Zetes brings home the dough with Hovis deal

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Premier Foods’ Hovis division has signed a multi-million pound contract with Zetes to boost traceability and improve its manufacturing and distribution processes.

The system, which is currently being piloted in three facilities, Premier’s SAP warehouse management system will be enhanced with more than 500 barcode scanning devices to track and trace the movement of goods across the bread maker’s 23 UK manufacturing and distribution centres.

Zetes completed the integration of mobile devices with Premier’s SAP system using its SAP toolkit, MiNetConnect, which provides a link between SAP and mobile or fixed scanning devices to capture, validate and process transactions faster, in real-time and claims to increase accuracy and system reliability.

Zetes also developed an additional component designed to enable the SAP system to receive data from fixed scanners.

Phil McCallum, director of IT at Premier Foods said: “The traceability solution we are piloting with Zetes will, we hope, solve long standing issues our company has faced within the Hovis bakery supply chain.”

James Hannay, vice president of Northern Europe for Zetes added: “Improved traceability is important for Premier on many levels, enabling better management of product supply into the marketplace and more accurate stock replenishment.  This translates into a better service to retailers and greater consumer satisfaction.

“Technically the Premier Foods project was very challenging because it required integrating both fixed and hand-held barcode scanners in a high volume manufacturing and distribution environment.  Enabling this directly inside SAP without the use of additional middleware is complex and few people have both the deep understanding of supply chain processes and the SAP toolkits to do it properly.”

If the pilot phase is successful Hovis will consider full roll out during 2010.

Anthoula Madden, vice president for consumer products at Capgemini, said: “This is a very important project for Premier Foods, introducing full track and trace capability across their primary and secondary distribution supply chain at Hovis.

“The benefits to the business are considerable, both in terms of tangible savings but, more importantly at the customer end, improving order fulfilment and improving customer satisfaction.  Bringing together the right technical solution has required strong supply chain expertise and SAP capabilities and we have been working closely with Zetes to make the solution work end-to-end in an integrated manner to deliver value to the client”.

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