By Wendy McDaniel
Internet madness has been sweeping the nation, and Plains Cotton Cooperative Association (PCCA) has joined forces with the world wide web in an effort to give its members and the general public the latest information, price updates and news.
The Internet has proven to be the most prevalent method for transmitting timely information. Through the efforts of PCCA, its members and others now will be able to access the latest cotton news from PCCA and the world. The website was established one year ago.
The home page, which can be reached at https://www.pcca.com, includes detailed information about the services provided by PCCA and its membership publication, Commentator. The TELCOT Report, a weekly cotton marketing column, and the many office locations that serve the cooperative’s members can also be obtained with the user-friendly Internet service.
According to Joe Tubb, Vice-President of Information Systems for PCCA, the service allows PCCA to disseminate information to the producers and explain what the cooperative is all about to those interested.
“We want the [web site] to be as easy as possible to use and operate,” Tubb says. “PCCA wants all of its members to be able to utilize and browse through the system.”
PCCA has also developed an Intranet site for use by it’s members. An Intranet is a private internet used by businesses for internal purposes. It used many of the same technologies as are found on the Internet, but only authorized people can access the service, providing a greater measure of security than normally possible. The Intranet system will allow member gins to access TELCOT and GBK as well as online user documentation and electronic mail. The system is available via dial-up phone lines and does not require a dedicated connection between the member and PCCA.
A third project involves merging the Intranet, the Internet, and business software as well as providing access to expanded news delivery and remote diagnostic software for GBK and TELCOT support.
“We are calling it the Gin Office of the Future Program,” Tubb explains. “So far, there has been a favorable response to the program,” he says. “We had several gins interested in being one of the trial gins.” The system became accessible to the trial gins in early November.
PCCA is optimistic that the Gin Office of the Future program will be the success it was designed to be and will be implemented in all cooperative gin computer systems in the near future.
PCCA is not the only source of cotton information available to web browsers. The National Cotton Council established a website at http://www.cotton.org. At that site, visitors are able to link up to the Council’s affiliate organizations, Cotton Council International (CCI) and The Cotton Foundation, national and regional interest organizations and other cotton institutions such as Cotton Inc. Visitors also are able to receive educational material, issue updates, and information bulletins.