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The world’s largest health and beauty retailer outsources key supplier management processes to Transalis

A.S. Watson has signed a multi-year contract to outsource electronic data interchange (EDI) for its retail brands, stores and suppliers across Europe.

As a large international retailer and production company with business activities worldwide A.S. Watson operates drugstore chains to luxury perfumeries, to shops with foods, electronics, general merchandising and airport shops. Confronted with internal and external challenges to optimise its supply chain operations, A.S. Watson identified the rationalisation of its business-to-business (B2B) systems would increase efficiency and reduce costs.

A.S. Watson selected Transalis OpenEDI managed services to maximise its European supply chain efficiency, to manage the entire B2B electronic enablement for up to 3,000 suppliers, across 16 European countries, for eight major High Street brands with up to 4,000 stores, including Superdrug, Savers and The Perfume Shop in the UK, ICI Paris XL in France and Kruidvat, Trekpleister, Drogas, Marionnaud across continental Europe.

Putting supply networks into the cloud

Transalis will integrate B2B messages using its software-as-a-service (SaaS) based OpenEDI solution directly with A.S. Watson’s three electronic resource planning (ERP) systems Retek, Navision and its own custom-built platform. Message exchange will utilise the Transalis freeVAN (value-added network) EDI service, and suppliers will have access to a bespoke web-based and integrated A.S. Watson OpenEDI offering. 

Jos van Zeeland, group IT director for A.S. Watson, said: “By outsourcing EDI to Transalis we expect to gain considerable improvement, reliability, and uniformity of B2B message exchange with our systems and our suppliers. Utilising Transalis Managed Services will help us reduce complexity, risk and cost with the aim of electronically enabling our European supply chain.”

This story first ran as the cover story of the March/April 2011 issue of Retail Technology magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition or register for the free e-version.

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