Systems & Information Technology

The heart of our system has been developed over our history to offer a bespoke solution. It brings us enormous flexibility and controls everything from ordering through to invoicing and reporting.

Our in-house programming capabilities allow for excellent flexibility to integrate with external systems. Importantly, this allows us to be very nimble meaning we can offer quick response times unlike many organizations using ‘off the shelf’ systems.

We offer a wide range of choices for receiving orders electronically. The main systems we use are, Saffron, Fourth Trade Simple, itrade, insight, Tradex, Procure Wizard, Coupa, Caternet and EPSYS. We also use bespoke systems with differing file transfer methods such AS2, FTP, xml, xls docs etc.

For customers who prefer to work outside of these software providers we have developed a system that can automatically process emailed orders.

All these features are also reflected in our ability to process invoices; with similar systems used. Product catalogues are electronically managed and again can be integrated to exchange with our customers for ease of price file maintenance.

The catalogue system can automatically handle the presence of restricted goods items. This gives our customers the flexibility to utilize the best supply source knowing only authorized products will be supplied by West Country Milk.

We also manage fully integrated solutions with customer P2P systems. This means orders are matched to invoices, cleared and matched for payment automatically.

Beyond full electronic invoices we have the facility to bulk email invoices in a pdf format to either head office or site level. Obviously this reduces cost and paper usage across all businesses.

Sandy Says

“With hundreds of Elior sites generating thousands of deliveries each week across the UK & Ireland, efficient systems are of paramount importance to us as a business.

With nationwide cover, daily delivery, robust controls, and intelligent systems and information technology – West Country Milk is well set up to ensure operations run smoothly”

Sandy Anderson, Senior Buyer at Elior UK.

Disaster Recovery Procedure

We invest heavily in our I.T capabilities, an example of this being our recent server upgrade at a cost of some £40,000.

These servers offer us greater protection than ever before. The new setup, summarised below, offers multiple layers of back-up and operating capability.

Our objective with our hardware upgrade was to build the maximum level of redundancy into our new systems. This means that West Country Milk want to have maximum protection from any outage of service from its computer systems.

To this end we have two individual servers, these boxes emulate 2 “virtual servers” each therefore giving 4 “virtual servers”.

This result of this is that if one virtual server fails the three others immediately and seamlessly take over. If one of the individual servers fails the other takes over and emulates all 4 “virtual servers”.

Beyond this all the data is held separately on an Equallogic SAN. This storage is made up of 40 individual hard disk drives all mirroring each other.

The advantage of this again is built in redundancy meaning that if one or more individual drives fail the remainder take over seamlessly.

The final “belt and braces” is the Veeam Server backup, this hardware constantly mirrors the SAN to instantly take over should the whole SAN unit fail.