Over four million purchase orders (PO) are sent from Foodstuffs
to 1500 suppliers, almost exclusively by fax prior to the
development of the eXchange. These purchase orders were re-keyed
into suppliers own systems where they existed, resulting in similar
numbers of advanced shipping notices(ASN) and invoices(INV) being
produced by suppliers for return to Foodstuffs by fax or mail.
Where a supplier did not have their own IT systems, these documents
were often hand written.
A website solution was created for those suppliers that require
minimum effort electronically to trade with Foodstuffs. The
Foodstuffs eXchange was born. It allows suppliers to:
- View or download purchase orders
- Create or upload advanced shipping notices.
- Enter invoices manually or upload them as files.
- Maintain all product and store codes.
The diagram indicates the flow of documents through the eXchange
and how the process as a whole will work for you as the
In parallel to the website, the B2B eCommerce layer offers the
- It accepts messages from the web site, ftp or email.
- Translates the message between Foodstuffs and a supplier
covering more than 50 formats. These include supplier custom
formats, csv files, EDIFACT standard formats and Foodstuffs XML
- Product and store codes are translated, with B2B communications
updating the website allowing it to be used as a fallback by
- Messages are sent to the recipients using the preferred
transport, agreed at the time of integration.
The eXchange is a collaborative E-commerce initiative among
three Foodstuffs companies that minimizes transactions costs for
the company and its suppliers. It provides smaller suppliers a low
cost/no cost e-commerce solution, while larger suppliers can use
the B2B connectivity to automate their business processes and
achieve significant savings.