Ensuring reliability to JIT order strategies using EDI
Fenmarc is a large scale and leading supplier of high quality fresh produce. Based in East Anglia, they grow, prepare, pack and supply a diverse range of potatoes and vegetables to major supermarkets and wholesalers across the UK. Generating annual sales in excess of £80 million, Fenmarc supply a number of well-known brands, who regularly order high volumes of produce and often, at very short notice.
Fenmarc were under increasing pressure from their customers to adopt EDI to improve collaboration. Fenmarc needed a solution that was reliable enough to support their ‘Just in Time’ (JIT) ordering process, which plays a critical role in their business.
Relying chiefly on scheduled forecasts, the JIT ordering process helps Fenmarc cope with fluctuating demands for produce, whilst also ensuring perishable stock is kept to a minimum. Increasing Fenmarc’s overall business efficiency and reducing inventory costs, this decreases waste by receiving produce only when it is required.
The Data Interchange Solution
To meet these requirements, Data Interchange implemented their business integration solution, Odex Enterprise, which enabled them to integrate the orders from their customers with their in-house ERP system. Data Interchange provided their Dinet Integration Network to provide the secure connectivity to Fenmarc’s customers, via a single, managed connection to Dinet.
With this solution in place, Fenmarc were able to receive orders from their customers in real time, directly into their in-house system without any re-keying of data. With instant access to accurate orders and forecast information, Fenmarc were able to ensure they could fulfil their customers’ orders whilst keeping stock levels at a minimum.
A valued customer of Data Interchange for 15 years, the solution has been able to grow with Fenmarc and has helped strengthen their relationships with their customers by enabling them to satisfy their customers changing order requirements, often at short notice. As Paul Bower, Head of IT at Fenmarc observed, “the biggest benefit we have received is that Data Interchange’s software has given us the invaluable capability of building a high level of trust, both within our business and with our customers.”
Fenmarc also increased business efficiency and made substantial costs savings in terms of reduced wastage from surplus stock and lower inventory costs. Fenmarc can now quickly turn around large orders at short notice. Paul Bower summarised the benefits to Fenmarc succinctly, saying, “The Data Interchange solution has allowed us to fully integrate EDI providing resilience, flexibility and control.”