Sainsbury has signed a five year deal with IBM to outsource its supply chain systems.
Under the deal, IBM will host a system based on the network and visibility application from vendor Wesupply, replacing a range of legacy platforms. The value of the contract has not been disclosed.
Using the system, the supermarket chain wants to improve its supply chain performance and interaction with its 4,000 suppliers, and set up a real-time view of supply chain performance. Sainsbury will also change its electronic data interchange service to Inovis.
Sainsbury wants to better monitor the status of orders across its network and better manage availability, as well as streamlining information flows on orders, shipping information and invoices. It sells around 30,000 products.
The new platform will integrate with supplier back-office systems, provide checking and validation of content against business rules, and generate alerts in the event of errors or delays.
The first stage of the implementation will involve replacing Sainsbury’s own supply chain software and migrating data to the new service, followed by connecting suppliers to the system.
Tim Goalen, director of supply chain operations at Sainsbury, said the company wanted to enhance “collaboration with suppliers without a significant increase in cost, while continuing to introduce greater intelligence into our supply chain”.
In February, Sainsbury renewed a deal with GlobalExpense to outsource the processing of its staff expense payments. But much of its IT is handled in-house, after a much-documented cancellation in 2005 of its £1.7bn outsourcing contract with Accenture.