DSI Health Check Assessment for a Global Manufacturing Company

Health Check for a Growing Business

Our client is a world leader in making and maintaining elevators, escalators and moving walkways, with a focus on “making the products that are made to move you.” Their 24/7 facility focuses on the assembly of parts and components required for all the various projects in North America.  

CLIENT PROFILE
EMPLOYEES: 9,500+
INDUSTRY: Manufacturing
HEADQUARTERS: Connecticut
FOUNDED: 1853
 

The facility workers primarily use DSI Global’s Mobile Enterprise Platform and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP to fulfill their component orders. DSI’s platform provided numerous application scripts to execute functions such as purchase order receipts, product pick-pack-ship processes, inventory transfers, cycle counts, and product label printing. Since the facility operates 24/7, DSI serves as a business-critical platform that can bring the entire assembly floor to a halt if problems arise. 

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Objectives and Challenges

After several years of operating the DSI platform, our client performed minor updates to keep it running efficiently. However, due to the nature of the growing business and other operational changes, the facility began experiencing hardware connectivity, software performance and stability problemsThese issues lead to DSI application scripts timing out, as well as transaction errors, all requiring manual data cleanup in the ERP back-end. 

Smartbridge was assigned to conduct a Health Check assessment to evaluate the current state of the DSI system, identify immediate issues, and provide a plan of action to improve the platform. Smartbridge is a DSI partner, with years of platform implementation, application development and management experience. Smartbridge is also a leading expert in JD Edwards, with 10+ years of experience in supporting the platform and developing multiple integrations within it.

Prior to arriving on site for the DSI Health Assessment project, there were already multiple issues that contributed to the difficulty in finding a clear resolution:

  • The DSI platform installed was several versions old, and had major limitations on an administrator’s ability to manage and troubleshoot issues. 

  • Business function calls were performed in a synchronous fashion, which delays server response. 

  • Application scripts were migrated between multiple versions of DSI which lead to unorganized and difficult to follow code. 

  • The manufacturing facility, data center, and applications servers were all housed in different facilities across multiple states leading to longer latency times in network communication.

  • Production issues were difficult to replicate in development or test, as most issues were a result of load on the system during high production hours.

The Smartbridge Solution

As previously mentioned, the Health Check assessment consisted of an in-depth diagnosis of the DSI environment, the platform’s configuration, software version, and hotfix levels. The assessment also reviewed platform custom application scripts, identified performance bottlenecks, and transaction log errors.

After conducting the initial review, there were several major issues identified that impacted the performance of the application – Thousands of transaction errors in one month all seemed to stem from a single application script. Further, slowdown and connectivity issues that appeared were a result of back end processes that timed out rather than network connectivity issues. The platform version itself was severely outdated and lacked the level of detail and tools for troubleshooting issues. Lastly, transactions were synchronous and lead to database lock and race conditions.

Solutions Steps for Execution:

  • All errors and problems on the platform were outlined in detail.

  • Specific transactional issues were documented for staff to assess.

  • Key applications were assessed and targeted for review and rework.

  • A detailed roadmap was provided to address issues in the short, mid-range, and long-term strategy.

Results of a Successful Health Check

While there were many recommendations provided, the longest and most impactful change would require a full upgrade on their JD Edwards Platform, as well as a full upgrade on their DSI Mobile Enterprise Platform. From our initial recommendation, our client reach back out to us for a follow up project to upgrade both the DSI and JDE systems to their latest versions. The results of the upgrade process also allowed for both platforms to be placed on the latest operating systems and security patches.  

Overall, the assessment plan and roadmap provided by Smartbridge allowed for the execution of a clear strategy that not only upgraded the client’s platforms, but also resolved connectivity and concurrency issues they were experiencing. 

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