This article was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Prime, a Microsoft technology magazine for the manufacturing industry
The early bird catches the worm. Yet compared to the master bakers and drivers at Stauffenberg Brot, the early bird is a real sleepyhead. This is because Stauffenberg – which is based in Gelsenkirchen, Germany – operates around the clock, so that food retailers can serve their customers freshly-baked rolls and bread every morning. These are baked while everyone else sleeps, and delivered while most people are still in their beds.
Six days a week, the traditional baker supplies more than 1,000 stores in the North Rhine Westphalia region in Germany and central warehouses across Europe, using its own fresh food fleet of more than 100 vehicles. The company works according to its motto: strengthen regional suppliers, produce nationally and deliver internationally. Right on time for the shop opening.
By supplying Aldi, Lidl, Rewe and Edeka in Germany and Europe with fresh baked goods, breads and desserts every day, Stauffenberg has to manage an enormous logistical process, requiring an extremely rapid response time due to changing demands. Such a large, pan-European food retail supplier can only guarantee this thanks to maximum electronic support and automated work processes.
“It's just as important for us to be able to safely receive orders using standardised electronic data transfer as it is to accurately schedule deliveries and produce collective invoices,” says Ronnie Kolk, head of IT at Stauffenberg Brot.
The major IT challenges are that collective invoices for individual store can contain as many as 30,000 rows and that customers can make changes to their orders shortly before completion. To ensure that no time is lost if the system identifies errors or conflicts, a workflow notifies the person handling the order.
In order to keep its supply chain running within these tight constraints, Stauffenberg decided to introduce an electronic data interchange (EDI) interface, tailored to the needs of the retail industry, and a workflow system for its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
“In practical terms, Yaveon ProE-SCM for retail provides a solution to both these challenges in a single system,” Kolk said when choosing the system in 2011. Yaveon ProE-SCM is an EDI system integrated into Dynamics NAV that can share all major message types with food retail partners without an additional converter. The following message types are shared with Rewe, Aldi, Lidl and Edeka: EDI Order for order processing; EDI Invoice where invoices are sent to customers via EDI; and EDI Desadv where delivery notes are sent to customers via EDI.
In addition, incoming messages can also be processed in workflows within the ERP system. “Errors can therefore be avoided and excellent punctuality maintained. This is because the journey taken by Stauffenberg's fresh produce is from the oven, via the packaging line, onto the lorry, direct to the store,” says Kolk.
And thanks to Yaveon ProE-SCM, by the time you get up, Stauffenberg will have already delivered.
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