Orlando, FL (September 17, 2007) – Kevin Brown, Director of Information Systems for Daisy Brand, delivered a real-world description at the Gartner BPM Summit of how this 89 year old, 4th generation family business achieved new levels of competitiveness and operating efficiency using Service Oriented Architecture and process technologies from Ascentn and Microsoft Corp.
Daisy Brand, a leading domestic sour cream manufacturer headquartered in Dallas, TX; had found that the gaps between systems, business processes and employee roles coupled with inevitable customer driven changes were causing those processes to breakdown and impact the business. An example is order changes that span manual (fax, email, spreadsheets, etc.) and system functions (EDI, ERP, 3rd party freight, home-grown logistics and shipping applications) causing the process to slow and increasing spoilage costs.
The immediate goal was to automate the process for efficiency, yet preserve the flexibility of the manual system to adapt to customer demands. The solution must also leverage the silos of existing system functionality while lowering the cost of technology during double digit growth for the company. Finally it must align the company with Service Oriented Architecture so that “order change” and many other business functions could become services in process based applications.
Mr. Brown’s search for a solution to this business agility issue led him to choose Ascentn’s AgilePoint Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) for its highly adaptable architecture and its integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft BizTalk Server and the .NET Framework. This solution allowed Daisy Brand to automate the process, bridge the human and system gaps, and more profitably coordinate product delivery. The order change process now incorporates everything from a faxed order to customer EDI shipping acknowledgements to RFID product information flowing across an Enterprise Service Bus that is controlled by an AgilePoint visual “explicit” process model that everyone understands, can easily modify or even adapt to changing orders in flight! The pre-integrated nature of the Ascentn and Microsoft based solution allowed Daisy Brand to rapidly implement and easily manage order changes for Vendor Managed Inventory from a centralized shipping location through a nationwide supply chain of perishable products.
Daisy Brand’s AgilePoint implementation generated a positive return on investment within 6 months and provided shared visibility into the order change process across groups and roles. This empowered employees to examine the actual state of an order to proactively address issues. Now “order change” is an easily used business service within an Microsoft SharePoint Server-based employee portal as a part of Daisy Brands’ growing SOA library of process based services.
The success of the AgilePoint- and Microsoft-based solution has spread the benefits of BPM and SOA throughout Daisy Brand. “We’ve targeted critical HR and IT employee functions such as such as employee on-boarding, vacation requests and technology provisioning to get everyone in the company process oriented.” said Kevin Brown. “The ease of use and quick ROI of this business process platform reduces risks, reuses assets, and gives us the flexibility to satisfy demanding customers at any stage in a complex perishable food distribution system.”
“Daisy Brand has leveraged Ascentn’s AgilePoint BPMS, a completely Microsoft .NET-based and SOA-aligned modern BPMS, to achieve new levels of business results promised by BPM through reusing its Microsoft investments and skill sets including Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft BizTalk Server” said Jesse Shiah, CEO of Ascentn. “The result is a practical, cost effective, and risk-mitigated way to practice BPM while delivering better customer service and operational effectiveness for competitive differentiation.”
“Ascentn is a member of the Microsoft Business Process Alliance for its outstanding ability to span human-to-system processes by taking advantage of Microsoft technologies such as BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Office SharePoint Server 2007,” said Burley Kawasaki, director in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft. “Daisy Brand’s success was propelled by the process agility of the combined Microsoft-Ascentn solution.”
Ascentn AgilePoint pioneered .NET-based BPMS and delivered an SOA-aligned, model-driven, meta-data framework architecture to enable any organization to practice ‘adaptable’ and ‘explicit’ process management. This advancement truly empowers business users with process visibility and process-based innovation at both design-time and run-time within an IT governed ecosystem. Ascentn’s ‘Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast’ is a practical approach that delivers on the value proposition of SOA, BPM and composite applications with minimal cost, complexity and code. From financial services, manufacturing, communications through healthcare, companies are turning to AgilePoint to drive process excellence, reduce costs and improve business agility. Ascentn’s solutions drive the BPM initiatives of many leading global organizations including Siemens, Pfizer, Chinatrust, Cellcom, Elbit Systems, Daisy Brand and most recently, for the world’s largest computer maker. Ascentn has offices in North America, Asia Pacific (Taiwan, China, Japan) and EMEA (Belgium and Spain).
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