Founded in 2009, AlterFood‘s raison d’être and mission is to develop responsible food and beverage products. The SME develops and distributes food brands, mainly on the French market. Its goal is to change the codes of food consumption with transparent, traceable, organic and less sweet products, while remaining delicious and gourmet. Today, AlterFood has twenty fully natural brands and more than 150 products distributed in more than 5,500 points of sale in France.
With AlterFood’s growth and increasing business requirements, their previous ERP system had become inadequate and non-performing. The team wanted to implement a global vision with good data flow management, KPIs, and performance monitoring tables. They also wanted to unify business processes and secure data. In addition, the traceability of goods is extremely important to AlterFood, so they wanted a reliable and powerful professional ERP.
The importance of KPIs:
Having KPI visibility is critical for companies similar to AlterFood, to:
- Track sales data, by customer and by product,
- Track financial data such as cash flow, Working Capital Requirement (WCR), and sales margin,
- Track inventory movements to ensure the quality of the produce.
The Experience of Working with Big Bang for NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite answered the needs and growth of AlterFood. At the time, the software was quite new in France. There were very few French-speaking integrators with experience in the France market, which is how AlterFood was recommended to Big Bang.
The Big Bang team integrated NetSuite and adapted it to the food and beverage distribution sector, and to AlterFood’s internal processes. One of the strengths of the NetSuite platform is its flexibility and ability to be fully adapted to business processes. Big Bang assisted AlterFood with the implementation, and Go-Live, with normal adjustments made as needs arose along the way. Other strengths of NetSuite are its excellent order flow management, order placement, stock entry and withdrawal, and invoicing. On the accounting side, producing the balance sheet and income statement is now fast, efficient and allows AlterFood to monitor its accounts.
According to Alexis Vaillant, president and founder of AlterFood,
“a good ERP is on the one hand a good team to implement it, but it is also, on the other hand, a good team to receive it in the company.”
Big Bang: a long-term partner
Following the initial implementation of NetSuite in 2019, AlterFood continues to use Big Bang services. The company is in the process of moving to EDI integration, an electronic data interchange format prevalent in Europe, for transmitting information with large distributors.
The Big Bang team helped AlterFood understand the project, automate flows and limit data crunching. The challenge of the project is to understand the business and operational flows, and successfully translate these flows using the ability to transform the elements sent by EDI into a format that can be integrated into NetSuite. This project is ongoing and is being refined over time as the AlterFood organization grows, and its processes are better defined. This is a true investment in innovation to make technology an asset and a competitive advantage for Alterfood.
Advice: Have a project manager in-house
Alexis advises entrepreneurs starting a similar project
“to have an internal project manager to understand and frame it. (At the beginning,) the consultant doesn’t always understand our business as well as we do, and that can create confusion and communication problems. But also to see the execution problems. It’s very important to assign people to this project, so that the internal teams accept and support the project.”