Tasmanian retailer shops for an ERP solution for stock visibility

To be rolled out across Cash N Carry division

Tasmania's largest grocery wholesaler, Statewide Independent Wholesalers Ltd (SIW), is set to roll out an ERP system across its Cash N Carry food service division which is set to go live in May, 2008.

SIW, which wholesales dry, frozen and chilled grocery products to Woolworths and independent supermarkets throughout Tasmania, has inked a deal with Australian provider Pronto Software.

One of the island state's largest employers, SIW has around 350 staff and annual turnover of over $400 million.

With headquarters in Launceston, SIW has two distribution centres and three Cash N Carry Foodservice outlets.

SIW general manager, David Lanham, said its business model is unique, with 60 per cent owned by Woolworths and 40 per cent owned by independent retailers - it is the only operation in Australia where Woolworths and independents effectively work together.

Lanham said the ERP rollout will enable SIW to consolidate its IT infrastructure, improve financial control and stock visibility and set the business up for their next stage of growth.

"It was time to overhaul our IT environment given we were using disparate, outdated systems that made it difficult to import and extract information," Lanham said.

"We were looking for an integrated, scalable solution that would meet our evolving business needs, support our growth and enable us to provide an even better service to our Cash N Carry and Foodservice customers.

"Our current systems didn't present us with information that could easily be used. For example, to analyse customer buying trends, I'd have to get our IT people to extract new data from the systems and then manipulate it into a useable format before any analysis could begin."

SIW will utilise a range of Pronto-Xi modules including Financials, Distribution, Warehousing, Point of Sale, CRM and Warehouse Management with scanning functionality.

Lanham said another key driver was choosing a system that would best fit the business.

"Pronto has a proven track record in supply chain management, from moving high product volumes and managing thousands of transactions to having fully integrated real-time point-of-sale capability," he said.

"It will provide greater visibility of financial, stock and customer information in one integrated system. We'll also be able to reduce picking errors in the warehouse and therefore improve the accuracy of orders.

"We also expect major staff efficiencies as there will be less data duplication and scope for human error."

Pronto Software's managing director, David Jackman, said this deal strengthens the company's market presence in the wholesale and retail industry.

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