A new software service by digital supply chain specialist Transalis is set to transform the way supply chains process manual orders from customers.

Award-winning Transalis provides cloud-based applications for 5,000 users across 32 countries, transacting £3 billion worth of invoices per annum.

Now, as part of its latest automation offering to retailers, manufacturers, logistics, warehouses and supply chain firms, the business has launched its DataCapture solution following successful trials.

The real-time 24/7 order automation service captures and harnesses data from other documents as well as orders, including dispatch notes, invoices and stock inventories.

A personal care products company has already saved 10 working days a month in labour through DataCapture.

“Our business tool is a potential game-changer for supply chains in Great Britain and internationally,”

said Mark McGarry, a senior account director at Portsmouth-based Transalis who leads DataCapture.

Removing bottlenecks

“Many suppliers know only too well of the frustrating bottlenecks and costly delays caused when high-frequency orders come in from their customers in a manual format, such as PDFs, Excel, typed orders in the body of an email or even faxes.

“DataCapture automatically extracts this written information, at the fraction of the cost of hiring new administration staff to manually process the orders.

“What’s more, users of the software have on-the-fly visibility and control of orders in back office systems – key to harnessing swift increases in orders, no matter how their customers send over data.

“Some customers, ramping up orders to respond to demand, will ditch suppliers if there are delays in getting products out to market.

“The fast-moving consumer goods industry takes no prisoners – empty shelves don’t make profits.

Rapid response

“We live in an instant-reaction consumer world where demand for a product, perhaps because an online post about a product has just gone viral, can feed into stock orders within minutes, catching suppliers off-guard.”

QVS Global UK in Nottingham was among the first to on-board Transalis’ DataCapture solution.

The company specialises in producing personal care products within the health and beauty category, with the focus on providing retailers and consumers with distinctive ranges of cosmetic, nail, bath and travel accessories.

Chris Holden, Supply Chain and Operations Manager at QVS Global UK, said:

“DataCapture has been key in harnessing the rapid increase in order intake and, just as importantly, provides another trusted, cost-effective business tool for us to continue to expand our trading and information sharing, no matter how our customers want to send us data.”

He added:

“Benefits were quickly realised day-to-day and at management level.”

QVS Global UK is among the 5,000 global users of Transalis’ cloud-based application, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which integrates complex business processes digitally.

Users range from start-ups, small to medium-size enterprises, high street brands and some of the world’s largest retailers, with more than 100,000 documents exchanged every day.

Bridging the gap

Mark said:

“QVS Global UK and other clients are successfully utilising our EDI platform but some of our customers’ customers don’t support EDI or digital trading, so DataCapture productively bridges that gap.

“A number of ‘old school’ businesses have yet to embrace supply chain automation and still make orders in non-digital paper formats.

“These are not only costly to process in labour terms for suppliers but it also means they don’t have real-time data analytics to provide insight and improve processes and productivity.

“The market response to DataCapture, which incorporates elements of our proprietary software with that of a third party, has been excellent and the fact that QVS Global UK has already saved 10 working days a month shows the potential to make supply chains even more productive.”

Transalis, which is headquartered at business innovation hub Portsmouth Technopole, has 27 staff.

Named Portsmouth Business of the Year, 2017 and Medium Business of the Year at the JP South Business Awards in Brighton, Transalis was established in 2002 by co-founders Aniello Sabatino and Paul Simpson.

Their aim is to digitally transform the ways in which organisations communicate and transact business with suppliers, partners and customers.

Transforming processes

Clients work in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, fast-moving consumer goods and health and beauty.

They include leading brand names such as AmazonMicrosoft, Pret a Manger and AS Watson, the company that owns Superdrug in the UK.

In the public sector, Transalis is an accredited services supplier to increasing numbers of users in government departments, local authorities and the NHS.

Transalis has also been hailed in the latest Parliamentary Review as a trailblazer in business technology and software.

The firm also presented to the world’s most important gathering of chief information officers and senior IT executives, providing insights into next-generation supply chains at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Barcelona, Spain.

Paul Simpson, joint managing director with co-founder Aniello Sabatino, said at the time: “The supply chains of the near future are characterised by agility, event-driven information, integrity of data, global reach, local integration and ever-present visibility across participants.

“Companies face being left behind by astute competitors if they are unwillingly or unable to embrace innovative solutions, including how digital platforms can connect everyone in supply chains in a way thought unimaginable just a few years ago.”

EDI explained

Traditional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic interchange of business information using a standardised format, a process which allows companies to exchange standard business documents by electronic format.

EDI operates under two core principles, firstly the exchange of documents take place in a standardised format and secondly, electronic documents replace the need for paper documents.

Using these two basic concepts, any business can implement EDI and take advantage of its speed, accuracy, efficiency and cost savings.