Glisten appoints SSI as information system partner for future growth

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Niche foods manufacturer Glisten plc has chosen SSI to help deliver its ambitious future business plans. Formed less than four years ago, Glisten has already grown its market capitalisation to 40m and is aiming for 100m capitalisation in the next two years. SSIs TROPOS ERP solution will streamline processes and generate quality information across the Group.

Rob Davies, FD, Glisten.

We wanted a partner who understood the food industry with the right system solution and IT support. Installing this leading edge information strategy will enable us to gain a competitive edge in the market, says Rob Davies, Glistens Finance Director (pictured left).

Glistens success is based on a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. A series of manufacturer acquisitions has made Glisten a significant supplier of specialist confectionary such as chocolate eggs, toffees, fudge, wine gums and boiled sweets. Customers include high street retailers, major food manufacturers, the food service sector and export markets.

In December 2004, Glisten diversified by acquiring Halo Food Group, a leading manufacturer of own label cereal bars for major brands and multiple retailers, and supplier of ingredients to the food manufacturing industry. Acquiring Halo Food Group more than doubled Glistens sales. The Group now employs 700 people across its five manufacturing sites supplying the UK and 23 other countries around the globe.

As the Group has expanded, Glistens management required a robust and scalable information strategy to manage reporting and planning needs to meet its future business aspirations. The core business system has to deliver production efficiencies through improved forward planning and scheduling. It has to optimise stock levels and integrate a tight supply chain with third party logistics suppliers. The system also needs to ensure product availability for seasonal markets and excellent service levels for Glistens demanding customer set - particularly if the Group is to extend business with distributors and cash-and-carry customers.

SSIs strong reputation in supporting foods sector companies, led Glisten during 2004 to consider SSI and its TROPOS solution for a serious partnership. Following reference visits and extensive reviews, in July 2005 Glisten purchased a 250,000 core business system from SSI, comprising hardware, software, services and maintenance.

The comprehensive software solution includes TROPOS Food Manufacturing and Supply Chain modules, MS SQL Server database, CODA Financials, TROPOS Application Development and Integration Tools, Microsoft Business Intelligence and Reporting. The hardware consists of HP and Windows application and web servers, inter-site communications links, and RF mobile data collection devices. Services include SSI implementation consultancy, project management, technical and application training, support services and remote managed services for the servers and application software.

We chose SSI for three main reasons, says Rob Davies. We found TROPOS easy to use, and that was critical to introducing a new system across the Group. Secondly, we liked its ability to interpret data and deliver accurate information for our business planning requirements. But we also felt confidence in the SSI team. We need that sound belief in a partner we expect to be supplying new systems to the company in the future.

SSIs information management solution will provide an information layer to pull together management data from across the group. TROPOS will then be rolled out across the confectionary companies, as Glisten develops a single view of its business performance.

SSI Managing Director, Trevor Lewis believes that TROPOS is now becoming an ERP solution of choice in the UK foods sector. Our penetration in this sector is very persuasive for foods manufacturers and suppliers that need the kind of comprehensive solution we can offer. It was clear that Glisten valued the way SSI could demonstrate real experience and knowledge of their business. We are very pleased to be partnering such an exciting player in this sector.

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