SOFTWARE THAT’S FIRMLY FOCUSSED ON CUSTOMERS
Leading meat marketer Westfleisch eG automates its ordering processes with EDI software from Lobster DATA GmbH
If you can’t talk to them, you can’t sell to them. When Westfleisch eG communicates with its customers, it flexibly adapts to all the various file formats and communications channels they use. This is made possible thanks to Lobster_data, the data integration software from Lobster.
Westfleisch receives its orders via electronic data interchange (EDI). Their IT system receives the data and processes it, their customers receive a confirmation message, and delivery notes and invoices are issued. This entire communications process is fully automated. In order for Westfleisch’s IT system to be able to read their customer’s order information, middleware translates the incoming data, for example, from EDIFACT format, into an in-house format (XML files). At the same time, the software also converts outbound data into DESADV (shipping notifications) and INVOICE (customer invoices) formats.
Different communications channels
“With our old converter, we had to tell some customers that we simply couldn’t work with their preferred means of communication”, recalls Dirk Hilgemann, EDI Manager at Westfleisch. “Lobster_data now enables us to offer many different alternatives”. The mapping process takes place in just a few stages via a structured interface and data structures can be flexibly changed in terms of their structure and field definition. “In the past, our mappings were confusing. Sometimes it took months to create them. Now, a customer can call us in the morning with their specifications and, on that very same day, we can start setting up the connection”.
Rapidly tracking data transfer errors
Process monitoring is hugely important to Westfleisch. “Especially with pure machine-to-machine communications, we have to be able to 100% rely on the process being flawless”, explains Dirk. In the past, this wasn’t the case. “When sending customer orders to the warehouse, often, individual orders would go missing along the way”. However, the warehouse needed that complete data as quickly as possible so that customers would receive their goods in time. The search began. “Sometimes, tracking them down would take up to two hours. The warehouse would desperately call the IT department to enquire about the missing information. If the relevant employee wasn’t at their desk, troubleshooting would drag on – an unfavourable situation for everyone involved”, explains Dirk.
With Lobster_data, several employees can monitor processes at the same time and the software automatically sends a message when processes go through error-free.
“We therefore know immediately where and when a potential incident could have occurred, meaning we can fix it so quickly that, very often, our colleagues from other departments won’t have even had time to notice”.
Within two weeks, Westfleisch’s IT team was able to take over managing the software themselves. “Today, changes and new connections usually only take a few hours. New employees can work independently with Lobster_data after just half a day of training”.
Lobster software fulfils every communication request from Westfleisch’s customers, because if you can’t talk to them, you can’t sell to them.
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