Tubemakers Water, a leading manufacturer of valves, fittings and pipes for Australian water conveyance industries, has met the Year 2000 challenge with MS4.
Tubemakers Water is a major supplier to water authorities, water boards and councils Australia-wide. It also has a broad base of smaller customers, such as pipe layers.
"Tubemakers Water recognised the need for a Y2K compliance fix in 1997," said Andrew Clinch, superintendent computer operations for Tubemakers Water. "We foresaw that Y2K interruptions could cause several serious disruptions to our business. These included order entry, manufacturing, delivery and purchase delays, forecasting difficulties and plant maintenance disruptions."
Tubemakers Water is running BPCS 5.1.01 software on its AS/400, with BPCS SPM and BPCS Plant Maintenance (Main Tracker). This one site serves twelve sites, covering order entry, distribution, billing, purchasing, accounts payable and receivable, manufacturing, plant maintenance, sales and performance management.
"We originally wanted to implement a traditional method for compliance, such as date expansion or an upgrade to client-server technology. However, these techniques proved to be too complicated and expensive," said Clinch. "While we're looking to implement client-server technology eventually, MS4 proved to be a quick, painless and cost effective solutions to move our AS/400 business systems over the Y2K boundary. This way, we don't have to rush this important step."
Tubemakers Water decided to implement MS4 in September 1998. With a deadline of 31 December 1998 set, installation began in early October. The solution took just 10 weeks to deploy and it went live in mid-December 1998.
"MS4 has enabled us to quickly address the Y2K problem with minimal impact on users," said Clinch. "It took just ten weeks to implement, including user testing. We went live on schedule without any significant problems. In all, roughly 4.4 million lines of code were fixed by MS4."
MS4 makes no changes to existing software. It is a unique solution that allows existing applications and code to remain completely intact. This means that there are no database changes, no effect on software performance and minimal disruption to the working environment.