchestration, which we called from a form extension. The process took four hours to design and one day to develop and test.

As a result of this orchestration, the process time was reduced by 80 percent and eliminated human errors. Orchestrator made this process very simple for the end user.

What is the main benefit of Orchestrator?

We have many orchestrations, but my favorites are the ones that make a difference for the end users. The orchestrations we have created have made the end users more efficient and the data more accurate. The more accurate our data is, the better for our company. We have cut processing time by 80 percent with some orchestrations. The beauty is that we are not customizing code, just using JD Edwards tools that we already have to solve business issues. It is a citizen developer tool for the business analyst. Couple our knowledge of the business processes with Orchestrator and our team is unstoppable!

What advice would you give other users getting started with Orchestrator?

Orchestrator is a gem and worth every effort. We attended an Orchestrator workshop through business partner, ACBM Solutions, and I would recommend that users who are new to Orchestrator do the same. I would suggest starting with something small that is a time saver for the end user and then go on to more complex processes. Your creativity is the only roadblock.

What are your future plans?

We have many ideas for orchestrations. We would like to replace our custom labeling system, implement time and quantity tracking on the shop floor, and replace many of our bolt-on solutions.

How long have you been involved with Quest and how have you benefited from the community?

We have been Quest members for four years. I presented with ACBM at COLLABORATE 2019. It was a very rewarding experience, but also so great to see all of the uses of orchestrations. A big benefit of the Quest community is to discover how others are using the software, share use cases and successes. It has strengthened our knowledge and creativity.

Would you like to share your own story with the Quest community? Contact us and Quest staff will get in touch!

Automating Manual Processes with Orchestrator at PennEngineering