BMS - AIRPEX consists of the following primary application modules:

These application modules are each integrated with BMS's RTAS (Real Time Accounting System) which includes: The linkage between the application modules and the accounting system is through the Invoicing sub-system. Each application module has its own Invoicing programs which are used to enter, edit, print and post invoices. This allows the programs to be optimized to handle the special requirements unique to each module. For example, the Air Export invoicing programs automatically handle Collect Air Waybills and Commissions and have to know the difference between Master, House and Direct Waybills. On the other hand, the Import invoicing programs have to know the quantity of invoices, lines and HTS numbers to calculate fees dependent on these quantities.

In the following sections we will describe significant features of AIRPEX and of each of its Application Modules. We will then discuss our Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capabilities and the way that security works on our system. Finally, we will discuss the Invoice/Billing and Accounting Modules which serve to tie the system together.

AIRPEX Features

Flexibility -
BMS has carefully crafted AIRPEX with the goal of providing the highest possible productivity for its users. We assume that the system will be used by skilled specialists who need efficient and flexible tools to get their job done. We recognize that the various organizations that you deal with have rules about how documents must be prepared. Our programs enforce these rules but at the same time give you the flexibility to get the job done.

Efficiency -
AIRPEX is packed with features to enhance its efficiency of use. Not the least of these is its implementation as a text based system. Screen updates are significantly faster than are possible on a graphics based system. In addition, the single key retrieval feature permits you move information from any database to the proper field at the touch of a key. Most data is available on scrolling screens which allow rapid location of the desired information.

Consistency -
Every effort has been made to make the operation of all programs consistent with one another. The programs are controlled by the keyboard function keys. Generally, the same key performs the same function in every program. This minimizes the time required for training and gives the programs an "intuitive" feel. Most users immediately know how to use a new program.

Integration -
The AIRPEX system is fully integrated. The operations programs are all built around an accounting kernel. Information only needs to be entered once and is then available wherever it is needed. EDI and FAX functions are built right into the programs.

Up-to-date -
The programs are continuously under review and new features are being added every week. We make sure the latest changes required by the Customs service, IATA, the Commerce Department and other agencies are handled appropriately.

Support -
BMS is dedicated to providing the closest possible support. You are provided with emergency phone numbers where you can get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week if needed. At BMS you can talk directly to the people who wrote the programs and know how to help.

Air Export

The Air Export system provides complete facilities for the rating, preparation and tracking of Air Waybills. In addition, it includes automatic Sales Reporting functions for all airlines, whether or not on CASS.

Air Waybills are entered using a Template system. A template can be established for any type of shipment and retains all details (consignee, shipper, routing, flight details by day of the week, carriage, customs and insurance values, rating and handling charges) desired for future use. Templates can be tracked by consignee, shipper or destination. A Consignee database may be maintained by the user. Each shipper may have an unlimited number of Consignees which can be selected by city.

Air Waybills are designated as Master, House or Direct. House bills must be against the House airline and have a valid Master AWB designated. The system can assign Air Waybill numbers from inventory. MAWB's will automatically be assigned the House airline as shipper.

All codes (airlines, airports, countries, currencies) are validated. BMS provides files with these codes and programs to maintain them.

The system includes a rating function. Users can enter rates for each airline/route/classification. The system will automatically calculate freight charges based on this rating data. The system allows the entry of dimensions and calculates dimensional weight. Chargeable weight is then the greater of the gross or dimensional weight. If the rating feature is used, the least cost or minimum weight will be used as appropriate.

Special logic is included to document freight charges within the body of the Waybill. These lines are stored and displayed but not printed. All of the detail line special codes required by the FWB CargoIMP message are also supported.

A Charter Rate database can be maintained. By entering the airlines special offers by weight and path, users can then choose the best rate offering for a given situation.

Air Waybills are printed on pin fed stock using BMS's Formgen package. This permits the use of variable fonts and pitches to improve the appearance and readability of the waybill. In addition, Air Waybills, Manifests and associated invoices may be Faxed directly from the system or printed on a Postscript capable printer. AWB's prepared in this fashion will appear on the universal Air Waybill form.

The system will print both Consol and Airline Manifests. Routing labels in accordance with IATA Resolution 606 as well as address labels can also be printed. Users may Fax the Consol Manifest as a Pre-Alert to overseas agents and may include image copies of all Air Waybills as part of the package.

Shipper's Export Declarations are either printed or transmitted electronically to the Bureau of Census. The system will accept either HTS or Schedule B numbers. There is an on-line Schedule B number database which is drawn from information provided electronically by Census.

A complete CASS Sales Report function is included. This interacts directly with the accounting system. CASS payables are posted to the Accounts Payable system for payment. AIRPEX has full support for the electronic transfer of settlement data from and to CNS using the Carrier Submission Process implemented in 1997.

The Tracking system allows tracking by airline, AWB, date, shipper, shipper's reference and destination. Multiple shipper's references are tracked per shipment. If you are using the EDI Cargo tracking available from SNS or Teledyne-Brown, shipment status details will be provided automatically. Otherwise, provisions are made for manual entry of this data. HAWB's will show the flight status details from the MAWB. The tracking system can also display every detail of every waybill, since all details are maintained in the History files and never purged.

Shippers can access a limited subset of this data. They are restricted to their own shipments and have no access to accounting data, costs, etc.

BMS is in the vanguard of EDI implementation for air shipments. We have been live on United's Cargo Plus system on a host-to-host basis since 1991 and have been exchanging CargoIMP messages through TDNI since 1992. We are sending booking messages and receiving and processing responses. We are sending FWB (electronic air waybill) messages to all airlines that accept them. 

Ocean Export

The Ocean Export system provides for the logging of Ocean export shipments and handles LCL, FCL, NVOCC and Master Bills of Lading. A template system is available which speeds the entry of repeat shipments.

The system provides complete tracking facilities by container type and number. Letters of Credit are recorded and tracked by expiration date.

The system provides for automatic processing of Harbor Maintenance Fees and collects Export Declaration Data for electronic transmission to Census. A complete array of exception reports simplifies processing of HMF and ExDec data.

The system tracks the processing of OBL's, recording the submission of OBL's to steamship lines and the return from the line. Freight, brokerage and date of export are recorded and automatically extended to invoices as appropriate. Brokerage is computed for prepaid, collect and direct freight charges and invoiced to the steamship lines on demand.

All code databases are provided together with programs to maintain them. Wherever possible, these files are shared with the Import sections and maintained through ABI. Schedule B numbers are provided in a database which is drawn from information provided electronically by Census.

In addition to printing Bills of Lading and Invoices, the system can extract the data required to print Commercial Invoices if desired.

A variety of statistical reports are available but we usually find that each Forwarder has its own unique requirements. We will provide whatever statistical and Sales Analysis reports are desired.

Import - Breakbulk

The Breakbulk system permits the logging of multiple House Bills for Air or Ocean Incoming Consolidations. The shipment is handled under one file number. Each House bill is treated as a sub-file of the Master bill. The system permits and tracks multiple invoices per House bill.

In the case where the Breakbulk agent is also the broker for a House bill, the user can automatically transfer information from the Breakbulk to the Import/ABI system.

At present, the system prints Invoices and Carrier Certificates. Other forms can be added as required. A Daily Log provides statistical reporting. Other reports can be added as desired.

You can transfer the information logged on any House Bill to a new Import file.


AIRPEX's Import/ABI system provides a completely flexible means of accurately logging shipments, obtaining USCS releases, submitting Entry Summary data, printing required USCS forms, tracking document submissions, calculating and remitting duties, taxes and fees, and tracking liquidations and protests.

Shipments are entered and a file number is assigned using the Log Edit program. Processing can proceed directly into Entry Summary processing. Data gathered in this process can be sent to the Cargo Release process. When ready, the operator can submit Entry Summary and Cargo Release data to Customs through ABI.

The system accommodates the data and records for the Pre-Importation Review Program.

Edits necessary for ABI processing are performed both during data entry and during a post processing phase which is invoked automatically when data entry on a file is complete. Some error detection can be done only during the formatting of the data for ABI transmis sion. These errors are immediately reported to the operator.

Each file is assigned a "File Type" which then automatically sets up charges for that file. Charges can be generic for a file type or specific to a customer for that file type. Charges can be flat rate or can be based on the number of invoices, lines or classifications. Duty and fees are calculated automatically during the Entry Summary processing.

Invoices can be printed individually or in batch. There is no limit to the number of invoices permitted per file.

The following forms are printed by the system:

Reports include the 10-day Report, Liquidations, Daily Log and an array of statistical and Sales Analysis reports. Many of the reports can be set up to Fax directly to customers. Statement timing can be customized both by site and by customer.

Both incoming and outbound BIRD messages are handled. This facilitates outport brokerage situations.

The complete set of databases necessary for the processing of entries is provided with the system and maintained either by downloading data from USCS or through data entry programs. The following table lists the databases and their source:

Billing Codes User
Invoice Templates User
File Types User
Filers User
Customer Bonds USCS/User
HTS Numbers USCS
Quotas USCS
Entry Types User
Bond Types User
Liquidation Codes User
Messages USCS
Required Documents User
GSP/CBI Exclusions USCS/User
Required Documents by HTS User
Formal Required by HTS User
Carriers USCS
Vessels User
Ports of Lading USCS
Ports of Unlading USCS
Countries USCS
Manufacturers USCS
Location of Goods USCS
Currencies USCS
Units of Measure User
Duty and Fee Rates USCS/User
Duty and Fee Formulas BMS
Broker Statistics USCS
Customer Part Numbers User
Holidays User

Most of the user maintained tables are preloaded by BMS to ease the startup process.

A Part Number database can be used for data entry. The database is keyed by customer. Using the database is especially helpful for repeat customers since it allows faster and more accurate data entry.

The system is designed to handle all Other Government Agency reporting. Currently the DOT, FCC, FDA and FWS modules are implemented.

An Automated Invoice Interface (AII) module has been developed and is being used by a Broker for Remote Location Filing, the precursor to National Entry Processing.

We have also implemented a sub-module dealing with the importation of articles assembled abroad using US components (9802.00.80). This module, which is designed primarily for wearing apparel, performs all necessary computations and produces all reports required by Customs.

A full complement of tracking and tracing inquiries are provided. Shipments can be tracked by:

The user can access full details about any shipment from the tracking and tracing inquiries. Customers can access a limited subset of this data. They are restricted to their own files and do not have access to any financial data. The file access is based on "clusters". Each customer can be assigned a 3-letter cluster code. This allows large customers with multiple sites to track all their shipments regardless of site. The cluster codes are used in some statistical reports also.

The system includes a complete ACH payment processing module. Both Broker and Importer Statement Processing is provided.

The BMS Notes system is fully integrated into the Import module. This allows users to document step by step processing of the file. Notes are identified by user and date-time stamped.

Warehouse Withdrawal System

The Warehouse Withdrawal system provides for the entry, tracking and withdrawal of Customer inventories in Bonded Warehouses. Entries are handled through the Part Number system.

Withdrawals automatically generate USCS form 7501. The system is fully certified for ABI processsing of withdrawals and payments may be made through ACH.

Data concerning individual withdrawals is kept in detail. Thus, you can audit the transactions involving any entry, withdrawal by withdrawal. However, you are permitted to edit only the current withdrawal. This storage method makes it possible to recreate and/or reprint withdrawals if necessary.

BMS uses a unique scheme which simplifies the entry of quantities for items which are packed in cases. For example, fractional cases can be handled as cases and bottles and the system will calculate values properly.

Inventory can be viewed in Customer/Part Number/Entry order. Thus the total quantity on hand for a given item can be readily determined. The user can then select which entry is to be used. 


The AIRPEX system has a complete, integrated EDI capability. We currently handle CargoIMP, ANSI X.12 and EDIFACT formats. At present, the system communicates with airlines using CargoIMP. The FSR, FSA and FSU status messages have been implemented as well as the FFR and FFA booking messages. We have also implemented the FWB Air Waybill message.

We have an operational bilateral EDI application involving ANSI X.12 300, 301, 303 and 810 message sets. We are using 300 Booking, 301 Booking Confirmation and 315 status messages with several steamship lines. We also have bilateral EDIFACT messages in operation (IFTMIN and IFTSTA).

The following is a description of the interactions between the AIRPEX system and an Exporter served by one of our customers. This is an example of how EDI can benefit both you and your customer.

When the Exporter receives an order from one of its overseas customers, the order is entered into its AS400 computer system. This automatically triggers a Booking Request message to the AIRPEX system which includes the U.S. plant location, foreign destination, number and type of containers and delivery date required.

The Forwarder personnel display the messages received each day, determine the proper routing, book the shipment by ocean or air and dispatch a booking confirmation message to the Exporter. This message includes the date by which the material must be dispatched from the factory in order to meet the customer's required delivery date.

The Booking Request may be sent several months before shipment. During the intervening time it may be necessary to change the booking. In this case, a new Booking Confirmation message is sent. The Exporter's computer system uses the information to automatically update the status data it maintains about each order.

In the event that the customer chooses to cancel the order, the Exporter can send a Booking Cancellation message which notifies the Forwarder that the file is to be closed.

The Exporter's system creates an invoice for each container load shipped. The customer, on the other hand, requires one commercial invoice for the entire shipment, regardless of the number of containers. The Exporter's AS400 sends an EDI 810 invoice message for each container shipped. The last invoice on a given order contains a special indicator. When this indicator is detected by the AIRPEX system, all of the invoice messages received for that order are consolidated and a packing list, bill of lading (or air waybill) and commercial invoice are prepared.

The final step of the process is the preparation of the Forwarder's invoice to the Exporter covering shipping and handling charges. This invoice is prepared just as any other invoice by Forwarder personnel, printed and posted. This process automatically causes the dispatch of an EDI invoice message to the Exporter where it is automatically entered into both the Accounts Payable (to the Forwarder) and Accounts Receivable (from the customer) systems.

This automated system replaced a manual system where the same functions were accomplished using FAX, phone and mail. The Exporter made a detailed analysis of the savings achieved and has stated that the effort required to do these tasks has been reduced by 370 man hours per month. Though an investment was required to automate the process, payback of this investment was achieved in less than three months.

The Forwarder has stated that the use of EDI with this one Exporter has eliminated the need to hire an additional employee and greatly streamlined the effort required to handle this account.


Access to the system uses standard UNIX System V user ID and password procedures. Each user is assigned a specific starting menu using the BMS Menu Security system. Only the functions available on that menu (and any sub-menus below it) can be accessed by the user. BMS provides instruction to key personnel designated by management on the maintenance of the menu system.

Although each individual user could be assigned a personal menu, the administrative burden would probably be excessive. Normally, menus are assigned to classes of users who all have a common set of responsibilities. For example, all those involved in Air Export would have the Air Export Menu while those in Import would have the ABI menu. Some of each group might also have access to Invoicing, Accounts Receivable or Accounts Payable.

One key philosophy we have is that no one should have a menu option which does not work because of security. This tends to frustrate users and makes them try to find ways around the system. On the other hand, the menu system can cause programs to work differently depending on the privileges assigned to the user. 


All of the principal subsystems include a "Notes" module. On data entry screens and on many inquiry screens, the user may access notes. The notes are related to the specific file selected. The user may add new notes and review or edit existing notes. All notes are marked with the date and time entered and edited as well as the name of the user who entered or edited them. 


One of the requirements to achieve ISO9000 certification is that you must have a way of recording customer complaints and vendor deficiencies. Using AIRPEX you can maintain a database of complaints and deficiencies which is tied to the Customer and Vendor files. Items in the database are marked OPEN until a final resolution is recorded. Management reports and inquires are available.

The recommended Uniplex Office Automation System can be used to provide an easy to use on-line manual system to establish company procedures. 

Billing System Features

The invoicing programs are the direct interface between Operations and Accounting. All direct revenues and expenses are entered through these programs. For each revenue line item detailed on an invoice, one or more expense items may be recorded. Items are recorded on invoices by charge codes. Management designates revenue and expense General Ledger account numbers for each charge code and controls whether or not expenses are required.

Invoices are kept in a temporary holding file until posted. The user may designate an invoice as Suspended, Ready to Print, or Ready to Post. At posting, the full invoice detail is moved to a history file. Before posting, an invoice may be deleted. Deleted invoices are kept in the history file and may be undeleted. Thus, a complete audit trail of all invoicing activity is maintained.

The posting process creates entries in Accounts Receivable with accounting detail in the Sales Journal. In addition, it creates entries in Accounts Payable with accounting detail in the Voucher Register. In the case of Air Export, entries are also created in the Airline Sales Report file with accounting detail in the Airline Transaction file.

Some special situations are accommodated by the invoicing programs. Frequently, it is necessary to issue checks in advance of submitting an invoice. The invoice programs allow a payable to be posted to Accounts Payable directly from the Invoice Edit screen and (with management approval) immediately print a check. This assures that the expense will be "tied" to the appropriate file and can save time by having the computer print what would otherwise be manually generated hand checks.

Some airports have installed a system where $10 coupons are used to pay the airlines' Import Service fee. Keeping track of these coupons is a miserable job. BMS provides a way to record the use of the coupons as they are used on each file.

There are a number of situations where it is necessary to collect a cash advance from a customer - credit problems, COD shipments, COD freight charges. Such payments can be recorded against the appropriate file. The invoice when finally printed will include a "CASH ADVANCE" line and the receivable amount will be reduced accordingly.

Sometimes mistakes are made and it becomes necessary to issue a Credit Memo. The invoicing systems provide for "Push-Button" creation of Credit Memos. Simply locate the posted invoice on the invoice tracking screen, place the cursor on the selected invoice and press a key. The Credit Memo will be placed in the holding file and can be printed and posted as desired.

Invoices can be printed individually from the invoice edit screen or as a batch. Generally, posting occurs the next day so that there is an opportunity to review the printed invoices and catch any problems. Invoices may be corrected and reprinted at any time until they are posted. Each module includes an Unprocessed Invoice Report (Pre-Posting Report). During the posting process an exception report is printed if errors occur. Additional invoices may be generated for any file.

Invoices may also be printed to the Fax system. This will assist in Collections. The system can Fax supporting documents, such as Air Waybills with the invoices.

Invoices may also be sent as EDI documents.

It should also be noted that transactions are posted to the General Ledger at the same time as they are posted to A/R, A/P and A/T. Thus the designation of "Real Time" Accounting System. There is no need for monthly closings, though accounting periods need to be marked "Open" or "Closed" for control purposes. 

General Ledger

The General Ledger is designed to be the focal point of the automated accounting system. It is an easy-to-use system which provides access to data needed for effective decision making.

The system can be set up to handle multiple companies, each with its own independent set of files and accounts. If desired, companies can share vendor, customer and account structures, or they can be completely independent. If a common account structure is used, the General Ledgers can be consolidated.

The Chart of Accounts is user maintained. Four digit account numbers and 2 digit department numbers are used. The system assumes that like accounts are grouped together but this is not absolutely necessary. A common arrangement is:

1000 Assets
2000 Liabilities
3000 Equity
4000 Revenues
5000 Cost of Sales
6000 Expenses

However, this arrangement is not coded into the system and other arrangements can and have been used.

A General Journal is provided to allow Journal entries. The system requires each Journal entry to be balanced.

Profit & Loss reports and other financial statements are handled using BMS's Report Generator. This is a flexible system which is full featured and permits account summariza tion and comparison between periods and between budget and actual data. BMS will work with your accountants to develop the financial reports required and provide training so that new reports can be developed as needed. BMS will provided any special reports needed to analyze inter-company operations.

The Sales Journal is posted to the General Ledger summarized by day. The Voucher Register is posted to the General Ledger in detail. The General Ledger Account Detail report has options which allow it to include all detail available or to summarize all journals by day. This report can be printed for any time period from one day to an entire year.

The Trial Balance is printed for one or more accounting periods and shows Starting Balances, Debits, Credits and Ending Balances for each Account/ Department combination present.

Reconciliation reports are available which compare the A/R and A/P aging with the G/L account balances day by day. In addition, full featured aging reports are available in the A/R and A/P modules and will be described there.

Since the Ledger is being updated in real time, month-end processing basically amounts to running some reports and marking the past period closed.

Year-end processing is accomplished by selecting a menu option which automatically generates a special journal entry closing the revenue and expense accounts to the Retained Earnings account. Beginning balances are also set up for Balance Sheet accounts during this process. If necessary, the year-end processing can be repeated. 

Sales Analysis Reports

A variety of Sales Analysis reports, based on General Ledger and Invoicing data, are available. These reports allow the user to look at comparisons of customer activity over time. Revenue, profitability and file count comparisons from month-to-month and year-to- year are provided. Because detailed data is retained in the system database a wide variety of reports can be produced and more reports are being added constantly.

In addition, it is possible to do ad hoc reports using the SQL (structured query language) supported by the database. For example, we can quickly pull a report of all the containerized import shipments for a particular customer from selected ports. If such a report is needed frequently, it can be added to the menu and run by employees who have no knowledge of SQL. 

Accounts Receivable

Customers can be designated as Import, Ocean Export and/or Air Export. Special profile data is stored for Import and Ocean Export customers.

The Cash Receipts sub-system provides great flexibility in accounting for application of cash receipts. Receipts can be recorded either against Accounts Receivable or as Miscellaneous Receipts. Accounts Receivable Cash Receipts include the ability to do write-offs against up to two General Ledger accounts. Cash can be entered as full or partial payment against specific invoices, as an overpayment against one or more invoices, as an advanced payment against a specific file or as unallocated cash for a specified customer.

The Cash Receipts Journal shows the application of cash and the batch total received by bank.

Aging can be printed in detail or summary as of any specified date. The system can reconstruct aging for any past day. This simplifies reconciliation of the ledger and sub- ledger totals.

The history of a customer's transactions can be displayed. Complete detail is shown including Invoice number, date and amount, together with payment date, check number and balance due. A unique inquiry shows both receivables and payables for a specified file. This permits a complete analysis of the file and assists management in deciding whether to pay a given invoice.

Specified management personnel can designate a given customer as unusable for new business. The user will be told who to contact.

A Statement printing program is included. The user can designate the minimum age of invoices to include. This program uses BMS's Formgen features. It can print statements either on pre-printed forms or in letter format.

Accounts Payable

In the "normal" case, Vouchers (invoices) are entered through the expense section of the A/R invoicing modules. There is an Accounts Payable Enter/Edit program but we recommend that it be limited to correcting invoices and to entering direct expenses. All entries to the Accounts Payable module are required to be balanced and to be expensed to valid G/L accounts.

Each A/P record includes a Due Date. A Cash Requirements report based on this due date can be printed and checks can be selected for payment by due date.

Vouchers can be selected for payment manually by vendor and checks can be printed by site.

A Vendor Activity Inquiry shows amount, date, file, date paid, check number and balance due. There are also inquiries by bank/check and file.

The Aging Report can be printed in summary or detail for a specified range of vendors as of any specified date.

The system provides a capability for multiple Accounts Payable accounts. If this option is specified at system setup, then vendors can be restricted to a particular A/P account. For example, one account might be used for file related expenses and another for direct expenses such as utilities and rent.


Send requests for further information or a demonstration

Business Management Systems, Inc.
4001 Williamsburg Ct.
Fairfax, VA 22032
(703) 591-0911

Last revised: September 16, 1999