London, England and Atlanta, Georgia. – Industri-Matematik International Corp. (IMI) today announced the successful go-live of an upgrade of the IMI supply chain suite at Walkers Snack Foods, the United Kingdom’s market leader in snack foods. With the upgrade, which includes the latest releases of IMI Order, IMI Warehouse and IMI Collaboration software, Walkers will move closer to its customers with best practices for accommodating their diverse needs and improving information availability within its customer service operations.
“Maintaining our market leadership requires that we remain flexible to changing customer needs, and the IMI solution provided us with a best-of-breed solution out-of-the-box to ensure we could respond quickly to consumer changes,” says Jason Richards, Customer Development Director at Walkers Snack Foods. “By offering us an integrated order fulfillment solution, IMI has enabled Walkers to implement its software in a phased approach while gaining immediate benefits from consolidated operations, improved information management, and maximized visibility into our supply chain operations,” Mr. Richards continues.
Walkers realized immediate benefits from each of the IMI suite components:
IMI Order – Previously, the order process was split across a number of legacy applications, leading to duplication, manual activity and the potential for errors. IMI Order enables Walkers to automate customer requirements, orders and changes - and to consistently deliver complete orders to their customers. By reducing several manual routines, Walkers identified it would save a significant number of paper reports, ultimately leading to an improvement in the order management process. In addition, automation of orders will enable the company to increase invoice accuracy and maximize customer relationships.
IMI Collaboration – The implementation of trading partner management capabilities enabled Walkers to streamline customer Proof of Delivery (POD) handling improving the overall invoicing process. Walkers also have the potential to increase order visibility using Advance Ship Notices (ASN). With timely availability of accurate order information, Walkers has the foundation they need to anticipate and respond to changes in the supply network.
IMI Warehouse – Walkers implemented the radio frequency (RF) capabilities of IMI Warehouse for real-time picking tasks. Walkers experienced a smooth implementation with no impact to warehouse efficiency. Since implementing the new version of IMI Warehouse in January 2004, Walkers has expedited the handling of inbound goods and loading of vehicles, and has seen an improvement in case picking through better location management. The implementation focused on a more accurate reflection of the warehouse locations by taking into account the tube-racking layout, ultimately leading to an increase in pallet movements.
Walkers Takes a Standards Approach to IMI Deployment The upgrade to the new version of the IMI suite is part of the larger Darwin Project at Walkers, which is a three-year, phased initiative to re-engineer its supply chain operations. Walkers’ goal with this effort is to rationalize their in-house systems to reduce maintenance costs and improve and streamline processes. The project has enabled the company to build the infrastructure and support required for the long-term, while also allowing Walkers to achieve short-term business benefits. Because of the constantly changing nature of the snack industry, Walkers determined it needed software focused on their business to minimize ongoing customization. By implementing standard, unmodified versions of software and changing their own business processes according to the best-of-breed solution, Walkers ensures it can respond quickly to changes in consumer preference. As part of this strategy, Walkers is implementing and upgrading the IMI solutions progressively, benefiting from the software’s robust functionality and flexibility.
Commenting on the successful go-live, Steve Baxter, IMI’s UK Managing Director said, “Walkers’ approach to fast systems implementation required they avoid costly, time-consuming software modifications. Critical to the success of this strategy was selecting software that met a high percentage of their business needs out-of-the-box. The powerful order management and fulfillment capabilities of IMI’s solutions enable Walkers to keep pace with the many requirements demanded by its customers and suppliers.”