One of the core values of Coop Italia, a distribution chain with more than 1,150 stores across Italy, is its commitment to be open and direct towards consumers, focusing on transparency and traceability to guarantee compliance with quality and safety standards n its products.
The very strong strategic development in Coop branded products (such as ViviVerde, Fiofore, Solidai, Benesi etc.), which represent some 30% of sales, has further consolidated this commitment. Among other things, the transparency strategy has provided the basis for the Origini Trasparenti (transparency of origins) campaign since 2013, an initiative with which Coop Italia was the first in Italy to allow consumers to obtain information on the origin of the raw materials used in products, going all the way back the supply chain, from fork to field; visibility on product information was also behind the development of the interactive consumer experience implemented in the “Supermarket of the Future” at Expo 2015 in Milan.
“The very strong strategic development of our branded products has prompted us to manage a significant ramp-up in the number of references, which made it necessary to make the purchase process more efficient and standardized, and to manage the relationship with suppliers throughout the product life cycle.
“Furthermore, we wanted to make product-related information, which was previously for internal use only, available to consumers in line with our transparency strategy, our commitment to being open and direct,” explains Gabriele Tubertini, CIO of Coop Italia. In addition to the Coop branded products, the need for a single data repository to share information and recipes has expanded rapidly to include the range of very fresh produce, such as delicatessen products and prepared vegetables, at the request of the cooperatives. A further fundamental requirement for Coop Italia was the confidentiality of the information managed on the platform since this is core data for the company.
Coop Italia chose JAGGAER for the development of a platform called PLT, Private Label Trade, in which about 4,700 suppliers of Coop branded products are registered. The platform – which is quite unique in the Italian retail sector – manages the flow of information relating to product details, such as the origin of raw materials or supplier certifications, as well as quality audits and the negotiation process. What’s more, the platform manages the entire cycle of product-related forms, such as labels and data sheets. It is used by about 300 internal commercial and quality management customers, as well as users within the quality management teams of the member cooperatives.
“Today the company has a structured data repository that makes it possible to use all this information. Every activity carried out on the portal is verified and traceable; for example, a supplier can declare that allergens are not present in its product: if the supplier registers it on the portal, the information is certified, it is traced and can be used at auditing level, ”explains Gabriele Tubertini. “Now, the portal developed by JAGGAER is the unique reference source for the management of branded products. The benefits are appreciated by everyone, but initially we had some resistance, because the introduction of the platform caused a significant change to our way of working, ”continues Tubertini. “Fortunately, we stayed the course and over time the users have become increasingly satisfied with the platform.”
By working together, Coop Italia and JAGGAER have in fact managed to address the critical issues and to design a roadmap that meets the needs of the company. “The platform is hosted in the cloud, an approach which, by its very nature, allows less emphasis on customization than solutions developed internally. The benefits of the cloud were however so significant that Coop accepted the challenge, progressively implementing not only the customizations that were actually necessary, but also expanding the use of the solution year after year. The cloud approach also allows you to benefit from the platform’s development roadmap, and this is an advantage because new enhancements are implemented with each release, ”continues Tubertini.
The JAGGAER platform also forms the basis for providing information used by consumers. “For the ‘Origini Trasparenti’ campaign, we developed the site www.e-coop.it/web/guest/cooporigini, where the consumer, by entering the bar code number or the name of the product, can access and obtain information in real time, which supports maximum transparency. And at the Supermarket of the Future, created for the Milan Expo, all you had to do was make a gesture with your hand to see the information appear on screens in front of the counter, which was equipped with special movement sensors. Much of the information presented finds its origin precisely in the PLT portal developed by JAGGAER, ”adds Tubertini.
The Importance of Security
The main concern of the company – in taking the cloud-based approach – was to guarantee the confidentiality of this information. The solution developed by JAGGAER, which is characterized by a production environment dedicated to Coop Italia and the highest security standards (let’s not forget that JAGGAER is ISO27001 certified!) Guarantees a very high level of protection.
This is an abstract of an article previously published by Digital4Executive.