Tempe, AZ September 20, 2002 The Campbell Soup Company has completed the initial implementation of a new technology platform for managing electronic-based collaboration with retailers in a bid to accelerate product introductions, increase accuracy in item data delivered to retailers and enhance supplier-customer relationships.
Campbell, one of the world's best-known food companies, completed a successful initial implementation in just seven days and is broadly deploying the platform that combines solution provider Velosel's eChannel Manager-CPG with core information technology infrastructure from IBM. IBM Global Services is providing implementation services.
The soup giant plans to use the new technology for the many critical activities required for effective collaboration with retailers, including aggregation of product data from back-end systems and the creation and management of product catalogs. Campbell will also use the technology in the distribution of catalogs that comply with the numerous open and proprietary formats necessary to support multiple electronic selling channels, including private and public exchanges, such as the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE) and others.
These activities also include workflow management and routing of UCCnet-compliant and other XML-based messages, both within the Campbell organization as well as between Campbell and its trading partners. Such messages will include the delivery of product information from more than 20 Campbell brands to repositories of standards-based item details such as stock-keeping unit (SKU), numbers, size, availability and pricing.
"Our goal is to provide leading edge support to our customers throughout their entire procurement cycle, from the product information they receive to order and replenishment processes," said Rob Austermehle, vice president of customer service and logistics at Campbell. "Incorrect billing and payment information can create issues, delays and confusion. This solution is designed to exchange basic item data more quickly and help eliminate confusion on things such as discontinued items. When we add pricing information, we believe we'll have across-the-board improvement in our customer scorecard."
Joseph Spagnoletti, vice president of information technology for the soup company, said that Campbell tapped Velosel and IBM in part for their understanding of the consumer packaged goods industry. "Velosel eChannel Manager-CPG, combined with IBM core infrastructure technology, provides a solid platform for collaboration with our retailers and has proved to be a very efficient way for us to solve our UCCnet compliance requirement," Spagnoletti said.
Steve Smith, vice president of business innovation services at IBM, noted that many retailers and consumer packaged goods companies, faced with the ongoing challenge of how best and most economically to serve their customers, are turning to sophisticated enterprise collaboration systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their supply chains and to enhance the way they interact with trading partners. "These leading companies are focused on mastering the basics of retail execution," Smith said, "which means reducing the costs of goods sold, inventory levels, buying expenses and cycle times, while, at the same time, increasing inventory turns and shelf space utilization. The benefits are compelling."
In July, Campbell completed its initial implementation, with the Velosel solution creating an electronic catalog from Campbell's raw product data and delivering the catalog to a major retailer through UCCnet. This phase took just seven days to complete.
Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Company, with about 24,000 employees worldwide, had 2002 fiscal year sales of $6.1 billion.