Seagram Company Ltd
Company: ClearCrossCustomer: Seagram Company LtdSubmitted by: Buffalo Communications LtdThe drinks sector is one of the most demanding industries, where changes to the structure and nature of the market frequently emerge as a result of any number of external factors. Some such recent changes include the closure of the Duty Free sales channel, the consolidation of major international brands, the development of new emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and Asia, increasing demands for higher quality and faster turn around of delivery.Operating in such an environment, even the most successful companies need to make efforts to continually improve efficiencies and reduce costs. Seagram Company Ltd.
has grown and evolved from a single distillery in Canada, over 70 years ago, to a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Its wine and spirits business alone is a $9 billion operation and has a plethora of premium brands which include Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, Martell Cognacs, Don Julio Tequila and Sterling Vineyards Wines, to name just a few. Seagrams also has two other global businesses operating in the entertainment (Universal Studios) and music (Universal Music) industries.Towards the end of 1998, Seagram implemented Peoplesoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. This large project addressed the horizontal processes across this international organisation, improving the effectiveness and efficiency of its business processes.
The ERP software did not, however, include functionality to deal with export procedures necessary for the smooth running of its overseas supply chain.Compounding the problem even more, the drinks industry is governed by compliance and customs and excise regulations. To give a few examples, HM Customs require:
- Certificate of Age – documentation required to ensure that the goods conform to their description (e.g. 10-year-old whisky). Almost every country has its own specific Certificate of Age form.
- Administrative Accompanying Documentation (AAD) – documentation for any goods moving between registered warehouses for which excise duty is applicable. In France, there are even specific AAD forms for different designation of drink types such Cognac and Pineau each with subtle differences in data elements.
- Single Accompanying Documentation (SAD) – transit documentation for goods moving across European borders for final exit from EU.
“Even though global commerce continues to grow at a rapid rate, the complexities of international trade are increasing. There are over 200 sovereign nations in the world exercising their economic and foreign policy by imposing a myriad of documentation requirements, duties, tariffs and fees, and other regulatory requirements, all of which change on a frequent basis.
As a result, moving goods overseas is no mean feat particularly for a global operation of the size of Seagram in the drinks industry,” commented Colin Neal, European Training & Compliance Manager, ClearCross.Seagram serves more than 190 countries world-wide so it was imperative to find a solution. It was faced with two choices: one, to develop an internal system itself, or two, buy a software package designed to manage its export trade that could interface with its existing Peoplesoft system.Jean-François Bernard, European Process Systems Manager, Seagram, commented: “We reviewed the products in the market and found ClearCross to be the only company with the knowledge and expertise to address the nuances of the documentation required for the drinks industry. Clearly it was a major benefit to us to be able to purchase a software package which could be easily integrated, rather than have to write the code from scratch.”The SPEX software was installed on an Oracle database alongside the Peoplesoft ERP system already in place at Seagram.
The interface was created using standard SQL tools. The implementation process was carried out in a number of stages, covering Chivas Regal Scotch Whisky in Scotland, Martell Cognac and Bordeaux Wines locations in France and G.H. Mumm Champagne also in France. It is currently being rolled out across Seagram’s Sandeman Sherry manufacturing plant in Spain.
SPEX is a comprehensive software product designed to automate and streamline the export and management process. It provides a series of country-specific export document sets, based on the shipper’s country of destination requirements. The SPEX system’s form sets comply with United Nations and EC standards for export documentation.Some of the key benefits available to Seagram through SPEX include elimination of errors, elimination of data entry for invoice and shipping information, reduced process time, reduced forwarding fees, standardised methodology for export procedures and tracking, compliance with government and statutory regulations.The SPEX system also maintains specific international trade master file data and enables users to create, edit, consolidate, and allocate data for shipments.
It has a number of distinctive features such the “edit before print” function, which enables users to make last minute text adjustments in order to meet specific customer requirements.In its latest incarnation, SPEX can be used as a background print engine. From a message generated by menu options/icons within the main ERP system, a print command is issued to the SPEX server, which runs the requested process and produces a set of pre-defined documents without any user intervention.In addition to the above, ClearCross designed some customised functions for the company. For example, Seagram creates sales order despatches from a number of different warehouses.
However, it is a specific requirement for the AAD documentation that an individual form is created for goods attributed to each of the warehouses that they are despatched from. ClearCross built into SPEX the ability to accept one sales order from the interface but the facility to identify individual goods details and allocate them to their respective warehouses, thereby meeting the necessary customs requirement and improving the effectiveness of the documentation sent out by Seagram.Jean-François Bernard, European Process Systems Manager, Seagram, concluded: “ClearCross has been a good company to work with. Their size allows them to maintain direct relationships with its customers, enabling it to be particularly responsive to customer needs. That said, ClearCross is large enough for us to feel reassured of their ongoing stability and continuous development of its products.”Indeed, ClearCross is launching solutions that make full use of the Internet to achieve e-commerce capability for Global Commerce Management which will be totally transparent to the end user as they will be offered this as transaction based systems.
The company will continue to work with Seagram not only in the next implementation stage at Sandemans, but also, in the near future, with the new generation of ClearCross solutions.