Food wholesaler Rattrays Wholesale has dropped its in-house SAP system in favour of exo-net delivered through Unisys’ ASP infrastructure.
Investment company Infogate, which bought Rattrays from Progressive Enterprises late last year, reviewed Rattrays’ ERP needs and decided to outsource the system.
“The benefit for us and customers is that we can concentrate on core business and we’re not spending a whole lot of money on hardware and software,” says Rattrays general manager Chris Wheeler, who came from Infogate.
Rattrays also considered Navision Damgaard and Great Plains, but not the incumbent SAP because staff found it difficult to use and to access information from.
Wheeler says the company is “extricating itself” from the SAP system now and will go live with exo-net in July.
Exo-net 3T is a three-tier client-server product, designed for ASP and WAN deployment. It will be used by Rattrays staff in Auckland, Whangarei, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson.
While deployed over the web, the product does not rely on browser technology to deliver the user interface or manage business processes. Instead it has a full Windows GUI at the client end which is indistinguishable in look and feel from exo-net’s standard client-server desktop products.
Meanwhile, Rattrays is investigating moves into e-commerce.
“Our vision is for customers and suppliers to access us through EDI files and XML so we can save costs at all ends. To begin with it’s a matter of getting customers used to dealing with us over the internet and through email instead of faxing us.”
Rattrays has 10,000 active customers, 30% of which are food retailers, with the remaining 70% in the food service industry such as prisons, hospitals, hotels and restaurants. On the supplier side it has 1200 to 1500 customers.
Wheeler says Rattrays has been offered “prominent placing” on various e-marketplaces but it is evaluating its options at the moment.