IBM B2B Integration Cloud Service Helps Gist Limited Handle Peaks in Demand

IBM Cloud Enables Gist Limited to Gain Visibility and Control of its Perishable Goods Supply Network

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LONDON, U.K - 15 Aug 2011: IBM announced today that global supply chain services Gist Limited, a third party logistics (3PL) company specialising in the distribution of chilled, frozen and ambient foods, has implemented IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services, enabling it to scale its perishable foods supply chain operations to meet seasonal peaks in demand. Under the contract IBM will transform and manage Gist's IT infrastructure based on a cloud service.

Gist’s previously disparate internal IT systems are now consolidated onto a single B2B integration platform in the business-to-business (B2B) cloud service. This enables Gist to accommodate the challenges of food and flowers delivery, which range from ensuring timely stock replenishment to managing returns, by its fleet of 1,200 vehicles to clients in the supplier, distribution, and retail industries. The scalable service hosted on a public cloud provides Gist with the ability to increase its supply chain operations' capacity when demand for its products increases around Christmas, Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.

IT process integration is managed and automated in the IBM cloud, allowing Gist to focus its in-house integration expertise on its most business-critical processes such as fast-tracking perishable goods across its warehouse, thereby helping Gist to provide the highest level of customer service. The centrally managed IBM Sterling B2B Integration Services platform also issues automatic status alerts to help ensure the accurate and timely delivery of fresh produce.

Gist’s complex supply chain extends across a growing community of trading partners of various sizes with varying types of IT infrastructures. The translation of business documents into any of the trading partners’ required data formats or protocols takes place automatically in the cloud via IBM B2B Integration Services, which exchanges the documents securely with any partner in any location, providing real-time visibility. As a result, Gist has reduced document error rates by 20 percent and increased the speed of enabling new trading partners by 50 percent.

Reliance on a shared platform enables Gist to benefit from economies of scale, and eliminates risk and cost associated with developing, operating and supporting a platform themselves. The cloud model enables Gist to predict IT costs more accurately, having moved from a capital model to a “pay-for-use” operations cost structure with its partner and supplier community.

 “Third party logistics companies deal with a complex network of partners, each with a unique set of requirements, and need real-time visibility into constantly evolving processes,“ said Ronald Teijken, commerce solutions regional leader at IBM. “With these concerns addressed, Gist can now focus on meeting the stringent standards of the food industry, using cloud services to ensure that goods are delivered on time.”

“As our trading partner network increases in size and complexity, it was crucial to Gist that we further simplify and consolidate our B2B integration operations and provide scalability to all our trading partners,” said Susannah Teixeira, Application Architect, at Gist. “With IBM as our B2B integration partner, we can deliver the scalability needed to provide excellence in customer service and value.”

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