Tayto has acquired several businesses and grown rapidly and there were a number of challenges geared around the commercial structure of Tayto and business process improvement initiatives Tayto wished to achieve as part of the move to a single entity.
The Tayto Group are now a single entity, on a single Navision platform and have a single entry and exit point to enable electronic trading with their customers via B2BE’s EDI solution.
Tayto Group is one of the UK’s and Ireland’s largest snack food producers offering a wide range of potato crisps and snack foods under the brands; Tayto, Jonathan Crisp, Real, Mr Porky and Golden Wonder. Each brand offers a unique range of products with household brand names such as Mr Porky pork scratchings, Transform-a-Snack, Jonathan Crisp, Golden Wonder, Ringos and Real.
The County Armagh based company employs over 1,400 people across five sites and since acquisition of the brands the business has seen a 10 fold expansion over the past 5 years from a £15m to a £150m turnover business. This has been on the back of a clear vision for the development of the Tayto business with an approach to continuing expansion in the United Kingdom and abroad, consolidating Tayto’s reputation as a brand builder and quality manufacturer.
As with any rapidly expanding company that has grown through acquisition over a short space of time Tayto has inherited a number of disparate systems, both from an ERP and EDI perspective.
With the acquisitions many of the Tayto businesses were running Navision 3.6 whereas Red Mill was running a separate system. Each one of the divisions also managed and maintained separate EDI connections, using different providers to a number of customers some of which include; ASDA, Booker, Morrisons, Sainsbury, Spar, Tesco and Waitrose to name but a few. To further complicate matters each customer treated the different brands as separate trading entities with different trading terms.
Therefore, there were a number of challenges geared around the commercial structure of Tayto and business process improvement initiatives Tayto wished to achieve as part of the move to a single entity, The Tayto Group Limited. The challenges included:
- Moving all the trading divisions to a single commercial entity, The Tayto Group Limited.
- Changing all the trading arrangements with customers from individual terms across multiple divisions into a single trading entity with single terms where possible.
- The removal of disparate ERP systems to a single system, Navision.
- The upgrade of Navision from version 3.6 to version 5.0
- The removal of multiple EDI suppliers to a single supplier.
- Migration of 26 trading partners with multiple trading entities within each and five document types to a single provider, into a single system through a single mailbox under the same commercial terms.
Many of the challenges in them self would have been considered arduous. However, the most challenging aspect of the project was that it needed to be completed within a six to eight week time frame and required not only the commitment of all the Tayto technical resources to manage the system environment changes but also go through the selection process for a new EDI supplier amongst a myriad of other tasks!
The solution for Tayto’s EDI requirements was fairly complex based on the challenges and the time lines associated with the project. From an EDI perspective the provider would have to work very closely with both the Tayto technical team to map documents, setup comm’s and manage testing while the systems were upgraded while also working with the Tayto commercial team to enable the migration of the customer EDI environments to the new Tayto Group entity.
Tayto after reviewing options with a number of EDI providers decided on B2BE as the provider who would provide the most dynamic solution to meet with the requirements and challenges.
B2BE provided two product based solutions as well as providing managed roll-out services which is provided as part of the B2BE solutions. The product solutions included:
- B2BE EDI
- B2BE Web Portal
The B2BE EDI
The B2BE EDI provides an outsourced approach to EDI integration, all documents and connections are handled by B2BE so any documents an organisation receives are in a single agreed format and any document they send are in a single format which can follow any number of standards or a format native to a clients ERP or business systems. B2BE handles the mapping and distribution within the server environment. This reduces the layers of complexity within a customer’s environment and allows them to focus on their business.
Due to the level of complexity with this migration project B2BE worked methodically through all the requirements and throughout the various phases, still working to the Tayto timelines. The phases were broken down as follows:
A. Scoping and Design Phase
Within this phase B2BE worked with Tayto to understand all the complexities of the current divisional structure, trading relationships, existing EDI supplier structures and document types. At this stage a Project Initiation Document (PID) was devised to map out the delivery of the project based on the Tayto requirements. This was used as the road map in moving forward.
B. Tayto Customer Liaison Phase
Within this phase B2BE worked with the Tayto Account Management team to migrate existing mailboxes to a single mailbox under the existing Tayto structure and away from the existing EDI suppliers to enable a higher degree of flexibility and meet specific Tayto mapping and coding requirements to ensure documents could be delivered based on Tayto and Tayto’s customer’s requirements.
At the completion of this phase B2BE had emulated the current environment and all electronic trading went through B2BE removing the need for the incumbent suppliers.
C. Development and UAT Phase
Within this phase all documents were moving through the B2BE network into the existing Tayto platform and environment which also built-up a repository of data which could be used for testing. This enabled B2BE and Tayto’s technical team to work together to create a carbon copy stream of
data to test within the new Tayto Navision system.
This phase also enabled B2BE to get test documents from Tayto to test with Tayto’s 26 EDI customers under the new Tayto Group structure. Any tweaking to ensure minimal impact to customers also occurred within this phase or B2BE worked with the customer to facilitate the changeover.
D. Migration and Production Phases
In most instances B2BE and their customers are able to migrate existing accounts and environments progressively based on existing structures and processes. However, in Tayto’s case this wasn’t possible and all accounts and EDI trading had to be switched overnight to the new Tayto Group structure.
While this is not the standard approach, due to the amount of work conducted in the scoping phase, and given all traffic was already passing through the B2BE network and the B2BE Consulting team had been working with Tayto’s customers the overnight changeover proved to be relatively straight forward.
Once the migration had taken place, B2BE worked with Tayto to identify any issues, resolve them very quickly with the sole objective of negating any impact on the Tayto customer and Tayto’s business, this was achieved successfully.
Now the migration has been completed B2BE and Tayto are now working on any new document trading requirements with existing trading partners and also looking at new trading partners, the first of which is in the Netherlands.
B2BE Web Portal
The B2BE Web Portal is an online hosted solution that enables users to view and access documents sent electronically between one another, the Web Portal provides a great tool for users outside the technical environment to review documents that have been sent and received electronically. The Web Portal solution can also provide more sophisticated document processing solutions and workflows and is tailored for each client based on their specific needs and requirements.
In Tayto’s instance the Web Portal solution has been tailored with the Tayto Group look and feel so all documents sent electronically are available online for a period of three months. Tayto can setup and maintain users and provide them with specific user access levels based on their function within the business.
This has proven highly successful as the business functions are geographically diverse so a central document repository enables users, no matter where they are, to have access to any document sent or received electronically.
A complete success! The overall success of the project and the results were testament to the commitment of the Tayto technical team and the involvement of B2BE at the outset of the EDI migration project. All the challenges were met and in many instances exceeded so on the day The Tayto Group came into being all the systems and technical environments were operational with very few issues.
The Tayto Group are now a single entity, on a single Navision platform and have a single entry and exit point to enable electronic trading with the their customers via B2BE.
The addition of new trading partners and new document types is now a straight forward process with B2BE taking on the technical implementation and management process while Tayto concentrate on their environment and systems which provides a very solid foundation for their continued expansion and growth in the UK, Ireland and globally.