Barillaapplies end-to-end e-Collaboration Supply Chain Management

In 1877, when Pietro Barilla opened a small bakery shop in Parma, Italy, he could not imagine that his name would become synonymous to pasta worldwide. Today 139 years later, the BARILLA Group offers with consistency popular & qualitative brands in pasta, sauce and bakery products in more than 100 countries around the world. In Greece, since 1991, Barilla Hellas along with the Greek company MISKO, is the biggest pasta company, with a production & distribution of 80.000 tons of products in 19 countries of W.E. Europe with an export activity to 30 countries worldwide, while its history & evolution are connected with innovation activities focusing on the customers, the environment and the supply chain.

In 2013 the company invested in the implementation of an innovative model of integrated electronic management of the supply chain, through a user-friendly digital synergistic environment with the cooperating Super Market chains that would offer significant automation of operations from the order till the invoicing. The target of this new model is the enhancement of the efficiency, speed and transparency in the procedure, as well as the drastic decrease of the environmental footprint, of the replenishment procedures.

For the implementation of this project Barilla Hellas cooperated with Retail@Link (member of the Entersoft Group), the innovative provider of S.a.a.S. solutions that covers the focused needs of the electronic interconnection in the Greek Supply Chain since 2003, supporting daily the continuously developing network of 50.000 companies that are connected to its electronic hub.

BARILLA Hellas with the solutions & support of Retail@Link, implemented the solutions R@L CRP, R@L EDI & R@L e-Invoicing Paperless for the electronic management of the operations of ordering & invoicing of Barilla, in order to automate the daily cooperation with the cooperating companies. The target for the successful completion of the project was that the supply chain of Barilla would reach the optimum level between the service & stock levels, as well as to achieve significant decrease of the operational cost and increase of visibility for every cooperating party of the supply chain.

Till 2009 the procedures followed by Barilla on the daily operations for the replenishment of the Central Warehouses of its clients included continuous visits & communications of its salespeople to record the stock level  and the negotiation on the new order quantity. The sales department, forwarded the –approved by the client- order to the Logistics department in order to record it inside the company’s ERP, and take the necessary approvals from their internal mechanism as well. For every new Purchase Order the accounting department created a new invoice and the corresponding Consignment Notes (4 copies in total, 1,5 page for each on average), that were sent to the client and accompanied the merchandise until its delivery, while at the same time their copies were stored in physical storing areas of Barilla. Finally, the client when receiving the corresponding document, entered the content in his own system, making manual cross checking of the data of the invoice with that of the order, so as to approve of the corresponding charge and complete the order & invoicing cycle.

For Barilla the cooperation with more than 123 clients to serve their daily replenishment needs, the high targets of Service Level (99.6%) so as its products are always at the point of sales and the management of more than 10.300 invoices and 8.700 consignment notes per year, created a huge administrative burden that was immediately translated to high administrative cost.

Since 2009, the company implemented a program of continuous development of the supply chain, innovating in the Greek market through the use of tools (like R@L e-Ordering & R@L e-Invoicing EDI) for the transition to digital-supply chain operation. Within the context of the vision of Barilla for constant innovation & development, on 2013 and during the installation of the new information system (SAP), the company and with the initiative of the department of Information Technology and Supply Chain & Logistics, decided to apply a new automated model of supply chain so as to optimize the whole procedure in the following points:

  1. End-to-end automation (from the order – to the invoicing)
  2. Visibility & Transparency for Barilla & and its clients
  3. Decrease of the operational cost & stock replenishment
  4. Decrease of the administrative burden for Barilla & its clients
  5. Decrease of the environmental footprint of the supply chain of Barilla
  6. Completion with the new information system of Barilla

For the implementation of this project, Barilla chose the Software as a Service solutions R@L CRP, R@L e-Iinvoicing EDI & R@L e-Invoicing Paperless by Retail@Link, that offer immediate electronic interconnection with the cooperating chains, constant & automated data & files  interchange and a common  digital synergistic environment for Barilla and its cooperating chains  in the whole replenishment process. More specifically:

  1. Synchronization of Product Catalogues (between Barilla & the Cooperating Supermarket Chains)
  2. Constant, electronic & fully automated exchange of important data that refer to the replenishment operation (Warehouse Product Data, Stock Data, Stores Demand, Orders, Consignment Notes, Products in-transit etc)
  3. Automatic estimation of Order Quantity, based on algorithmic analyses that from all the data exchanged between Barilla and the cooperating Super Market Chains.
  4. Electronic Order Delivery through the solution of R@L CRP and alignment of the cooperating parties.
  5. Acceptance workflows of the final order & automatic delivery and data entry in the Barilla systems.
  6. Automatic delivery and data entry of the business documents directly to the information systems of each Supermarket Chain (R@L e-Invoicing EDI).
  7. Electronic delivery & archiving of the business documents of Barilla to its cooperating Supermarket Chains (R@L e-Invoicing Paperless).
  8. Provision of constant statistical information and constant update of SAP with valuable data for the continuous development of the overall operation (R@L CRP Statistics).

The project for the integrated electronic management of the supply chain started in August 2013 and was implemented in 3 phases, with the close cooperation of the workgroups of Barilla (ΙΤ & International IT Department, Logistics & Supply Chain Department, Commercial Department) of Retail@Link and the 2 chains (Super Market Buyers) that participated in the implementation plan of the new model.


  • Phase 1 (08/2013 – 12/2013) Implementation of the R@L CRP service and completion of the ERP of Barilla (SAP Integration) for the automation of the data interchange between Barilla and the cooperating Super Market Chains, the automatic estimation of the optimum order quantity and the electronic flow of approvals.
  • Phase 2 (12/2013 –02/2014) Implementation of the R@L e-Invoicing EDI solution for the electronic & 100% automated exchange, data entry and control of order files & invoices from ERP to ERP and backwards for Barilla and the cooperating Super Market Chains.
  • Phase 3 (04/2014 –05/2014) Implementation of the R@L e-Invoicing Paperless solution for the electronic delivery of the cooperating chains and the automated proof of delivery & reading, as a structured EDI message directly to the system of (EDI Notification Messages).
  • Phase 4 (05/2014 – 06/2014) Design of new statistical reports for the daily update of the R@L CRP & the system of Barilla (SAP) with the desired reports (average demand per period, average stock levels, total deliveries, total shortages etc)


The innovation of the implementation methodology is based on the combined use of flexible Software as a Service services and their completion with the information system of Barilla (SAP), for the implementation of which there was intensive work from the Information Technology departments of Barilla in Greece & abroad, along with the workgroup of Retail@Link. The above approach allows Barilla to take advantage of the benefits of the immediate connection offered by the B2B Network of the provider and extend them by continuously updating its ERP system with valuable data which, through their analysis, allow constant improvement of the supply chain of Barilla.

Below they are briefly shown the basic quantitative & qualitative results of the implementation of this project:

  • Service Level: The service level of the Central Warehouse in the 2 cooperating Supermarket Chains, is currently estimated at 99,7% on average, compared to the 99,4% before the implementation of the R@L CRP-VMI. (Barilla target: 99,6%)
  • Stock Level: The improved by 0,3% Service Level is served with a lower Stock Level in the central Warehouse, reduced by 10% compared to the levels before the implementation of the R@L CRP-VMI. (Barilla target: 8%)
  • Decrease of Visits: The visits that target in the stock replenishment of the Central Warehouses were reduced by 9% on average, as a result of the electronic cooperation through the new model R@L CRP-VMI.
  • Invoicing Cost: The cost of management per document was decreased by 77% (from 3,21 to 0,75 €) while Barilla saves more than 000 €/year in total as a result of the savings offered by the lack of use of paper and with the implementation to all of its clients
  • Administration Time: The administration time per document was reduced >99% for Barilla and the cooperating Super market Chains (from 4’ to >0,05’/document on average)
  • Interconnection with the Business Partners: Barilla connected in less than 9 months with 64% of its clients and dematerialized at the same time 77% of its business documents, with a O.I. in just 2 months of the implementation of the Electronic Invoicing & EDI.
  • Transparency & Visibility in the cooperation: With the implementation of the new model, Barilla offers an important cooperation tool to the Super Market Chains, through which both sides have constant & complete visibility of the data of their supply chain, while they can easily agree the replenishment operations.
  • Environmental footprint: Within the context of its vision for a reduced environmental footprint, Barilla decreased significantly its redundant visits, as well as the use of paper in the replenishment operations saving today: >75.000 paper sheets, 500 kg CO² emissions.

With the completion of the implementation of the new supply chain model, Barilla had significant results in all the KPIs with measurable progress. The company targets the continuous extendability of its automation, having as a target the transition to a 100% Digital Supply Chain Operation that offers the highest automation from order to the payment. Within the context of the above target Barilla plans:

  • The extendability of the Electronic Invoicing to all the business documents (Consignment Notes).
  • The extendability of the Electronic Archiving to the whole archive of Barilla (100% Digital Archiving) with an estimated benefit >33.700 €, over and above the current savings/year.
  • Extendability of the R@L CRP-VMI to the cooperating Super Market Chains.
  • Completion of this procedure through a digital payments environment (order-to-payment).

As stated by Mr. Dimitris Papaprokopiou, Contact Center Professional at BARILLA Hellas: “With the implementation of the R@L e-Invoicing service, our company managed to automate at a great level the delivery of the business documents to our clients. In combination with the use of the R@L CRP-VMI and the automated collection of the status of each delivery to our local ERP system (SAP), we managed to save valuable productive time, to improve our customers service and focus on the operations that give real value and results.”