Managed order processing smoothes Innocent's expansion

Smoothie brand Innocent is already saving 20 hours per week on processing orders and invoices with a new managed service that is supporting its European expansion.

The drinks maker previously handled these key supply chain processes through a managed electronic data interchange (EDI) service in the UK and manual, paper-based procedures in its growing European distribution outlets.

Ben Tuppen, Innocent's UK logistics manager, told IT PRO its five European distribution warehouses - which are supporting its expansion into 10 countries on the continent - rely on the new service to manage the complexity of handling key customer orders and payments in various different and often mandatory EDI formats.

"The previous EDI system in place was only semi-automatic," he said. "We now have order data importing live and it's saving us loads of time eight hours alone on our workloads in France."

Innocent began implementing its managed service based on Inovisworks, the value-added-network (VAN) service from Inovis a year ago.

"Inovis offered us a much faster implementation time than other providers we looked at," added Tuppen. "It has allowed us to go live with major European customers straight away, where some supermarkets wouldn't have traded with us without it."

The service has kept Innocent on-track to triple its number of connected trading partners within one year and will also support streamlined business operations and compliance with customer (service level agreement) SLA mandates.

Tuppen also said that various management teams in the UK, including sales, stock and finance, have web-based access to accurate data, allowing for real-time visibility into the entire supply chain process for better informed business decision making.

"In addition, the Inovis pricing structure is based on a flat-rate subscription fee rather than volume of traffic, meaning that our costs are predictable and low," he added.

Innocent was launched nine years ago and now has a 73 per cent UK market share, selling over two million of its fruit smoothies in 11,000 outlets each week.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.