Northern Foods have avoided significant cost implications by
uncovering a millennium supply chain problem that could
affect other, apparently "Y2K ready" food suppliers across
the UK. Working with electronic commerce experts GE
Information Services (GE), the UK based food manufacturer
has discovered, and quickly rectified, a previously
overlooked supply chain problem which could have stopped
groceries reaching the shelves of key customers Tesco and
Marks & Spencer during the first days of January 2000.
"End-to-end trading between ourselves and our trading
partners would have fallen over on 1 January 2000 had we not
implemented GE's Supply Chain 2000 solution," says Lesley
Heron, group electronic commerce manager, Northern Foods.
"We believe our testing has highlighted a common problem.
Although Northern Foods' cost would have been monetary,
other suppliers could find that they will not be able to
deliver food to the supermarket shelves after the
Northern Foods, a manufacturer of a range of grocery and
chilled convenience foods, identified the problem after
implementing GE's Supply Chain 2000 solution. As an Action
2000 company, Northern Foods is now endorsed as Year 2000
compliant - but it was not only its reputation that would
have been at stake had its millennium capability not been
tested. "The impact from a cost and efficiency point of view
would have been extensive," comments Heron. "The problem GE
pinpointed would have stopped paperwork being successfully
transmitted electronically to our trading partners from 1
January 2000. Certain Northern Foods trading partners would
have been unable to process some of the outbound
transmissions, or electronic documents such as delivery
notes and invoices. Although the problem was ultimately a
simple one, it needed specialist knowledge to fix."
The Supply Chain 2000 service assists electronic trading
communities in assessing the Year 2000 status of their
Supply Chain. The Service simulates two weeks in the
Millenium, including the Millenium Point and the Year 2000
Leap Year Date. The Service cycles through these dates
providing an opportunity to simulate "real Time" Year 2000
testing. Users can then assess weaknesses in their Supply
Chain and take action to achieve Millenium capability.
About GE Information Services
GE Information Services (GE) internetworks companies with
their business partners through the power of electronic
commerce. As the experts in global electronic commerce, GE
delivers a full suite of solutions that streamline the
extended supply chain, including Electronic Data
Interchange, messaging gateways, extranets, electronic
catalogues and electronic marketplaces. GE Information
Services manages the world's largest electronic community of
more than 100,000 trading partners. GE Information Services
is part of the General Electric Company, USA and has its
European headquarters in Paris with offices in Holland,
Germany, Italy, Belgium, Scandinavia and the UK.
More information on GE Information Services in Europe can be
found at http://www.geis.com.
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