“In the first week after we installed ActaWorks, we were able to ship more product than ever before on a single day,” explains Scott Hicar, Maxtor’s vp. “And it wasn’t because of an increase in factory capacity. It was because we eliminated the shipping lag time previously caused by turgid [poor] information flow between our US, European and Asia-Pacific sites,” he continues. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hard disk drives, with automated manufacturing facilities in Singapore, pilot production sites in the States, and repair and distribution centres in Ireland, and California. The implementation of ActaWorks, Acta Technology’s data warehousing software, is helping Maxtor to ‘pull’ data residing in the firm’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) system into a common data warehouse which allows supply chain managers, procurement executives, sales, marketing and finance staff to get a real-time picture of what is happening across the global business – and as a result, make better business decisions. Hicar adds: “ActaWorks can extract any information from any source in our system. So now our employees can make inventory, capacity planning and order fulfilment decisions faster, and can do so with the benefits of reducing inventory in the supply chain and with massive improvements in our time-to market efficiency. “ActaWorks extracts information at 6am from each of Maxtor’s SAP and i2 systems around the globe. By the time employees in each of those regions get to work, they can retrieve reports detailing what other business units accomplished that day, what products must still be shipped, and what orders have come in,” says Hicar. “Previously, numerous phone calls and emails were needed to figure out what was done elsewhere in the company on a particular day.”