EAT is a food supplier that specializes in “fresh and uncomplicated” sandwiches, soups, pies, and salads; every day, it distributes its freshly prepared breakfast and lunch foods to over a hundred locations throughout the U.K. One of EAT’s primary concerns is optimizing its use of data to control quality and ensure loss prevention–the short shelf life of its products and its commitment to freshness, makes precision in production absolutely essential.
The data needed to make sure that everything gets to where it needs to be when it needs to be there, however, is not as straightforward to gather as one might think–warehouse supply levels, store locations, employee schedules, sales patterns, and even weather reports must be considered when planning an efficient strategy. These data points come from different sources and in different formats, creating discrepancies which can cause shortages or waste.
EAT’s IT department wanted a better way to cope with this disparate data. Their tracking system consisted of spreadsheets and hit-or-miss attempts with fickle FTP services, but these solutions only notified them when there was issue; they failed to provided specifics or ways to fix the problem. Rene Batsford, the head of IT at EAT, shared his reason for turning to Temboo: “We needed something with intelligence built into it. Temboo gave more feedback, and did something with that feedback.”
Temboo was the solution that could interact with the different data sources and EAT’s servers. Every night, a scheduled Temboo Choreo kicks off for EAT, retrieving several large files that contain various data. The Choreo then transforms the fairly complex XML files to a simpler XML schema and inserts all of this aggregated information into EAT’s SQL server database.
Since Temboo is external to EAT’s systems, there is no risk of causing a domino effect of data failures if any of the individual data bridges malfunctions. Instead, the Choreos will communicate information about the failure even if EAT’s internal systems are offline–they include extensive error handling that can alert people if something goes wrong, or retry an insertion if connectivity to a service fails. “Temboo is a prime example of where [cloud computing] really works,” Batsford said. “By having Temboo external to our network, it actually gives us a lot more information. Temboo is a perfect fit not just for us but for lots of other companies similar to us out there.”