Several years ago, 2Sisters Food Group (2SFG), the largest food company in the UK employing some 18,000 people with annual sales of £3billion, made the decision to use AdvanceFirst for the provision of an inhouse EDI solution to connect them with their Customers electronically.
The solution provided is an Intel based inhouse technology which directly links to 2SFG’s SAP system. It has proven to be both reliable and expansible to cater for the large volumes of data exchanged with their numerous trading partners who use various messaging standards for document exchange. Documents include popular industry EDI standards such as EDIFACT and Tradacoms as well as proprietary ERP formats and the more popular GS1 standards and codes, now the EDI standard of choice within the UK Retail Supply Chain.
In recent times, 2SFG, as part of its business strategy to focus on their core businesses, chose to sell off certain parts of their business (known as ‘carve outs’) and needed to provide the buyers or ‘would be buyers’ with a complete package to make the transfer of business easy to complete. In some cases, the required activities were performed prior to finding a buyer and part of ‘the package’ was the IT side; a key part to that was the EDI aspect.
Rather than providing new inhouse EDI solutions for the buyers, a decision was taken to move it, in each carveout case, to a discreet managed service provided by AdvanceFirst, thus providing an ‘oven ready’ solution. The technology employed was quite advanced using the AWS secure hosting platform. It is true to say that many companies in the EDI business can provide good solutions… so why did 2SFG choose AdvanceFirst three times to do this?