Talend's development platform was deployed quickly and implemented without problem. The user-friendliness of the tool saved development time and the documentation answered every question that came up. The graphical user interface made maintenance, testing, and adjustment very easy. Everything is readable and clear.Claude-André Novet, IT Manager
Providing fruits and vegetables
Founded in 1946, Prodague is still a family business and for three generations has provided fresh, ready-to-eat, fruits and vegetables. The company wants to maintain the personal touch and today - with a staff of 170-generates revenue of about 34 million Swiss Francs ($30 million). The company is headquartered near Yverdon (in the Swiss canton of Vaud) where it grows about 15% of its produce.
With special attention to tracking, hygiene, and environmental issues, Prodague has developed unique expertise in processing and preparing fruits and vegetables, ensuring safe and reliable produce for their customers. The entire product line is checked for quality by two independent laboratories and has been certified British Retail Consortium (BRC) level A since 2006.
Commitment to open source
According to Prodague's IT manager, Claude-André Novet, basing the information systems on open source technologies is compatible with the company's philosophy, combining innovation and sustainable development principles. "We wanted to avoid the economic model of the major traditional and proprietary vendors, and realize cost savings without affecting performance. The lack of licensing costs for open source solutions is very interesting, assuming, of course, that the tools work correctly."
Prodague's information systems are made up of diverse applications, developed over time as operational needs dictated. "At the center of that galaxy, we have a proprietary ERP (Oasis) which serves as a sales management tool. Our ERP showed weaknesses in data entry controls, that is, the quality controls we are legally obliged to implement for any incoming goods," says Claude-André Novet. "And so we developed a complementary tool that handles both those controls and all of the purchasing flows of fruits and vegetables. However, this tool is not linked to the ERP, which is why we have to input the information twice - first at the administration level (accounting), and second at the business level (production control). We spent a lot of time on data consistency control and understanding disparities."
The IT department decided to develop an interface between the two tools that would allow them to enter the data only once in the ERP and then integrate it into the controlling tool. "We had two options," explains Claude-André Novet. "We could either outsource the development of this dedicated interface, or we could use the opportunity to assess the value and performance of data integration solutions - tools I've been interested in since I started monitoring IT developments years ago."
Talend Open Studio for Data Integration accelerates data integration projects
Prodague began performance testing, while identifying a budget for this interface project. "The results exceeded my expectations," Claude-André Novet adds. "We had budgeted 10 days for producing a functional analysis and 10 days for specific developments. Thanks to Talend's solution, we did both in only 7 days, and without resorting to external resources. The Talend Community web site (talendforge.org) gave us all the information we needed, including technical documentation and forums. Over and above the unexpected speed in implementing this solution, we maintained control of our interface - this is a very positive point for us."
The interface was then tested under real-time conditions for a month, before being deployed in the information system. Today purchase orders are entered into the ERP and data is transferred automatically three times a day (as well as on demand) to the input control tool.
"Talend's development platform was deployed quickly and implemented without problem," explains Claude-André Novet. "The user-friendliness of the tool saved development time (the read and write connections to the database,) and the documentation answered every question that came up. The graphical user interface made maintenance, testing, and adjustment very easy. Everything is readable and clear."
Productivity gains for today and tomorrow
By removing the double data entry, Talend Open Studio for Data Integration helped Prodague benefit from improved consistency control between the two systems, and also sped up the administrative part of the purchasing flow. In the past, reconciling the two systems took too much time and added no value.
"Today, through automated procedures and alerts, it is possible to find any data entry error quickly," said Claude-André Novet. "That time saving is a must-have for a company like ours which often delivers goods the day they are produced. Because produce is highly perishable, purchasing processes are critical. Through an accelerated production cycle (24 hours maximum), we buy for the same day or the very next day. Any error could cause delays or cancellation of deliveries to our clients which is, of course, unacceptable. Talend not only made the control process reliable, but also accelerated it."
After successfully using Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, Prodague is considering the development of new integration interfaces between the ERP and other tools in order to perform mass data updates.
"We are planning to migrate our ERP to more modern technology in 2008," concludes Claude-André Novet. Talend Open Studio for Data Integration will provide valuable assistance in this project - managing the migration and transfer of historical data and data schemas, even though we haven't selected a solution as yet. I'm sure that Talend will play a key role in the success of this project and others as well. Talend's solutions enable us to quickly reach our goals, without spending too much time on technical issues. At the end of the day, the tool helps us be more reactive and reliable."