Spicing up the business with flexible integration

Spice and flavouring company Santa Maria is expanding on the European market. The expansion is supported by the company's new integration platform, which is used to manage the business communication with major food corporations across Europe.

- The integration platform helps us streamline the supply chain and our business processes, while it has contributed to reduce costs at all levels, including management costs of the platform that can be kept to a minimum, says Allan Vesmes, IT manager at Santa Maria.

Santa Maria is the leading flavouring company in Europe, with the mission to develop and lead new food trends. Santa Maria’s product groups are spices, Tex Mex, Thai, Indian and BBQ. Product development and quality are Santa Maria’s cornerstones. The company’s old integration platform lacked several key elements needed for a smooth and efficient business communication with customers.

Solid experience and skills

- We carried out a detailed evaluation of various integration platforms on the market, Vesmes says. According to the selection criterias, the integration platform, in short, should be efficient, flexible and intuitive, and its supplier should have solid experience and skills in the area of integration, and be able to function as a sparring partner.

Santa Maria ended up choosing a modern integration platform and a supplier that met the requirements. In addition to the integration of internal IT systems, the platform handles solutions for warehouse management, automated e-commerce, and vendor payments by bank switching, and logistics to third party vendors. All of them have been integrated with Santa Maria’s ERP system.

Santa Maria is using the system to communicate with customers across Europe. They include everything from large food corporations to smaller food service companies in 18 countries. The grocery chains want to constantly streamline their inbound shipments. They require that their major suppliers should be able to manage electronic exchange of business messages, such as orders, order confirmations, shipping notifications, and invoices.

- We have integrated our processes with the customer’s processes, Vesmes says. We have rapid flows in our business, and now we can control them much better than before.

24 hours a day from all of Europe

Orders from customers come 24 hours a day and from places across Europe. Each order goes through the system to Santa Maria’s warehouse where it generates a pick list. At the same time an order confirmation is sent to the customer. Before the goods are delivered, the customer receives a delivery notification, and ultimately the customer receives an invoice.

- If we receive an order before eleven o’clock in the morning, the customer can expect to receive the goods the very next day, he says. We had never been able to handle so many customer orders without a very competent integration engine.

All the company’s incoming and outgoing payments are made via the integration engine through a banking connection with Danske Bank. The platform’s other integrations with external actors include connections with labs where the company’s products are tested for quality assurance. The integration platform requires very little staffing for management, operation, and redevelopment. The cost of ownership is very low. 

Santa Maria is part of the Finnish food group Paulig, which has several subsidiaries that are dominant in food areas such as coffee and industrial seasoning.

- Our positive experiences with the integration platform has generated great interest from our parent company. They are now looking into the possibility to use the same platform at other companies within the group, says Allan Vesmes.

Thomas Madsen

Chief Marketing Officer
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