Kaman Industrial Technologies

Located in Windsor, Connecticut, Kaman Industrial Technologies has nearly 200 branches and five major regional distribution centers, and provides replacement parts and support services to nearly every sector of industry in North America.

Kaman Industrial Technologies is one of the nation's larger distributors of power transmission, motion control, material handling, and electrical components, as well as a wide range of bearings. Kaman Industrial Technologies is also a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation (www.kaman.com), a $1 billion company with businesses focused on aerospace, industrial distribution, and music distribution. Kaman Industrial Technologies’ Synergy/DE 8.1.3-based Mica Distribution System (MDS) software manages sales, purchasing, inventory control, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and logistics processing for their Industrial Distribution division.

How is Kaman Industrial Technologies using XML?

XML is helping Kaman Industrial users streamline business processes by enabling them to communicate with Web services. When a customer places an order, MDS uses the Synergy XML API to build a pre-approval request, which is sent via the Synergy HTTP document transport API to a credit card server housed on a Windows 2000 machine at Kaman. This server is connected to a third-party payment processor, which is connected to the various card processing banking systems. The server will then return an XML document (which is parsed using the XML API) stating the results of the request: approved or rejected. Likewise, once an order is shipped, MDS sends a similar request to the credit card server for authorization of cash, enabling complete automation of the payment process.

Kaman also uses the Synergy XML and HTTP APIs to post invoices to their webMethods server, which interacts with a number of customer and marketplace sites. Now, when an order is shipped and closed, the invoice documents are created via night batch process and sent to the billing facility that handles the customer’s preferred billing format (postal service, e-mail, EDI, or webMethods). This facility then forwards the invoice to the customer—all within minutes.

Kaman also has plans to integrate a shipping manifest system with a Web service interface into their application, providing them with one source for freight rates and bill of lading creation for all 200 of their locations. “With so many different parties involved in each transaction, seamless and accurate interactions are key,” states Richard Kandetzki, Director of Software Development for Kaman Industrial. “By communicating with Web services, we are able to automate the involvement with each of these parties, resulting in a smooth and virtually error-free order process.”

Kandetzki attributes this latest development success in part to SPC 2003. “I had read about the XML tools in the manuals and played a bit with them, but it was at SPC 2003 that I saw examples of them in use and got to talk to people who were actually using them,” he explains. “That helped a great deal in my understanding as to where these APIs could fit into our efforts to integrate new functionality into our legacy environment.”

For more information about BusinessCraft, visit their web site: www.kamandirect.com

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