Dairy Crest Delivers on Growing E-Commerce Demands
By Alliston Ackerman
Dairy Crest is the leading UK-owned dairy company, processing and selling fresh milk and a range of everyday dairy brands. Its doorstep delivery service provides fresh milk and a wide range of other products to more than one million residential and business customers throughout England and Wales.
As Dairy Crest’s customer base changed, the existing IT infrastructure needed to reflect this, across different business units such as manufacturing and e-commerce.
Dairy Crest needed to support new milk&more e-commerce customers, as well as respond to demand with marketing campaigns backed by a scalable infrastructure.
The company wanted a solution that would expand on its existing Oracle investment; a repository of all financial data and a source for business intelligence to optimize its supply chain.
Dairy Crest evaluated a number of options choosing Oracle On Demand for the single point of accountability, which led to a reduction in risk.
“Having an end-to-end service was crucial to us, and we needed a supplier with the skills and expertise to support both our system and our strategic goals. Oracle’s in-depth knowledge has been a huge advantage to us,” says Harminder Verdding, head of technology services, Dairy Crest.
Thus, the highly complex migration from Dairy Crest’s business-critical Oracle E-Business Suite applications to Oracle On Demand ensued. The system was enormous including 600 gigabytes of change data, a 1.4 terabyte production database, 320,000 batch jobs, five million go-live order lines per month, more than 200 custom applications, a large number of third-party interfaces and upward of 2,500 users.
Impressively, Dairy Crest performed the cutover within its downtime window of 10 hours as planned with minimal issues reported following go live. The full migration was complete within six months.
“Strong governance and continued sponsorship from senior management and the business ensured all factors for success, and expectations were clearly defined and agreed upon,” says Verdding.
The result was optimized core ERP and supply chain management processes due to improved system capacity — to support process manufacturing, manufacturing scheduling, formulation and production processing.
In addition, the system upgrade, coupled with a broadcast advertising campaign that spanned major United Kingdom TV channels, enabled Dairy Crest to double the capacity of the milk&more e-commerce business from 100,000 users to 200,000 users within three months. The improvements to both the milk&more web site and its marketing methods earned the company two prestigious Online Retail Awards in 2011.
“Since we completed the transition, business confidence in our technology services has increased phenomenally. Previously, we received many complaints each month, especially about performance, and IT limitations were always cited as the reason that business strategies could not be implemented. Now, the silence itself speaks volumes,” concludes Verdding.
Company at a Glance
With an annual turnover of £1.6 billion in 2012, Dairy Crest’s brand strength and customer needs ensure it is well positioned within the dairy sector. Its Cathedral City and FRijj brands currently hold No. 1 market positions.
Words of Wisdom
“We improved our e-commerce business, as well as our time to market and our systems.”
—Harminder Verdding, Head of Technology Services, Dairy Crest Group
Oracle On Demand services provided Dairy Crest with a stable, secure infrastructure and a strong governance model, enabling continued investment in other applications, like an automated supplier invoice solution and a supply chain solution.
The New Milkman
In addition to fresh milk and everything dairy, Dairy Crest Group’s milk&more online service offers an ever-expanding range of essentials, like bread, seasonal fruit and vegetable boxes, to more than one million residential customers across the United Kingdom. As of March 31, 2012, milk&more weekly sales were £1.2 million.