Weetabix to replace 30-year-old procurement system

Breakfast cereal manufacturer Weetabix has announced plans to replace its 30-year old, paper-based procurement system with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) alternative.

Until 18 months ago, the company was using paper-based purchase orders and entering information into its mainframe system manually, Weetabix’s head of procurement Anthony Bowdidge told Informtion Age this morning.

Last year, the company built its own systems to enter purchase order data into the mainframe automatically. However, it wants to be able to extend access to the procurement data to other parts of the business, and has therefore signed up for hosted system from Wax Digital.

"We’re going from a 30-year-old system slap bang into the 21st century," said Bowdidge.

The new system, which gives 400 users access to 1,100 suppliers, will accelerate procurement by allowing employees to select goods from a catalogue, rather than typing in the names and quanities.

"We anticipate the time taken to raise a purchase order will reduce by at least 50%," Bowdidge said. "Bearing in mind that we’re talking about 400 users across our business and 50,000 purchase orders a year, that’s a fairly significant efficiency benefit across the organisation."

It will also allow the company to encourage employees to use preferred suppliers. :We want our percentage of spend through preferred suppliers to be greater than 90% and this [system] will give us the ability to manage those contracts and control that expenditure,” Bowdidge said.

Bowdidge said the company selected Wax Digital’s offering because of its apparent ease of use. "It’s got a very familiar feel to it, so our expectation is that we’re only going to have to do very minimal training [and] adopt very quickly because it’s a similar shopping and checkout process [to] online shopping – and no one from Amazon or Tesco comes round to teach you how to do your weekly shop.”

The new system is planned to be live for November.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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