Catering Engros (“Wholesale”) is one of the largest suppliers to the foodservice sector in Denmark, serving hotels, restaurants, cafés, cafeterias, and public institutions. With 5 sites located throughout Denmark, the company delivers 70,000 packages per day and brings in revenue of 1.8B Danish Kroner (DK) annually. Because of the wide variety of customer types and sizes, Catering Engros must manage a large volume of orders ranging from very small to very large. Customers average .5 to 1.5M DK in orders per year; however, the average order is 200 DK—an order comes in every three minutes—and nearly 90 percent of orders are placed through the company’s website. These numbers emphasize the importance of efficiency in the ordering process, and Catering Engros has been a pioneer in that area, in constant development, always looking for new ways to automate their processes.
As part of its evolution, Catering Engros went from tele-sales and order receiving to an e-commerce solution. Because it is an important tool for automating and streamlining processes, the e-commerce solution is continuously developed and updated. However, as time went by, it became clear that the current e-commerce tool and the ERP back-office solution presented some challenges in handling the high volume of transactions and providing correct and consistent data, which impacted order accuracy and processing speed. To address these challenges more effectively, the decision was made to switch to a new ERP solution, Microsoft Dynamics AX.
SERVICE FEATURES AND BENEFITS
One of the opportunities the company saw was to implement a better e-commerce solution. Although the existing e-commerce solution had been adequate before, the new AX back office solution opened the door to finding an e-commerce tool that could meet two primary requirements:
- Keep up with the company’s growth and goal to meet the needs of its broad spectrum of customers.
- Integrate fully with the new ERP back-office system so it could access real-time data, avoiding inaccuracies and mistakes.
There was another requirement that was as important as those of the software: Cooperation between the provider of the e-commerce solution and EG needed to be strong. With previous projects involving multiple providers, there were problems with communication.
Often, when an issue was raised to one provider, that provider would blame the other and refuse to act on it. Likewise, if Catering Engros went to one provider with an idea (which they often do), that provider would ignore the idea if it did not have a direct connection to that product. Most importantly, the providers often did not have the knowledge of each others’ products to ensure seamless integration. Niels and his team discussed the goals and requirements with EG, who immediately recommended ExpandIT Internet Shop, a fully integrated e-commerce solution where all item information is maintained in the NAV system. It provides high transaction throughput without sacrificing performance or security. After looking at other products, the company ultimately chose ExpandIT Internet Shop, not only because of its functionality and full integration with AX, but also because they trusted EG’s recommendation and the strong relationship between the two providers that was already in place.
“ExpandIT and EG had the necessary skills. The integration was convincing and the track record of both was impeccable. The combination of the two made it an easy decision.”
- Technical Support
- Installation and Setup
- Application Support
- Hardware Support
- Hotline Support
IMPLEMENTATION AND RESULTS
Expand IT Internet Shop was implemented in March 2011, and the results have been impressive:
- The seamless integration between it and AX enables access to real-time data with no interruptions, greatly improving accuracy in order processing.
- Combined with EDI, it has automated nearly 90 percent of order expedition.
- Even with significant growth, the company has been able to process orders with fewer staff, while delivering faster, better customer service.
With the ExpandIT solution, the company has also been able to add an area to their e-commerce site offering other helpful services. For example, the site features a tool that suggests recipes, automatically populates the customer’s shopping cart with the needed ingredients, calculates a suggested price to charge based on desired margin, and even schedules delivery. The increased focus on customer service and the high degree of automation has allowed the company to focus more time on those customers that prefer manual service.
“We have had a very positive experience, not only with the solution, but with ExpandIT and EG. We have had excellent service, and more importantly, the two continue to work together to help us with our needs. They have definitely contributed to our success.”
Always looking for new ways to be better, Catering Engros is already looking to the next step: Moving to a more sales oriented approach, focusing on special offers and campaigns on the front end, but still managed from the AX back office system. The company will also focus on continuing to improve the web interface to make it even more efficient for its customers.
- 90% reduction in paper based service requests
- 32% increase in customer visits
- Administration from days to seconds