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INFORMATION MANAGEMENT & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
Dennis Cady
President
Pacifica Research
USA

How can information technology make seed companies more successful, and what specific solutions solutions does your organization offer?

1. Manage larger quantities of information than manual systems.

Although most any computerized information system could potentially accommodate more data (more customers, transactions, inventory items, etc.) than any manual system, Pacifica is specifically designed and optimized to handle an unlimited quantity of every type of data without losing performance. As a direct result, Pacifica maintains many years of full detail on-line at all times. This allows detailed analysis of past history compared with current, not available on most other systems. It also permits instant access to data which, on other systems, would be off-line or non-existent.

2. Integrate diverse information subsystems.

By its design, a manual system isn’t integrated. For example, when inventory is purchased, accounts payable must be posted as a separate process. Any data needed for reporting must be gathered from each subsystem and merged.

Pacifica is fully and seamlessly integrated, so processes like purchasing or selling inventory adjust payables, receivables, the general ledger, vendor and customer balances, and all other interrelated subsystems, in one step.

Other integration points are less obvious, but still valuable, such as producing analysis tags from orders, invoices or blend sheets.

There is also no needless redundancy in information storage, simplifying data retrieval and reporting.

3. Provide current and timely information to decision makers.

Nothing prevents the data in a manual information system from being current – it’s just more difficult. The larger problem is getting the information out. Composing reports in a manual system is labor intensive, error prone, and because it’s difficult, reports tend to be delivered after the time they would be most useful.

In Pacifica, all data is always as current as the latest entry. No end-of-period posting is ever necessary to make the data available for reporting. All Pacifica reports can access all available data instantly; even data from prior years, so composing reports is effortless and fast.

4. Manage proactively instead of reactively.

Because manual systems are tedious to operate, most companies only cover the basics or less. Strong analytical and proactive functionality, particularly important in customer relations, is usually overlooked, or just impossible.

Pacifica includes a comprehensive suite of tools to help you analyze current performance and anticipate future needs. For instance, you can see in real time, profitability by customer or producer, by salesperson, by product or product line, by sales territory, region, state or country. You can also see projections of future requirements based on past and current sales, to help you in your production or procurement planning.

5. Manage with greater accuracy.

Manual information systems have several areas where inaccuracies are introduced:

  • Lack of integration allows one subsystem to be updated without updating all others.
  • Entry of the same data into several subsystems increases the probability of data entry errors.
  • The tediousness of data entry leads to omissions.
  • Lack of automatic error checking allows mistakes to slip by.
  • Identifying and fixing mistakes can be difficult.

Pacifica, with its thorough integration, automatic default data, and error detecting and correcting, coupled with its ease of editing existing data, fully addresses each of these problems.

The use of other technologies supported by Pacifica, such as bar coding, can completely eliminate certain critical types of errors, such as shipping an incorrect lot.

6. Improve customer service and support.

Virtually any improvement you make in your information system translates measurably into improved customer service. Increasing the accuracy, timeliness and quantity of useful information is all helpful.

But the most important aspect of customer service will always be how quickly and positively you respond to a problem.

If the problem is in sales, Pacifica keeps a complete history of sales, including quotes, contracts and bookings, both before and after shipping, so you’ll know what you promised, and what you have and haven’t yet delivered.

If the problem is in inventory, Pacifica keeps a complete history of every lot, clear back to its source. It keeps track of every aspect of origin, quality and treatment, even through blends and mixes. If a lot has a problem, you can easily identify every sale and use of that lot.

If the problem is in accounting, every transaction for that customer is always on-line. In an instant, you can reprint any invoice, you can see what the customer purchased last month or three years ago. You have immediate access to every payment and credit, and you can adjust his account easily.

7. Allow employees who know little about inventory control or accounting to successfully accomplish their tasks.

A hallmark of manual information systems is, of course, paper. In most such systems, most of the paper is handwritten instructions from the uninitiated (salespeople, warehouse personnel, bosses, managers) to the initiated (inventory control clerks, accountants). This includes instructions to create input documents as well as requests for reports.

In Pacifica, the people who hand-write instructions for purchase requisitions, sales orders, warehouse processes, shippers, etc., can, within the scope of their job description, enter the information themselves. If they need a report, or they need to query inventory for quantity available and quality, for instance, they can do so.

Pacifica assists them, with its default data and error control systems, in ensuring correct data entry.

8. Assists in disaster recovery.

In a manual information system, most of the current records need to be on-site, typically in filing cabinets. Since there is usually no redundancy (off-site photocopies), there’s no provision for data recovery after a fire, for example.

In Pacifica, all of the data is maintained in one file, which is easy to copy to a backup. Just take a current backup off-site (safe deposit box) regularly.

9. Allows unbreachable security control of all information, data entry screens and reports.

In a manual information system, anyone who can open your file cabinet can look at your data.

In Pacifica, every user has a password locked ID, which controls precisely where they can go and what they can see and do anywhere in Pacifica. This control applies whether they are a local user, or if they’re logging on remotely through the internet.

As a second optional level of security, you may assign a password to the database itself, distinct from the user’s password.

10. Permits remote users controlled access to all system functions.

With a manual information system, users in a remote location (branch office, on the road, etc.), have no direct access to the information system. They’re relegated to “phoning in” their instructions, then waiting for a response.

Pacifica makes it simple to use your existing internet connection to connect remote users in real-time. When they connect, they have the same access privileges and restrictions as those allowed any local user.

They can enter and edit data, print reports on their own printer, in short, they are a fully functional user for the (cheap) price of an internet connection.


Pacifica Research is a software publishing company offering the seed industry a high-performance Windows-based software specialized in seed inventory control, flower inventory control, agricultural accounting, general accounting, hay brokerage and entomology.

For more information about Pacifica Research, please visit www.pacificaresearch.com

May 2004


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