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Document Production and Emailing on IBMi

The Challenge

One of our customers wanted to move away from using pre-printed stationary for their delivery notes. Previously the documents were being produced as basic spoolfiles on the IBMi and output onto a dot matrix printer. 

The customer wanted to move to using a laser printer, and have the document produced on plain A4 but with the same formatting.

The Solution

  Whiz-Tec logoWhiz-Doc logo

We partnered with Whiz-Tec to implement their Whiz-Doc solution, a native IBMi suite for creating document templates and monitoring output queues to identify the prints. This meant that the design and implementation could run end-to-end in one location, avoiding the need to jump between different servers. 

Whiz-Doc includes options for both a GUI and a 5250 document designer, allowing you to use the method that is easiest/most familiar to you. The GUI designer runs in a web browser, meaning again no special software is installed on any machine outside the IBMi.  

Using Whiz-Doc had the added benefit of allowing barcode generation. Previously scanning barcodes meant going to each pallet and scanning the label, putting them on the delivery note meant they could be processed from a single piece of paper.

There are many other features available, for example inserting images and graphs, but for our purposes the customer did not need these. Inserting some lines and boxes to mirror their existing layout, and adding in the barcodes as a bonus, was all they needed to be able to proceed. 

Once the template was complete, we then discussed the preferred method of storage. Whiz-Doc can save to IFS, email, a windows server, or simply move it to another output queue for archiving. In our case the customer chose to have a PDF copy of the finished print saved into a folder for later retrieval. Previously, this was being scanned in by site staff after printing and so Whiz-doc saved them time on each delivery.

The Benefits

The immediate benefits to the customer were threefold:

  1. The dot-matrix printer was replaced with a LaserJet printer, in this case one that was already in the office. This saves money on both maintenance of hardware, and having to stock only a single type of toner/ink.
  2. The pre-printed stationary was no longer required, saving money and also avoiding an issue if they ran out. Odds are you always have some plain A4 paper to spare.
  3. Time saved by not having to manually scan in paperwork, now the document is produced on the IBMi and automatically archived for the staff.

After seeing the above benefits we were asked to amend their goods receipt documents to take advantage of the same procedure.

To hear more about how Whiz-Doc can help you, see the Whiz-Tec website for a list of authorised dealers. MNIS are the official dealer in the UK, so if you’re based there then contact us today.