GXS tapped to enable a network of independent distributors, aid them in addressing B2Be-commerce pressures
Gaithersburg, MD — July 31, 2006 — One of America's oldest brewers Miller Brewing Co. has deployed GXS Managed Services to enable a network of independent distributors of Miller products to conduct e-commerce with retailers.
On an increasing basis, retailers have requested or, in some cases mandated, that food and beverage distributors become electronic data interchange (EDI)-enabled. Many of the distributors that distribute Miller products are businesses with limited IT staffs. To aid them in addressing B2Be-commerce pressures, Miller came to GXS to create a B2B integration hub that simplifies the order-to-cash process between distributors and retailers, while shielding distributors from the increasing complexities of B2B e-commerce.
Founded in 1855, Miller is the second largest brewer in the United States .To assist its distributors in working effectively with retailers, Miller is paying a portion of the cost of enabling its distributors to support EDI. In addition, with six major breweries located throughout the United States, a network of distributors and more than 40 brands, maintaining control and visibility of, and to, Miller's demand chain was becoming increasingly complex.
"Although Miller is an established company with modest beginnings, we have always seized the opportunity for growth and innovation. Doing so has helped us become one of the largest breweries in the world. Our selection ofGXS Managed Services was the next step in our mission to streamline the supply chain process, and improve transaction processing," said Dave Baumann, vice president of Information Systems at Miller Brewing Co. "We value our distributor partners as the face of this company with retailers, and acknowledge the value of their ability to do business electronically. Ultimately, we expect GXS Managed Services to be a major asset for supporting growth and efficiencies, both for our business and for that of the distributors."
According to a recent report from analyst firm, AMR Research, entitled "Brewer Battle Will be Won with Superior Supply Chains," "Brewers need to focus on the fundamentals of new supply chain thinking: the Demand-Driven Supply Network (DDSN) of efficient supply chains that are flexible, agile and can quickly sense and respond to customer demands."
By using GXS Managed Services, Miller and distributors of Miller products are taking the first step toward the DDSN vision. They now have reduced operational costs, increased productivity and improved business performance, all without implementing additional headcount. Specific benefits include a reduction in cost and complexity for the entire Miller distribution system; the ability for retail customers to automate purchasing, receiving and payment processes; and improved sales and merchandising as a result of increased order accuracy.
In addition, Miller and the distributors now will have automated order fulfillment, shipping, invoicing and accounting processes. For distributors of Miller products, the new distribution hub will enable e-commerce for its entire assortment of products, including non-Miller brands, and speed time to shelf for all products.
Miller said it selected the GXS solution because of the company's track record established through more than 18 years as a B2B outsourcing services provider. GXS has experience working with a variety of major grocery and convenience store chains, an important factor for Miller and beverage distributors in ensuring continued positive relationships with those retailers.
"Miller's new B2B integration hub lays the foundation for real-time exchange of information across the supply chain. GXS Managed Services offers a platform to handle the varying emerging e-commerce requirements of Miller's retail customers," said Steve Keifer, vice president of industry and product marketing for GXS. "As we are now in the midst of the successful execution of this project, we are pleased to see that Miller distributors are reaping the benefits of e-commerce enablement. The successful integration of a three-tier trading partner network will offer Miller and its distributors a competitive advantage as they stay ahead of the curve in e-commerce technology enablement and have a solid baseline for additional supply chain efficiencies."