Bernard Matthews chops costs with new order processing system

Poultry producer Bernard Matthews has switched hosted order platforms from GXS to Inovisworks, promising over 20% savings in data processing costs.

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Poultry producer Bernard Matthews has switched hosted order platforms to Inovisworks, and expects to save 20% on data processing costs.

The largest farmer of British turkeys, which moved to the Inovis platform in November, said that the cost savings were being delivered by Inovis' flat subscription rates. It previous service provider charged per data unit. Inovisworks is also used by soft drinks firm Calypso.

The Inovisworks system has simplified Bernard Matthews' processes so that it has to handle only one data stream, despite key customer Asda insisting on the use of the the AS2 security standard. Under the new system, Inovis processes the separate data standards into one format for Bernard Matthews, meaning it can avoid separate data processing for Asda.

Bernard Matthews said it was saving time per transaction, a crucial move considering its headquarters in Norwich takes 1,500 orders each week, of which 90 percent demand same-day shipment. The company now also has real time visibility into all online transactions with stores, including orders, delivery notes and invoices.

Edwin Pearson, information systems director at Bernard Matthews, told Computerworld UK that the moving to the Inovis platform had been straightforward. “We only needed a month of preparation and it was a quick switchover,” he said, adding that staff were accustomed to the new system within a month.

“Over 80 percent of our orders ... are taken via EDI [electronic data interchange, instead of paper] seven days a week, therefore it is critical that orders are accurate and our systems are available at all times in order to serve our customers efficiently,” he continued. Inovis promises its customers over 99.9 percent datacentre uptime.

Bernard Matthews runs 800 PCs, as well as IBM mid-range servers and an Infor ERP backbone. It began rolling out the Cognos 8 business intelligence platform in mid-2007, which is now up and running on sales reporting. Implementation will continue throughout the year.

A product lifecycle management project, which aims to provide a process workflow and a standard approach to product specifications, began in September and will go live at the end of the year. Last June, it installed Hornbill Supportworks to improve work tracking and resource allocation by its IT service desk.

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