Capital Marine Uses Computer Technology To Streamline Business

Capital Marine Supply, Inc., a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Midland Affiliated Company, is keeping its business shipshape with the help of computer technology.

Capital Marine is a floating store built on a converted railroad barge on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, La. It maintains a varied inventory of more than 3,500 items ranging from paint to potatoes to petroleum. Vessels traveling the river call the store by marine radio from miles away, and orders are assembled and often put on a launch that meets the boats as they go by. "Boats traveling the river often have a daily operating cost of $9,000, and they depend on us to get their supplies to them on time," said Carl Gerrein, controller of Midland Affiliated Company, which directed Capital Marine's computer acquisition. Mr. Gerrein credits his company's Honeywell DPS 6 small computer system with helping to manage Capital Marine's business more efficiently than before by improving inventory control and billing procedure.

In addition to helping streamline Capital Marine's inventory management, the computer has played an important role in helping to keep the company's prices competitive while still maintaining profits. "Our own boats travel the river constantly and often stop at competing supply stores. They return with price information on equivalent goods at the other stores, which our computer processes to help us keep up to date on how competitive we are," said Dan Johnson, manager of administrative services for Capital Marine.

Mike Spenlau, project manager for Midland Affiliated Company responsible for selecting the computer equipment, noted that Capital Marine experienced many of the usual startup problems associated with new computer equipment, but added that the headaches were minimized by the quick response of the Honeywell customer service representatives.

Since then he says that the system has been very reliable.

For details and free literature on Honeywell's computer systems, Circle 25 on Reader Service Card For free information on Capital Marine's capabilities and services, Circle 26 on Reader Service Card

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 8,  Oct 15, 1984 communications network

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