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Right Information to Right People

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“Computer System Connects Firm to Vendors, Suppliers and EmployeesImagine being able to simultaneously connect vendors, suppliers and employees at all levels to the heart of a company’s essential database and information systems.

It’s being done via computer by major companies across the country and at some of the lesser-known but growing firms such as ICS Advent in Sorrento Mesa.

ICS Advent, a manufacturer of industrial personal computers, is implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, a common system architect that ensures the right information will be delivered to the right people at the right time.

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The complete hardware and software system is estimated to cost $5 million.

When the system is up-and-running next summer, ICS customers will be able to order a computer off the Internet, get confirmation the order was received, and at any time check its status. Shipments are expected to go out much more rapidly, within 24 hours.

The system will also affect customers who purchase any of ICS’s range of industrial control and communication products, which includes telecommunications and Internet products.

“It eliminates misinformation and makes things very efficient,” Charlie Gunderson, ICS Advent’s vice president of marketing, said.

The end result will be full E-business capability from top to bottom and product delivery times of 24 to 48 hours for complex systems that typically ship in two to four weeks as an industry standard.

ICS is projecting annual revenues of $100 million and anticipates selling 40,000 computers in addition to computer peripheral devices.

“ERP is almost mandatory to support the rate of growth that we’re planning on,” said Robin Savage, ICS vice president of manufacturing.

In preparation for the transition, ICS has begun training its staff of several hundred employees and initiated partnerships with most of its 43 vendors, which are predominantly located in San Diego.

“Ninety-five percent of ICS’ vendor base is in Southern California and the majority of our revenue dollars are going to San Diego County,” Savage said. “Our success and growth will certainly have an impact on the community.”

Nearly all of ICS’ vendors have agreed to be integrated into the E-business model. ICS has already established a virtual relationship with a San Diego vendor, Hays Nut and Bolt, which supplies ICS with hundreds of fastener components. The paperwork involved in their business transactions is limited to one purchase order a month for accounting purposes.

“It would be a windfall for them (vendors),” Savage said. “Typically, today they’re relying on faxes and phone calls which aren’t as efficient or reliable.”

Other companies in the computer industry that have launched their E-commerce and E-business models include big players such as Dell and Compaq and the lesser known manufacturer of office computers Micron Technology Inc., based in Idaho.

“It’s just recently within the last couple months that people are starting to look at this expanded scope of what can these tools do for us in industry,” Savage said. “So E-business is a relatively new term, we’re not the ones who coined it.”


The complete hardware and software system is estimated to cost $5 million.



The paperwork involved in their business transactions is limited to one purchase order a month for accounti”


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