E-comm market gives food for thought

Major New Zealand food retailer and wholesaler Foodstuffs is overhauling its supply chain mechanisms and moving into e-commerce.

Major New Zealand food retailer and wholesaler Foodstuffs is overhauling its supply chain mechanisms and moving into e-commerce.

The company, which operates New World, Pak 'n Save, 4 Square and Right Price stores, says changes will affect the ordering and stocking of products and, eventually, payments for goods.

The 12- to 15-month project has just begun, initially affecting internal systems. This will soon be followed by replacing its financial systems with JD Edwards suite, when it will begin to develop its e-business project with its suppliers.

Foodstuffs says its e-commerce strategy is predominantly based on B2B projects between itself and suppliers.

"This is where we think we stand to gain the most benefit and we will be ready from a technology standpoint.

"Our greatest challenge will be to ensure our suppliers are ready and see this as a priority," says Egon Guttke, group manager information systems.

The retailer and wholesaler has a turnover of $1.2 billion a year and expects major savings and efficiencies from the move.

Foodstuff's system integrator, Unisys New Zealand, has just chosen new software by US company Viewlocity to help with the job.

Unisys says the Viewlocity AMTrix message broker will be able to integrate with JD Edwards applications, store management, warehouse management, market analysis and other software used by Foodstuffs.

"AMTrix allows us to create real time interfaces between our legacy systems and our new systems much easier than we could do otherwise. It is central to our architecture going forward and it will help us introduce Internet-based e-commerce systems," says Guttke.

AMTrix will then be integrated and connected with suppliers to complete the supply chain.

"As Foodstuffs moves towards a complex supply chain to manage the exchange of goods and information between the company and its suppliers, AMTrix will provide the necessary capabilities to integrate all of its internal, and eventually its external applications," says Nic Pollock, managing director of Viewlocity Australia/New Zealand.

Atlanta-based Viewlocity has already supplied AMTrix to Owens Transport in New Zealand and Australia - one of 3,200 installations worldwide .

Owens Transport IT manager Nick Hazelwood says AMTrix supplies freight notes electronically, allowing faster and more cost-effective service. AMTrix is also Owens' gateway to the Web and will let the firm expand its e-commerce offerings.

Web site www.viewlocity.com has more details.

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