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Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Implements Supply Chain Data Mart with CrossAccess

Published
  • July 01 1999, 1:00am EDT

BACKGROUND: Motorcycles, JET SKI watercraft, ATVs, utility vehicles and portable generators are just some of the unique consumer products that have made the Kawasaki brand a household name around the world. Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. annual revenue tops three-quarters of a billion dollars. There are approximately 480 employees and more than 1,500 dealers.

PLATFORMS: Kawasaki's current software/hardware configurations include MVS/ESA on an IBM 9672, NT servers using SQL Server 6.5, Novell Network 4.1 for file and print services and PCs running Windows 95 operating systems.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Kawasaki inventory and supply chain analysts spent more time managing data than analyzing inventory requirements and other supply issues. An automated means of collecting and packaging mainframe-based VSAM and IMS data was needed to empower the analysts to do their job more effectively and in a more timely manner.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Kawasaki is using the CrossAccess Data Delivery system with the Sagent Data Mart Suite to rapidly extract, transform and deliver critical mainframe operational data to an NT-based SQL Server data mart.

STRENGTHS: The CROSS ACCESS solution significantly reduced the development effort associated with constructing a data mart. Ease of installation, ease of use and exceptional performance are definite strong points. The product was up and running and our staff was productive in a matter of days with no formal product training. The automated data mapping facility made implementation very easy. As for performance, CrossAccess extracts, filters, transforms and moves 500,000 rows of mainframe data to one of the data marts in under 20 minutes.

WEAKNESSES: While using the 4.0 release we had to recycle the product nightly due to a memory leak. This has been addressed in the new release, which we are beta testing.

SELECTION CRITERIA: CrossAccess was recommended by our chosen data mart tools vendor. The selection was obvious as CrossAccess was the only product that automatically handled all of our mainframe data extraction needs with virtually no formal training. The implementation time frame and effort were very small, and the standard CrossAccess ODBC interface ensured it would integrate well with our data mart tool choice. This standard interface also ensures that CrossAccess will play additional roles in the Kawasaki information infrastructure, connecting business users directly with operational data.

DELIVERABLES: Through queries generated by the Sagent Data Mart Suite, the CrossAccess product dynamically extracts, filters and transforms mainframe VSAM and IMS data. CrossAccess delivers the result in a relational format directly to the NT- based Sagent product. In addition, end users can directly access VSAM and IMS operational data using CrossAccess with their own Windows 95 query tools.

VENDOR SUPPORT: CROSS ACCESS support has been excellent. Every support contact demonstrated detailed knowledge about not only the CROSS ACCESS products but also the operating systems, communication packages and databases and file systems that comprise the Kawasaki technology environment. CROSS ACCESS support staff were always ready to go the extra mile whenever questions or issues arose.

DOCUMENTATION: The CROSS ACCESS documentation was rarely needed. When used, it was clear and easy to understand.

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