Leigh, Lancashire-based AB World Foods produces Patak’s, Blue Dragon and Levi Roots sauces and condiments. It runs Infor’s IBM i-based LX (née BPCS) ERP package on Power7 hardware to process orders from Britain’s big supermarket chains as well as smaller retailers and overseas outlets.
However, while the larger retailers placed their orders via EDI, there was no equivalent for smaller concerns. This meant they had to place orders by phone, fax, email or post for manual processing by AB World Foods’ customer services team.
The company, which is a division of Associated British Foods, wanted to deliver an online experience for non-EDI customers. As LX was deemed to be primarily for internal use and there were a number of food industry-specific issues to be addressed, the firm turned to Leeds-headquartered Proximity and its STREAM order, delivery and transport management software.
STREAM uses the same data, the same platform and the same business logic as the LX application but extends its sales order entry, processing and management functionality across the internet.
Customers are now able to enter, view and manage their orders through a web-based self-service portal. Once confirmed, orders are added automatically to the LX database for review by the customer services team, prior to processing.
Should a customer have a query and contact customer services, the team now has a complete view of current and historical orders. Any queries can be resolved quickly and accurately with no need for call-backs or time-consuming searches for information.
Diane Byrne, AB World Foods’ customer service manager, says: “STREAM has provided us with a mechanism to better communicate with customers. Yes, we can process orders more efficiently now, but, more importantly, our customers feel more valued as the system has been configured to meet their needs.”
Proximity appears to be on a roll with STREAM. Back in March, PowerWire reported that the company had scooped a top award from SHD Logistics magazine for its work with children’s’ bed manufacturer Scandinavian House, based in Shipley, Yorkshire.
The project has now been shortlisted for a supply chain solution of the year accolade from British trade publication Retail Systems. The magazine will hold its own awards ceremony in October.