Published on 09-Aug-2011
Validated on 09 Aug 2011
"Sterling’s commitment to make us successful, their support and their service complement the strength of their products." - George Muller, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Imperial Sugar Company
Imperial Sugar Company
The Imperial Sugar Company is one of the nation’s largest processors and marketers of refined sugar to grocery customers, food manufacturers and food service distributors. Imperial Sugar has been recognized and trusted in the food industry for more than 150 years, as the company’s history dates back to the mid-1800s. With packaging and refining facilities across the Southeastern United States, the company markets products nationally under the Imperial®, Dixie Crystals®, Holly® and Wholesome Sweeteners™ brands.
Implement a new EDI system that was state-of-the-art and easy to use, while also requiring very little time to get trading partners online, coupled with a migration to a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
Imperial Sugar found Sterling B2B Integrator to be easy to implement and use, while requiring very little time to integrate its trading partners online. Simply put, Sterling B2B Integrator consolidates the flow of the company’s EDI purchase orders across the enterprise to multiple back-end systems.
• Streamlines business processes throughout supply chain • Increases savings through automation and tighter coordination of business processes and systems • Integrates seamlessly with legacy systems • Improves customer service by quickening all processes • Enables customers to be more efficient
When Imperial Sugar decided to move from a mainframe environment to PeopleSoft’s ERP system in February 2003, it also needed a new EDI solution that was state-of-the-art, easy-to-use and quick to implement.
In addition, the company wanted a system that would take very little time integrating its trading partners online.
George Muller, vice president and chief information officer for Imperial Sugar, looked to IBM and its competitors for solutions. “Based on the functionality, ease of use, implementation time and price, we chose Sterling B2B Integrator,” he said. “IBM had a fundamental willingness to help us succeed in this conversion implementation process.
Imperial Sugar has found Sterling B2B Integrator to be easy to implement and use, while requiring very little time to integrate its trading partners online. Simply put, Sterling B2B Integrator consolidates the flow of the company’s EDI purchase orders across the enterprise to multiple back-end systems. Then it updates inventory and creates invoices directly from the new data. In addition, it safeguards the exchange of multiple transaction sets with trading partners over the Internet and monitors transfers in near real-time.
Not only did the ease of use and functionality within Sterling B2B Integrator enable Imperial Sugar to convert approximately 150 EDI customers quickly, it also enabled the company to develop new transaction sets to trade information with its third-party outside warehouses.
For example, now customers send Imperial Sugar an electronic purchase order via Sterling B2B Integrator to PeopleSoft®. If the product requested is to be shipped from one of the warehouses, Imperial Sugar sends an EDI transaction to the warehouse to let them know. Once the product has shipped, the warehouse sends Imperial Sugar an EDI transaction, which goes back into PeopleSoft, resulting in the creation of an invoice sent electronically to the customer.
“More than 50 percent of our orders come in via EDI,” Muller said. “We do about 6,000 to 7,000 orders a month. If we had to process those manually, the number of people involved and potential human errors would be very high. Sterling B2B Integrator gives us an automated process that runs smoothly and complements our migration to a new ERP system.”
That’s because Sterling B2B Integrator complements, not disrupts, critical legacy systems by smoothly merging its powerful business integration capabilities, robust security infrastructure and innovative visual management tools with current workflow. This also opens pathways to emerging business and communication standards.
Sterling B2B Integrator has helped reduce the cycle time of the entire supply chain process. Now Imperial Sugar takes advantage of new EDI transactions that the company had never used before, like being able to
send and receive transactions to the third-party outside warehouses.
Sterling B2B Integrator was a contributing factor when Imperial Sugar consolidated its two customer service departments. Once the company brought its customers and transactions online with Sterling B2B
Integrator, the customer service process became more efficient and cost-effective.
When Imperial Sugar receives a request from a new customer that hasn’t used EDI in the past, it is now easier and quicker to bring them online. Historically that process was measured in weeks, but now it’s measured in days.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Sterling B2B Integrator
Footnotes and legal information
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