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Topitop Growths Hand in Hand with Technology

Developing solutions with GeneXus

The growth of one of the most renowned companies in Peru was encompassed by changes in its IT department. Starting from a few basic developments, Topitop generated a true ERP for the textile and retail sectors, which has enabled it to sustain the dramatic growth experienced by this Peruvian textile company. In this context, GeneXus was their selected platform.

“Our back office consisted of 'canned' software, a medium level product, and in the industrial area we used non-automated solutions that were manually developed in Visual Basic”, remembers Gustavo López, Operations Manager at Topitop.

In the year 2003 the company was growing steadily. The simple developments in Visual Basic were no longer a good fit for the company's expansion, and for this reason they sought an alternative to continue their internal development work. The search for a turnkey solution had already been abandoned, because the products available in the market weren't suitable for the company's nature as a textile, retail and exports company of international scope. They needed to find a development platform and then they resorted to GeneXus.

“They now have a robust, comprehensive and customized application. It covers from the initial stage when the client places an order -performing tasks such as calculation of supplies, processes and quotes- up to the development and creation of a textile product.  It's a complex process made entirely on GeneXus that even includes quality assurance and export controls", says Aldo Canales, AB&AB Manager and GeneXus representative in Peru.

Even though the development of the necessary applications was completed by the end of 2004, some applications were operational just a few months into the project. Complete retail modules and solutions, as well as some business processes, started to be delivered in the second or third month.

The complexity involved in the creation of an ERP-like system that covered all the aspects of the complicated production and sales process of Topitop caused the production period to be rather long. However, Mr. López explains that not everything was developed in GeneXus, and some parts such as accounting and finance, are now handled with SAP solutions.

“For us, freedom was essential and GeneXus was the only platform that enabled us to be independent from the database and language used. With the GeneXus platform we don't need specialized programmers in any language, only in GeneXus. Also, we don't have to be 'tied' to a database and in this way we can convert the applications to any database", affirms Mr. López.

The final product is a solution that encompasses many areas of Topitop's business.
“We can say it's an application for the entire production cycle. The accounting and finance areas work with SAP, but the entire production process -which involves production of 100 thousand clothing items per day- is controlled with applications developed with GeneXus”, says Canales.
Another interesting fact about this implementation is that at first the development team comprised 27 people and at present it has only nine members. Of course, this is due to the fact that the company's current needs involve more maintenance than development tasks, even though development is continuous and never stops. For example, some of the applications initially developed for Windows have been migrated to the Web.

In addition, this development has been undertaken with the market's trends in mind. For example, a little over a month ago GeneXus trained Topitop's developers in the use of the GeneXus platform for developing mobile applications. In this regard, Mr. López said that they are already creating some applications for this environment.

“The application will provide online information on the status of processes, sales performance or the impact of a promotion; that is to say, to have management indicators available online”, explains Mr. López.
In sum, Topitop is a case highlighted by Mr. Canales due to the scope of the processes developed and the company's size.

Jose Antonio Trujillo, CIO Peru