Infor Partners with NCS for Direct Store Delivery
December 4, 2012 Alex Woodie
Infor last month announced a partnership with Numeric Computer Systems that will result in new integration between Infor ERP systems and the suite of Direct Store Delivery applications from NCS. One Infor LX (BPCS) customer, the beverage bottler Polar Corporation, has already adopted the integration.
Direct Store Delivery (DSD) is a business model whereby manufacturers act as their own distributors and ship their products directly to stores or the place of consumption. The business model is commonly used in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, where delivery times are critical. After all, fresh milk and eggs can’t sit in a warehouse for long before going bad.
So to speed up delivery, the DSD model swaps out the centralized distribution model in favor of more nimble direct deliveries. However, adopting the DSD model is not simply a matter of buying a fleet of trucks and hiring people to drive them around. It also requires some fairly extensive changes be made to processes in place at process- or mixed-mode manufacturers, and the software that supports them, including inventory control, manufacturing, and accounting.
NCS has been developing DSD solutions since 1967, when it was founded as a service bureau serving the dairy industry in the New York City area. Today, NCS develops a line of DSD applications under the Enterprise Route Management System (eRMS) banner, including eRMS Route Accounting, eRMS Route Manufacturing, and eRMS Financials. All of the products run on the IBM i server and DB2/400, and also support Windows and Unix on SQL Server and the Oracle database. NCS also owns Xpedium, a developer of a .NET mobile application framework that’s been adopted by IBM i ERP vendors, including VAI.
Infor says the integration with the eRMS offerings from DSD will benefit process and mixed-mode manufacturers in the food and beverage industry that use its ERP solutions. Infor ERP customers will have visibility across production, inventory, and shipping data in both applications, Infor says.
One of the first companies adopting the integration is Polar Corporation, the largest independent soft drink bottler in the United States. The Worcester, Massachusetts-based company makes and distributes a range of sodas, seltzer, ginger ale, drink mixers, and spring water to stores across the Northeast.
Polar’s IT director, Paul Paciello, explained the decision to adopt the NCS solution. “While ERP LX addresses our manufacturing, warehousing, and finances, we needed an application that could support our specific business requirements in regard to direct store delivery, which has fairly complex routing variables,” Paciello says in a press release.
“The NCS Order to Cash application, which supports the Direct Store Delivery software, has a sophisticated routing system and integrates with LX for improved monitoring and tracking of our supply chain. The partnership between NCS and Infor not only provides access to consultants with extensive food and beverage industry knowledge, but also delivers a complete solution to address Polar Corporation’s specialized needs.”
Robert Hochberg, president and CEO of NCS, says the partnership with Infor is a “great match” for his company. “Our connection with Infor is advantageous for NCS customers because our products complement one another to help businesses tackle the distinctive challenges in mixed mode manufacturing,” Hochberg says in a press release.