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A Single View Drives Business Agility

Bestway goes from project scoping to real-time visibility of its entire network in nine months.

A Single View Drives Business Agility

Bestway goes from project scoping to real-time visibility of its entire network in nine months.

Overview

Established in 1976, Bestway Wholesale has grown to become the UK's largest independent food and drink wholesaler.

The wholesale division has 64 depots spanning the length and breadth of the UK and is a supply partner to over 125,000 independent retailers and caterers. With a comprehensive logistical infrastructure, the company has the scale, purchasing power and expertise to help its customers compete in an ever-changing food and drink sector.

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The Challange

Consolidate systems, achieve real-time visibility.

Bestway, like many multiple site operators, had a myriad of software systems which it was using to run its business.

Introducing new processes or innovations was often difficult and the activity had to be repeated in different guises across the various systems. This was inefficient, time-consuming and a costly exercise.

The concept of having a simplified centralised operation for its business was not possible with the existing system architecture.

The company wanted to consolidate its business onto a single trading platform and to obtain the ultimate in wholesale operations management – the complete visibility and control of its business in true real-time.

The Solution

A carefully phased approach.

The project started in October 2016 with the first depot in Stoke running live on htec’s ab-initio platform by Christmas 2016. With a phased implementation plan carefully managed by htec teams, ab-initio was turned on at the Stoke site without any interruption to trading.

The sophisticated application immediately enabled Bestway to have a view of the Stoke depot business in true real-time. Its centralised single instance database held all transactional, product, customer and supplier information which could be rapidly accessed through online dashboards.

Rapid roll out: with its first depot running smoothly Bestway embarked upon an aggressive roll-out programme starting in January 2017, with three new depots coming online every week across their estate up until mid-June 2017.

 

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The Results

Simple switchover brings huge benefits.

As each new depot was brought into the ab-initio eco-system Bestway was quickly building a single view of its entire business in true real-time.

The management team finally had an understanding of how each depot was performing and were able to react instantly to challenges in the business and to capitalise on opportunities as they arose.

Its customers were also benefitting from the unified customer experience across the Bestway network as all their interactions with the business were visible in a single consolidated platform. 

The upgrade of Bestway’s systems to a real-time platform also underpinned a strategic objective to operate a unified multichannel offering for all their customers nationwide.