Dean Foods Selected for Innovative and Visionary Approach to E-Commerce
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ — SBC Communications Inc.
(NYSE: SBC), through its subsidiary Sterling Commerce, today announced that
customer Dean Foods was selected as the sole recipient of the 2001 Consumer
Goods Collaborative CG Company of the Year Award at this year’s Consumer Goods
Information Technology Conference in Orlando, Fla. The award is presented by
Consumer Goods Technology magazine to recognize manufacturers that have set
world-class standards for supply chain management through trust, cooperation
“We believed information could be used as a powerful instrument in
building strong customer loyalty among our brands,” said Gary P. Rietz, vice
president and CIO of Dean Foods. “Sterling Commerce has played an integral
role in reaching our goal of helping customers eliminate shipping shortages
and invoicing errors and giving them more control over their inventory.”
Using CONNECT and GENTRAN products from Sterling Commerce, Dean Foods
created customized e-business relationships tailored to match each customer’s
individual business requirements. This e-business network led to Consumer
Goods Technology’s selection of Dean Foods for the Collaborative CG Company of
the Year Award.
Dean Foods’ customization efforts were based on customer feedback to
previous e-business efforts, which revealed that very few customers wanted the
same e-business program, or even the same EDI transactions. These customers
wanted customized e-business solutions, not a “cookie-cutter” solution. Dean
Foods already had a legacy Sterling Commerce system in place for the last six
years running a basic “one trading partner to one customer” format. This
system served them well in EDI’s early days, but to build the kind of
customer-focused e-business solution they needed, Dean Foods needed to
reconfigure their current process to maintain the special needs their
customers were demanding.
Using the same reliability, speed, control and high-volume capacity that
Sterling Commerce has consistently offered, Dean Foods reconfigured GENTRAN to
accurately reflect the complex and unique relationships that exist between its
locations and customers.
“Dean Foods has strengthened its position with its customers and-as a
recognized consumer goods technology leader-the company has distinguished
itself in e-commerce,” said Dennis Eskow, editorial director, Consumer Goods
High Volumes of Data, High Levels of Reliability
Dean Foods uses its main office as a central receiving point for all data
coming in from its divisions — an average of more than 4,000 transactions
daily. Even though each of the company’s 60 plants has its own set of trading
partners, Sterling Commerce solutions allow the company to easily process
transactions from the single remote site. From there, data is distributed
from regional processing points to the smaller plants for efficiency.
“This is an extremely high volume of data, and we are confident that
Sterling Commerce can make a high volume of connections with different
interfaces,” explained Nadine Radomski, manager, Electronic Commerce, Dean
Foods. “We know our jobs will run with ease without any malfunctions.”
E-Commerce Builds Customer Confidence
Management of perishable product delivery, an extremely critical customer
service issue, can be quite complex, as the entire operation is interdependent
upon a variety of factors. Dean Foods has used e-business to eliminate many
of these variables to create a reliable process that builds customer
confidence with each delivery
, which typically include ice cream and
specialty items, leave Dean Foods distribution centers only to be delivered to
another warehouse — the customer’s central receiving point for its individual
retail stores. For some customers, Dean Foods is using Advance Ship Notices
(ASNs) and Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) programs to give customers notice of
product arrival. This advance warning gives customers the opportunity to
update their inventories before the shipment arrives, and gives them more
control over the entire receiving process.
“GENTRAN has given me the confidence that we can do anything at any time
for any customer,” said Radomski.
Sterling Commerce provides Dean Foods with the flexibility they need to
accommodate standard EDI processes to match their customer’s various ERP
systems and their evolving e-business requirements. “We move quickly and
accurately to meet our customer’s e-business needs,” said Radomski.
This became evident when a few customers began using scan-based pay, and
wanted Dean Foods to join the data synchronization link that eliminated
pricing and quantity errors. For these customers, Dean Foods loads the UPC
code and pricing information into GENTRAN, and sends this data out to create
an electronic catalogue, which is sent to the customer. From there, Dean
Foods uses e-business to create specific processes to match the requirements
of each of its customers.
“The bottom line is that UPC codes, quantity and price are no longer
transcribed by hand,” said Radomski. “This eliminates the chance of incorrect
billing for any orders that arrive at the customer’s site.”
Dean Foods has developed standardized electronic funds transfer programs
for customers sending electronic payments. Dean Foods benefits by no longer
paying for checks to be cut, or for postage.
Electronic Funds Transfer
Dean Foods also is preparing to receive payments electronically, which
will enable customers to cross-reference orders they have received with the
orders for which they have paid. To facilitate these payments, Dean Foods
developed a customized electronic funds transfer (EFT) program for each
customer. Using EFT, Dean Foods is able to bill customers in fewer than five
days from order placement.
“We congratulate Dean Foods for its innovative use of e-commerce to manage
and strengthen customer relationships,” said Grace Mazar, director of
Marketing Communications at Sterling Commerce. “We are proud to have been
able to assist Dean Foods in implementation of this successful program.”
About Dean Foods
Dean Foods is one of the nation’s leading dairy processors and
distributors producing a full line of branded and private label products,
including fluid milk, ice cream and extended shelf life products, which are
sold under the Dean’s and other strong regional brand names. Dean Foods is
the industry leader in other food products including pickles, powdered
non-dairy coffee creamers, aseptically packaged foodservice products, and
refrigerated dips and salad dressings.
About Consumer Goods Technology
Consumer Goods Technology, an Edgell Communications publication, is the
leading industry magazine dedicated to helping consumer goods firms improve
business performance through information technology. Edgell Communications,
located in Randolph, New Jersey, publishes four additional technology
magazines (RIS News, Hospitality Technology, Kiosk Business, and Retail
Systems Reseller) and four merchandising magazines (Greetings etc., Selling
Christmas Decorations, CCD: Commercial Christmas Decor and Selling Halloween),
and produces several national technology conferences.
For more information about Consumer Goods Technology magazine or the
Consumer Goods Information Technology Conference, visit our Web site at
http://www.consumergoods.com or call 973-252-0100 x 331.
About Sterling Commerce and SBC
Sterling Commerce, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBC Communications, Inc.
(NYSE: SBC), is a worldwide leader in business-to-business
integration — providing a wide range of integration software, business
enabling and online services for Global 5000 companies and their customers,
suppliers and partners. With more than 25 years of experience in a vast range
of industries, Sterling Commerce offers the expertise, as well as the breadth
of integration software and services required to facilitate, manage and
support the electronic exchange of information within a business, as well as
with its diverse community. More than 50,000 companies throughout the world
rely upon Sterling Commerce to overcome the business and technological
complexities associated with integration to decrease costs, increase profit
margins, achieve faster production cycles and improve customer satisfaction.
For more information, visit http://www.sterlingcommerce.com .
SBC Communications Inc. ( http://www.sbc.com ) is a global communications leader.
Through its subsidiaries’ trusted brands — SBC Southwestern Bell, SBC
Ameritech, SBC Pacific Bell, SBC Nevada Bell, SBC SNET and Sterling
Commerce — and world-class network, SBC companies provide a full range of
voice, data, networking and e-business services, including local and
long-distance, high-speed Internet access and data transport, network
integration, software and process integration, Web site and application
hosting, e-marketplace development, paging and messaging, as well as directory
advertising and publishing. America’s leading provider of high-speed DSL
Internet service, SBC companies currently have 61.3 million access lines
nationwide. SBC has a 60 percent equity interest in Cingular Wireless, its
joint venture with BellSouth, which serves more than 20 million wireless
customers. Internationally, SBC has telecommunications investments in 28
countries and has annual revenues that rank it among the largest Fortune 500
SOURCE Dean Foods
Web site: http://www.sbc.com http://www.sterlingcommerce.comhttp://www.consumergoods.com http://www.deanfoods.com
Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/109161.html
CONTACT: Valerie Nixon of Dean Foods, +1-614-791-6474,Valerie_Nixon@stercomm.com