Butler Builders receive automatic e-mail notices providing them with a link to the online .PDF Bill of Lading report for each truck shipped for a given order. Builders typically receive this e-mail within 2 hours of the loading of the truck, giving them very timely notice of the pending delivery of materials to their job sites.
The Bill of Lading report is the same one that is delivered on each truck, and includes a list of all parts on that truck (if the truck has parts for more than one order, the report shows a grouped list of parts for each order).
An OpenVMS system in place at each of Butler's six North American plants generates the initial text file (which is still used to laser-print a paper report for loading on the truck). Each ASCII text report file is then converted to Acrobat files on a Windows NT server using TXT2PDF; the resulting .PDF files are then placed on a web server and the filename/URLs are e-mailed to each builder registered on the company's extranet to receive such notices.
Butler was very pleased with the high level of support and personal attention provided by the TXT2PDF creators during the implementation of the project, and we continue to receive positive comments from builders who now have a way to monitor the status of their orders as they move through the manufacturing and shipping process.