cal 12 weeks
time to production
clock 5x faster 
product handling 
change 1 day 
to implement changes

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Refrige reinvents business process workflow in 12 weeks with OutSystems Platform

The Challenge:

Refrige is one of the biggest and most modern bottlers in Europe and the leader in the carbonated beverages market in Portugal.

Since its founding in 1977, it has grown to have several bottling facilities around the country capable of handling multiple shapes and sizes of beverages. Today Refrige produces 220 million liters of soft drinks per year, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Nestea.

In recent years, the company has invested in the modernization and rationalization of plant and trade processes.  A key goal is to deliver improvements in productivity and increase responsiveness for delivering product and promotional materials to the market.

As production volume increased, Refrige’s product and promotional material handling process had become a bottleneck. This administrative process was both intensive and manual, supported by isolated apps and requiring input from seven different departments including, Marketing, Sales, Logistics, Production, Procurement, Finance and Quality.  Workflow was handled through Microsoft’s Infopath.

After collecting all needed input, the IT department had to manually validate all data, polling the different departments for missing or incomplete information.  Afterwards, IT would then insert the data into both their SAP and Basis ERP systems. This process was slow, relatively unmanaged, many tasks were duplicated by several people throughout the process, and it was growing in complexity as production continued to increase.

Being a core business process for the company, Refrige faced the challenge of reengineering the process so it would become efficient and as error-free as possible.

As part of the reengineering effort, Refrige wanted to automate as much of the process as possible.  In addition they wanted to make sure that the new process and supporting systems could be quickly changed to respond to evolving business requirements.

 

The Solution:

Refrige chose to implement the product and promotional material handling process using OutSystems Platform.  The primary driver for the decision was due to the short time frame in which they had to develop and deliver the new system.  

Furthermore, OutSystems Platform allowed for easy integration with the different legacy systems the company was operating, supported quick changes to the process and provided a more cost-effective solution in the long-run.

Hyfas, an OutSystems Partner, developed the new application to manage the product and promotional material handling process with the following features:

  • Material creating in several stages of production;
  • Seven different security and authorization levels, for each of the involved departments;
  • End-to-end management of the whole product and promotion material creation workflow process;
  • Automated workflow with built in e-mail notification system;
  • Integration with existing ERP systems including Basis and SAP;
  • Customized dashboard for all users, according to their specific information needs regarding the stage of the process they are supporting;
  • Centralized the overall management of the product and promotion material handling process;
  • Application back-office providing a centralized change management console for process customization without the need to go through the development team;
  • Extended SAP functionality by adding several fields to the promotion materials data model for comments and references per item;
  • Provided overall view to the product and promotional materials process status to management;
  • Built-in audit management.

 

Results:

  • Time to Market - The new enterprise workflow was developed and rolled-out across the company in 12 weeks. OutSystems Platform was key to the successful delivery of the project by the IT development team.  By enabling fast and reliable change the development team was able to improve the quality and time to market of the final application.
  • Business Efficiency – After the process was automated, the total time for it to be executed was reduced from four to five weeks to less than one week.
  • Centralized Information Repository –Refrige now has a single information repository seamlessly integrated with its core systems (Basis and SAP ERP).  The fact that the entire product and promotion material handling process is now managed and controlled centrally means that the business is able to handle the creation of products and promotion materials efficiently.
  • IT Efficiency - The development team’s average response time improved from 3 weeks to 1 day, thanks to the use of OutSystems’ patented Embedded Change Technology.  Now the change cycles are very short with process change requests and error corrections being answered and implemented in hours by the development team.
  • Business Alignment - The final application’s features were fully aligned with business needs, resulting in a quick and successful adoption of the application by the end users. This was a result of using an Agile methodology throughout the project as it helped the business refine their processes and requirements for the system during the development.
  • Built to Grow – OutSystems Platform has provided Refrige with a flexible delivery platform for their custom web applications, enabling low risk rapid change.

 

About Refrige:

Refrige is one of the biggest and most modern bottlers in Europe, and the leader in the carbonated beverages market in Portugal. Founded in 1977, today it has several bottling facilities around the country capable of handling several shapes and sizes of beverages. Nowadays Refrige produces 220 million liters of soft drinks per year, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Nestea.

  
 

Refrige

Benefits

  • Time to Market - The new business process and supporting enterprise workflow was developed and rolled-out across the company in 12 weeks.
  • Business Efficiency – The total time for the process to be executed was reduced from 4-5 weeks to less than one week.
  • Centralized Data Repository –Refrige now has a single information repository seamlessly integrated with its core ERP systems (Basis and SAP ERP).
  • IT Efficiency - The development team’s response time average improved from 3 weeks to 1 day.
  • Business Alignment - The final application’s features were fully aligned with the business needs, resulting in a quick and successful adoption of the application by the users.
  • Built to Grow – Thanks to OutSystems Platform, Refrige now has a flexible and evolving platform for custom applications, enabling faster, business-aligned application development thanks to its short development and change cycles.

 

Project Card

Timeline:

12 weeks

User Profiles:

Marketing, Sales, Logistics, Production, Procurement, Finance and Quality user profiles, with different security and authorization levels.

Functionality:

Material creation and management, e-mail notifications, integration with Basis and SAP ERP, dashboard, administrative back-office,  and audit management.

Integrations:

Basis and SAP ERP.

 

Evaluation Criteria

Top Criteria:

  • OutSystems Platform, which provided Refrige with:
    • The best option regarding Business Alignment and Time to Market;
    • Short development and change cycles;
    • Powerful integration capabilities.
  • The Agile Methodology, which allowed for the required business alignment of the delivered application to the users’ needs.
     

Other Alternatives:

  • Microsoft SharePoint;
  • SAP Workflow Development.
 
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