Braum's Takes the RPG Path to Mobile Apps with LANSA LongRange
Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Stores, privately owned by the Braum family, operates 280 stores throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. Braum’s sources its milk from its private herd of cows at a 10,000 acre family farm located in Oklahoma, which is also the location of the company’s milk processing, bakery, warehouse distribution, truck maintenance and water treatment facilities.. Braum’s operations are supported by a mix of packaged and homegrown IBM i applications and a network of Windows-based POS systems.
Braum’s used LongRange and RPG to develop a series of native mobile apps for its 40 district and 10 area managers in charge of the stores. The apps, developed in a matter of weeks by one of Braum’s RPG developers, run on various iOS and Android devices and integrate with Braum’s IBM i applications and data. The first app allows managers to access and respond to customer feedback, as well as track the progress to ensure the customer's concerns have been addressed. This app, delivered while Braum’s was still in the LongRange trial period, provided immediate ROI as it was replacing a cumbersome paper-based process.
The other apps provide managers with data regarding sales, inventory, staffing and contacts. Some of the apps are based on existing reports. Others are completely new, such as the performance recap app, which shows if stores have enough staff on duty to meet pre-determined service levels.
Braum’s wanted to avoid using Java because of its complexity and learning curve. The fact that Braum’s could use in-house RPG skills to extend existing IBM i business logic to mobile devices made for quick returns.