SAP provides ASP clarity for Fredericks Dairies

ASP solution from i-fusion powers IT-free future for ice-cream manufacturer

LondonFredericks Dairies, the third largest ice-cream manufacturer and distributor in the UK, has adopted SAP’s ‘Connect & Go’ solution to be delivered via ASP.

The company, which has an annual turnover of £30 million, has never had a dedicated IT department – and is set to continue this trend by using the ASP model. Under the new arrangement, its sales order processing, warehouse management, inventory, procurement and financial services will be managed off-site by SAP partner, i-fusion, and accessed over a dedicated leased line. This will enable the company to focus on the information that the applications generate, rather than the technology behind them.

The pre-configured solution, implemented by SAP partner i-fusion in a matter of weeks, provides accurate and timely analysis of sales data for Fredericks, which previously relied on a home-grown and manually updated system.

The new system is currently used by 10% of the workforce, and has been configured to enable online ordering and settlement in the near future. There is also potential to integrate it with the SAP solutions of Fredericks’ partners, including Cadbury Schweppes.

A July report by the Aberdeen Group showed that ASP revenue is expected to reach $16bn (€18.58bn) by 2005, growing at a rate of 52.2% over the next five years. Much of this growth will be driven by mid-market companies, such as Fredericks Dairies, that are rapidly becoming aware of the benefits of a comparatively low-cost but highly functional ASP model.

Anne Allcock, financial director at Fredericks Dairies, said, “Using the hosted solution, we can throw the technical side of things out of the window, and let someone else take responsibility for it. However, we still retain all the functionality of the SAP system as if we had purchased it outright. What’s more, the moment SAP issues a product upgrade, we are able to take advantage of it without going through any re-installation procedures.”

“For a small business this is an ideal option,” Allcock continued. “The implementation was very fast, and the whole system requires minimum maintenance and upkeep. Our success as the UK’s third biggest and fastest growing ice-cream manufacturer is down to the fact that we concentrate on what we do best – quality products and delivering outstanding service. A hosted solution enables us to continue to do just that.”

Joe Flynn, managing director at i-fusion, said, “By implementing the ‘Connect & Go’ solution for Fredericks Dairies, we have been able to give it a strategic platform that will expand with its growing business. In our experience, the issue of requiring quick implementation and best-practice solutions is common across the mid-market, and the ASP-based solution has delivered exactly this for Fredericks Dairies.”

Jan Dornbach, head of Mid-Market solutions at SAP, said, “We recognise that, although many companies want to take advantage of SAP’s solutions, it’s not always viable to purchase them outright. This is why we make them available through an ASP-based solution using our implementation partners. The customer receives all the benefits of working with SAP, whilst we open up our company to a whole new marketplace.”