Data is playing a central role in the decision-making process for brands and retailers. Using robust business analytics tools, organizations can gain a more comprehensive look customer browsing and buying patterns, product preference and other metrics that illuminate the overall health of an organization.
Over the past nine years, Welch’s has established a growing relationship with Fujitsu to optimize its product portfolio, reduce out-of-stocks and improve promotional effectiveness. Tapping Fujitsu as a managed service provider for its Oracle E-Business Suite system, Welch’s also has been able to decrease managed service costs by 20%.
“We have two on-site coordinators that sit with our IT team,” said Dave Jackson, CIO of Welch’s, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They work closely with our Applications Development staff as well as our business analysts and the user community to ensure top tier support is provided. The offshore team also interacts directly with our developers and analysts. This provides Welch’s with a much faster and higher quality service model than other managed service partners may provide.”
The partnership initially began in 2005 when Welch’s sought an implementation partner that specialized in the Oracle E-Business Suite and could evolve with the brand as more capabilities were needed.
“We were swayed by their management’s commitment to ensuring the success of the project,” Jackson said. “In the end, our business mattered to them. We weren’t just a big brand name to put on their placard. We were a customer that they cared about and wanted to form a long-term relationship with.”
As the relationship blossomed, Welch’s shifted its service from break-fix support for its ERP environment to enhancement implementation. The knowledge and experience of the Fujistu team helped “solve key business issues,” Jackson explained. “Their level of expertise allowed us to take advantage of standard Oracle features and functions as well as helped us to avoid many pitfalls.”
For example, Fujitsu has played a pivotal role in improving Welch’s order-to-cash processes, helping the brand reduce order cycle time, improve order and invoice accuracy, and reduce the time required to process orders and cash.
Now, Welch’s considers Fujitsu “a trusted business partner who we depend on to help fulfill our corporate objectives,” according to Jackson.
The Power Of Data
Data from the ERP system has helped Welch’s determine accurate product profitability, including the true cost of manufacturing. These insights have helped Welch’s identify thriving and underperforming products, refine marketing and sales strategies and focus more on research and development efforts.
“Welch’s also utilizes market research data, consumer insights, and social media to improve our products and better serve consumer wants and needs,” Jackson said. “Based on the research and analysis of this data, Welch’s has identified opportunities to expand its portfolio and further meet consumer needs. For example, research was instrumental in the recent launch of Farmer’s Pick by Welch’s, a line of 100% juices that contains nothing artificial and delivers fresh-picked taste.”
Welch’s has near-term plans in place to upgrade its ERP system, and will use Fujitsu as an implementation partner, Jackson reported. “This will reduce the cost of the project by over 20% as well as reduce post-implementation support costs by 50%.”
Jackson added: “We are also exploring the possibility of having Fujitsu expand support to non-Oracle systems, such as our bolt-on financial planning system. This will provide Welch’s with broader support coverage and allow more flexibility and development opportunities for Welch’s internal staff members. Additionally, we have begun discussions as to how Fujitsu can assist us in achieving our corporate and department goals.”