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ASP helps dairy to keep IT department on ice

A leading ice cream manufacturer has recouped its investment in less than 12 months and reduced headcount by moving to...

A leading ice cream manufacturer has recouped its investment in less than 12 months and reduced headcount by moving to application service provision (ASP) for its SAP software.

Fredericks Dairies - which supplies Cadbury's with ice cream products - has never had an IT department, but needed improved enterprise decision support software when it experienced swift growth after Cadbury's began to challenge the market leading ice cream makers.

Under the deal, ASP firm I-Fusion is supplying mySAP sales order, warehouse, inventory, procurement and financial services modules from an offsite location via a BT leased line.

Anne Allcock, financial director at Fredericks, said, "We wanted an immediate benefit. The business has grown massively in the past five years and we wanted room for further expansion. Implementing SAP would have drowned [us] but this gives us flexibility."

Fredericks took six weeks to negotiate the service level agreement with I-Fusion. Allcock said, "We took third-party advice to make sure we understood the small print of the agreement and we are happy that all contingencies are taken care of."

I-Fusion's server is based at a secure site and the agreement requires the supplier to move it to other premises within 24 hours in case of fire or similar problems.

The leased line took some time to sort out. "This was our biggest bugbear, but now we have a duplicate [line] organised should problems arise," said Allcock.

Fredericks may integrate some elements of its set-up with Cadbury Schweppes' SAP systems to improve supply chain management.

The mySAP suite replaces a Tetra 2000 system which required manual updates and was serviced by an external support company.

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