Company: Transoft LtdCustomer: DBC FoodserviceSubmitted by: Transoft LtdDate: Spring 2002As a national company that prides itself on providing unrivalled levels of service, DBC Foodservice (including the household brand -Danish Bacon) aims to ensure its 6,000 product lines are efficiently delivered to all of its 20,000 customers.
As part of this commitment, DBC continually reviews ways to make it easier and more convenient for its customers to do business with them. DBC realised that from simply a communication channel, the Web could easily develop into a primary means of enhancing customer service. However, a Web front-end is only a part of the story of successful e-commerce. Without real-time connectivity to core business systems you simply have a Website, not a truly efficient e-commerce solution.Through a long-standing relationship with their IT partner Computer Systems for Distribution (CSD) – a leading software house providing fully integrated business process solutions to the distribution and logistics sector – DBC developed a strategy to provide online product ordering and tracking for their customers through its Website.
DBC customers range in size from single restaurants to local authorities and many of their users are non-technical people i.e. head cooks, chefs etc. This was one of the driving factors behind the need to develop a site that was as easy-to-use as ‘picking up the phone’.Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) on Windows NT/2000 to APACHE on UNIX. Connections to the Transoft Language and Data Adapters together provide an efficient, seamless and speedy integration from the front to the back-end to deliver real-time straight-through processing.The original pilot scheme went live in March 2001 with a small group of customers, to confirm the system met its objectives in terms of ease-of-use, efficiency etc. Unequivocally, the trial proved highly successful and suggested some additional enhancements, which were included in the launch phase of the project. These enhancements included an historic and repeat order system as well as early notification of incomplete lines, further shortening the time needed for a customer to place an order.Following the launch in October 2001, DBC were exceedingly pleased with the take-up of customers registering and using its e-commerce site.
The feedback from many of the early adopters showed that DBC had hit the mark in terms of providing its customers with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface for ordering its products.The site will continue to receive enhancements and additional features with each new phase of CSD’s development. The third phase, which is being implemented in the first half of 2002, will enable customers to carry out template ordering using a modifiable saved shopping list, thereby saving time and effort on items that are ordered regularly. As Allan points out, “DBC’s main aim is to provide added value to its customers and to ensure it delivers a higher service satisfaction level”. DBC also plan to add a number of other features to the system, enhancing the customer service experience still further. One of these will allow customers to obtain copy invoices, thereby saving valuable time for both DBC and its customers.
The advantages of connecting the Web front-end to the core business systems using Transoft’s Intelligent Adapters are clear, as Alistair Allan comments, “A customer places an order on our Web site and a minute later it becomes a pick note in our warehouse”. He also added “We’ve been extremely demanding with CSD from the outset of our e-commerce project and with the inclusion of Transoft’s products into the solution, they have been able to deliver everything we have asked”.