IT boost for Danone

Posted on 18 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

E-commerce provider Sterling Commerce has announced that it is providing dairy producer Danone with a secure trading network that helps expedite and automate business transactions with its customers, partners and suppliers.

The company, part of IT giant IBM, is replacing Danone’s existing network to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of its business-to-business commercial interactions and improve its overall customer experience.

Part of IBM’s recently announced Smarter Commerce portfolio, Sterling Collaboration Network is being rolled out across Danone’s global business units, each including multiple sales and distribution points and factories. The large-scale deployment involves the onboarding of up to 600 trading partners to the Sterling Collaboration Network and management of nine million messages a year.

The project supports the full spectrum of Danone’s order-to-cash processes, including ordering, invoicing, delivery and logistics. The solution provides traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) across a diverse range of formats required by Danone’s partners.

The Sterling Commerce solution was selected by Danone to improve flexibility in its ability to respond to the individual needs of its customers, which include large retailers. By delivering real-time visibility and control over the business processes shared with its community of customers and partners, the Sterling Collaboration Network is expected to help Danone enhance customer experience.

“IBM’s Sterling team was quick to react to our requests for increased flexibility in meeting trading partners’ needs,” said Hans Vollebregt, EDI solutions, at Danone Information Systems. “The company also has a proven track record in Europe in providing B2B integration as-a-Service. And the team’s willingness and ability to meet our needs is what made all the difference in our choice of a B2B partner.”

Danone is also looking to gain greater reliability and availability from its B2B network provider to lower costs. The increased B2B network reliability ensures that the company does not suffer any downtime in its B2B operations, while enhanced visibility improves performance and control over operations. Coupled with the ability to onboard new Danone business units and trading partners quickly, these improvements drive down costs.

“Success in the fast-moving consumer goods sector depends entirely on the ability to communicate immediately and effectively with different partners across the supply chain to gain control over processes and inventory,” commented Ronald Teijken, Sterling Commerce EMEA manufacturing industry executive.