» Technology and Partnership
James Kochheiser, CIO, Otis McAllister
Technology and Partnerships Enable Growth
Founded in 1892, Otis McAllister is one of the oldest and most widely recognized companies dealing in the worldwide trade of food products. Today it sells into more than 65 countries on six continents, distributing many private-label products as well as its own brands including Angelita, Himalayan Pride, La Sirena, Super Lucky Elephant and Village Harvest. Otis McAllister’s products can be found on the shelves of leading grocery retailers, including Albertson’s, Costco, DECA, Safeway and Wakefern, among others.
“As a distributor, Otis McAllister must provide additional value to our customers and be extremely efficient in our operations to sustain our margins,” said James Kochheiser, CIO at Otis McAllister. “Leveraging leading technology is one of the best ways we’ve found to achieve these goals and thrive in any economy.”
As a part of its ongoing commitment to excellence, Otis McAllister teamed with Beck Consulting in 2008 to improve the ease-of-use and reliability of its Microsoft Dynamics NAV system and integrated solutions.
“Our partnership with Beck Consulting resulted in a more flexible and reliable ERP foundation for our company to grow on,” continued Kochheiser. “Beck truly understands how an ERP system impacts all areas of the business. They made adjustments to Microsoft Dynamics NAV quickly and without interrupting current workflows. In addition, Beck was instrumental in introducing Otis McAllister to complementary solutions, like SPSCommerce.net, that could help us continue to grow our business.”
Jeff Brehm, Otis McAllister
Integrated EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV
EDI was not only a priority for Otis McAllister, but also a requirement for doing business with its grocery customers. In 2009, Beck introduced Otis McAllister to SPS Commerce’s EDI Service for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the BCedi adapter developed by Beck Consulting.
bcEDI is a stand-alone, flexible solution developed by Beck Consulting to enable integration with external parties in an automated and cost efficient manner. For Otis McAllister, BCedi offers seamless integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SPS Commerce’s on-demand EDI service through a single XML mapping per EDI document. Using this integrated solution, Otis McAllister could significantly reduced EDI management and bring trading partners online faster than ever.
Beck and SPS Commerce had successfully deployed the bcEDI solution at other NAV accounts and Otis McAllister agreed that it would be a good fit for its EDI needs as well.
Otis McAllister chose SPS’ integrated EDI service due to the proven success of its direct integration to Otis McAllister’s ERP system for high-volume accounts and a web-based service for others. Most importantly, SPSCommerce.net had existing connections with the majority of Otis McAllister’s retail customers.
“SPS Commerce’s EDI service and interface provided us with the capabilities we needed to meet immediate needs quickly and the flexibility to scale to meet our future demands,” said Jeff Brehm, Director of Logistics at Otis McAllister. “With Beck’s expertise and SPS’ on-demand service, we were operational in two weeks and have been improving our EDI capabilities ever since.”
James Kochheiser, Otis McAllister
Relationship finds solutions to facilitate New Business
As the partnership between Otis McAllister, Beck and SPS advanced over time, business opportunities emerged that required additional connections or workflows to support new supply chain requirements from Otis McAllister’s existing or prospective grocery customers.
For example, a grocery retailer wanted to receive more timely Advance Ship Notices (ASNs), so Otis McAllister, Beck and SPS found a way to enable the supplier fulfilling the order to directly send the ASN to the grocery retailer using SPSCommerce.net. By empowering its suppliers and streamlining the transaction flow from vendors directly to grocery customers, Otis McAllister can reduce its costs and improve customer service.
“As we pursue new sales channels for our products, we can boldly say to potential customers that we can accommodate their EDI requirements,” stated Kochheiser. “We wouldn’t be able to say this without Beck and SPS Commerce working collaboratively at our side.”
James Kochheiser, Otis McAllister
About Beck Consulting
For over 30 years, Beck Consulting has been providing enterprise software and professional services to clients of all types and sizes throughout the world – from startups to multi-billion dollar companies. Its approach to recommending software solutions is thorough, professional, and designed to meet its customers’ expectations. To help assure these expectations are met, Beck’s unparalleled professional staff helps organizations through all aspects of implementation, training and support – and continue to do so as long they use the software.
Beck’s software solutions are based on the most modern ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system available today – Microsoft Dynamics. This offering is highly configurable, feature-rich, and provides the flexibility to grow and change with any business. The company’s goal is to assure that the software reflects the way its customers do business.
About SPS Commerce
SPS Commerce is a leading provider of on-demand supply chain management solutions, providing integration, collaboration, connectivity, visibility and data analytics to thousands of customers worldwide. We deliver our solutions over the Internet using a Software-as-a-Service model to improve the way suppliers, retailers, distributors and other customers manage and fulfill orders.
Our SPSCommerce.net platform features pre-built integrations used by current and new customers alike, spanning 3,000 order management models across 1,500 retailers, grocers and distributors, as well as integrations to over 100 accounting, warehouse management, enterprise resource planning, and packing and shipping applications. More than 40,000 customers across more than 40 countries have used SPSCommerce.net, making it one of the largest trading partner integration centers. SPS Commerce has 41 consecutive quarters of increased revenues and is headquartered in Minneapolis.