Order Automation at Imation

Data storage manufacturer taps Sterling integration suite for processing online product orders

Columbus, OH  November 7, 2002  Imation, a manufacturer of removable data storage media, is using an integration solution from Sterling Commerce to automate online product orders and translate foreign-language business information, according to the solution provider.

Oakdale, Minn,-based Imation, with $1.2 billion in 2001 revenues, has 2,800 employees and offices or distributors in more than 60 countries. Fully 47 percent of the company's sales are generated outside the United States.

The company is using Sterling's Gentran Integration Suite to automate the retrieval and processing of online product orders from an order clearinghouse. Gentran includes business process automation to capture Web orders, a process management engine to handle error-checking and translation capabilities to present order information into Imation's enterprise resource planning system for assimilation, review and appropriate action.

The manufacturer, a long-time Gentran customer, also is using the suite to consolidate its UNIX-based applications into one platform by replacing an NT server-based electronic data interchange (EDI) transformation of foreign languages that use double-byte character sets.

Flo Kinzel, chief technical officer at Imation, praised the rapid implementation of the solution. "We're amazed that within three weeks we had solutions to our online ordering and language translation problems implemented, tested and ready for production with no interruption to current systems and processes," she said.

Kinzel said that online order automation using Internet protocols should reduce information technology costs and could increase customer service levels by doing away with batch processing and making this business process a real-time event.

Sterling suggested that Imation also should be able to reduce maintenance costs by moving its Japanese EDI transformation operation away from a separate NT server over to the UNIX platform alongside its other processes.