Managing the flood of information coming into a business can be difficult at the best of times. But companies such as Stibo Systems can help take the necessary steps to growing and improving a business by managing data the right way.
Consumers ask questions, such as, ‘Where do my frozen vegetables come from? How much sugar is in my yoghurt? Does my item contain any trace of peanuts?’
Supermarkets can have difficulty finding products if a certain ingredient is recalled. Cereal manufacturers can spend weeks gathering information on what ingredients were sourced from which country depending on the factory where they were made.
There’s many ways to collect and find information, the challenge is doing this efficiently.
Luckily, these time-consuming, yet necessary steps in the daily running of a company, can be made easier with an effective data management system.
The proof is in the pudding for Stibo Systems, as the company’s data management software has helped businesses in the food and beverage industry better manage information.
Stibo Systems is a Danish foundation founded in 1794, and has now expanded to a global enterprise with a local presence in Australia and New Zealand. Stibo prides itself in managing data in the state-of-the-art technology at the time. In 1794, this was the printed book, and now it is the Stibo STEP Master Data Management (MDM) platform.
Lending a helping hand
Global companies such as Kellogg’s and Kraft Heinz use Stibo’s software to better manage their complex manufacturing and distribution businesses. Stibo is also used by companies such Walmart and Kaufland for providing the right food information to their customers.
Kellogg’s manufactures breakfast foods, frozen products and snack foods in about 180 countries.
The company uses Stibo STEP to manage their complex data set of more than 100 brands, 3,500 stock keeping units (SKUs), 4,500 consumer recipes, and 9,000 product images that feed more than 400 global websites.
Kellogg’s maintains a single view of its brands to customers all over the world. Challenges are constantly arising – including changing consumer behaviour and increased in consumer demand for more nutrition information and labelling.
Government legislation and expanding industry regulation also demand richer product information. Increasing information demands include all the customer touchpoints such as product labelling, in-store displays, product catalogues, websites, sales staff, social media and point of sale.
Industry challenges such as expanding food categories and increasing food regulations also need to be addressed regularly.
Since the implementation of STEP, Stibo Systems’ product information management solution, Kellogg’s has been able to replace old legacy systems, homegrown solutions and countless spreadsheets. Kellogg’s now has more control over its branding and there is improved visibility across all its brands. STEP feeds more than 400 Kellogg’s global websites in over 40 languages.
Kellogg’s IT marketing global director, Maria Keller, said the thing that made Kellogg’s STEP implementation unique, was that it was global from day one.
“When we evaluated solutions, it had to have that capability and be able to accommodate all the languages and nuances for our markets around the world,” said Keller.
Benefits of using Stibo’s STEP software for the food and beverage industry, include being able to efficiently find products containing ingredients that are allergens or high in sugar content. Information passed from a manufacturer to a retailer, can be easily found by the retailer and relayed to customers.
Businesses also have easy access to data that can be collated to find products relating to each other. It’s also quick to find out key information, such as how fast a product is selling and why it is selling so well. For example, data may show a product is selling well because it contains less sugar than similar products, or it may be the country of origin that has buyers coming back for more.
Trends in data will help determine this. With the country of origin becoming an increasingly important factor for Australian consumers, there is a benefit to having software capable of narrowing down this information.
Stibo national sales director for Australia and New Zealand, Costa Mikhael, said Stibo’s solution allows people to manage all the types of products they have and all the information about what’s inside the products. It was important information to have about the market, when various compliance issues could come up, said Mikhael.
“Without structure and processes to govern your data, you are carrying a heavy risk burden to the business. In the event of a mistaken allergen label, you are putting your customers safety at risk, not to mention your brand,” he said.
“Supermarkets and retailers like to promote themselves as being consumer oriented. But they often fail to consider the information needs of modern customers. Shoppers want to know exactly what is in a product. Where did it come from? Is it good for me? Is it safe for my children?” said Mikhael.
Often, the information can be found on the label of a product but STEP helps set up a system that allows consumers to look online for the information on the company’s website. “We introduce efficiency between the supplier and the retailer,” said Mikhael.
A solution for all
Stibo’s software is by no means limited to supermarkets or the food and beverage industry. It is widely used by other sectors such as the clothing retail and distribution industries.
A key reason for Stibo’s success is the user-friendly system design. There’s no need to be an IT whizz as the software is simple to use and quick to adapt to. “Stibo gives you a business first-type application. It’s a business-minded solution,” said Mikhael.
“A lot of similar solutions to ours describe how it fits into the IT environment, capabilities, complexities and how you can set it up. Where we come in a lot different is we talk to the business guys and say, ‘Do you want to sell more? Do you want to reach more customers? Why don’t you put items that are related to this product on your website and we can give you the capability to do that’. The value proposition close to their heart,” he said.
The system allows businesses to save time. Where companies may have taken weeks to introduce data on new products in the past, they can do this within days with STEP. The information is easy to input and there are ways to save time down the track with alerts on certain items.
Let’s say a product contains palm oil, which a company considers an ingredient it does not want to sell to its customers. An alert can be sent out to inform the business if it is against company policy. Instead of continually searching for palm oil in new inventory, the alert will tell the business when it is present. This fool-proof monitoring step allows the business to find issues as they arise, without having to worry about human error.
Stibo Systems managing director Manfred Heckt says, “the STEP software enables enterprises to consolidate all their data. We are the data hub for different dimensions. For example, the central dimension is the product. But the value in the data, comes from managing the complex web of relationships between the product, the supplier, to the distributor, the retailer, and the customer. We make sense of it all.”
Stibo customers benefit from single view of their data. They can control, monitor and maintain data, and can score and profile their data. They can optimise their business’ packaging chain. They have a complete view of digital records and dynamic real-time access to data and images.
Stibo STEP is one seamless solution for the complete supply chain. The STEP platform can be deployed on the cloud, or it can run on-premise.
Stibo Systems entered the ANZ market over five years ago, and has been successful in helping its customers to grow and expand their business. It is not just the food and beverage industry, in Australia, Stibo has helped local companies such as Target, Officeworks, Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety, Toyota Australia and many others.