Equal Manufacturer Sweetens Supply Chain Planning

Taps Acsis for real-time data collection, validation system

Taps Acsis for real-time data collection, validation system

Marlton, NJ — October 20, 2003 — Merisant, the manufacturer of tabletop sweeteners including Equal and Canderel, has announced it is implementing DataPass 4.0. from Acsis Inc., a company that delivers supply chain and business process automation solutions for companies using SAP's enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

After standardizing on SAP throughout its global manufacturing operations, Merisant said it turned to Acsis to provide a real-time data collection and validation system, which will serve as the foundation for Merisant's manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) processes.

MRP II is a common component of many ERP initiatives, focusing on the modeling of complex manufacturing processes through computer simulation. Merisant applies a systematic and rigorous approach to MRP II, and it chose Acsis' DataPass to optimize this function with real-time data that the provider places into its computer-generated models.

"Achieving data integrity is essential to executing a world-class supply chain operation," said Donald Maier, Logistics lead, Merisant U.S. Inc. "With 700 employees contributing to the production of billions of packets of sweetener a year across more than 20 distinct product lines, achieving timely, accurate production information throughout the organization is a chief priority for our company."

Underpinning the new mobile bar code system, Acsis' DataPass 4.0 will facilitate the integration of bar code data into SAP. In addition to channeling mission-critical production information into Merisant's SAP system from handheld, vehicle-mounted and fixed scanners, as well as weigh scales and other process equipment, DataPass validates and makes available information entered into the system even during SAP maintenance periods or network outages.

Additionally, as part of the initial overhaul of Merisant's mobile data collection system at its Manteno, Ill., manufacturing site, Acsis is replacing outdated legacy bar code hardware with new mobile terminals and barcode scanning technology from Intermec. Acsis said it evaluated Merisant's system requirements and found one major challenge was the interference caused by the metal production machines and its impact on the accuracy of the data feeding SAP. The new Intermec technology minimizes this interference, resulting in more accurate reads and improved data reliability.

Merisant is slated to go live with DataPass 4.0 in October 2003 at the Manteno site with the potential of extending the implementation across the organization based on initial results.

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