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The experts in sustainable dairy, confectionery and plant-based ingredients

The client

Meadow has grown over 30 years into a £550m value-added ingredients business specialising in the dairy, confectionery, ice cream, prepared foods and plant-based industries.

Meadow’s business is split into two sections that export product.

Bulk – This tends to be tankers of milk. Previously these products were only sold into the EU, therefore limited paperwork was required. The business exports roughly 1000 loads per year, but due to the seasonal nature of these transactions, could do 60 in a week and 0 in another.

Packaged Products – They previously exported outside of the UK, but in comparatively smaller numbers than to the EU. They currently export to 19 countries with circa 1700 transactions per annum.

Their Issues

They identified that the Brexit vote would have a significant impact on the complexity of the export process. The time that transactions were taking and the manual effort in completing the required documentation was key driver behind the decision to identify a specialist system to help.

System Selection / Implementation – IT Perspective

Following the Brexit vote and having reviewed the impact this would have on existing manual processes, Meadow reviewed potential business partners who could provide an increased level of control and automation via a specialist software solution, linked to a detailed knowledge of the export process.

During 2020, Meadow worked with three potential suppliers fully reviewing solutions available.

What we did for Meadow

Working with the Bulk and Packaged customer service teams, we:

  • Developed a series of export order processing workflows to manage the distinct requirements of each business channel and the markets they export to
  • Established a data import pre-processor to manage the data being delivered by their ERP system. This analyses the file content and automatically allocates the correct processing workflow for each shipment.
  • Established a process for consolidating of export orders into single shipments when needed.
  • Automated the mechanism for uploading data to their 3rd party customs declaration partner.

The Results

Meadow has now been running with Exportmaster for almost three years. All data is automatically moved from our ERP solution into Exportmaster as required during the order process (from initial order through to confirmation of despatch), with no user actions required. Exportmaster then allows the team to produce and store all required documentation.

  • Removed the need for a significant increase in head count to manage the level of exports and documentation
  • Allowed documentation (packing lists/commercial invoices/Descartes feed) to be produced in minutes rather than hours
  • Significant cost & time saving by managing in-house rather than using a customs broker
  • Achieved zero rejected/delayed export loads

“Overall, the solution has saved Meadow significant time when processing exports. It has allowed us to retain control in-house without significantly increasing headcount, and to provide the accurate key documentation, required to allow exports to flow without any significant delays at the borders. This includes the interface with CDS, which again has improved previously manual processes.”

Customer Service Manager

Without this solution, as a business we would not have been able to manage the level of exports we have needed to at times, without a significant increase in head count. The number of issues with paperwork etc. during the export process has also been extremely low.

From a system perspective this has been a successful implementation with virtually no downtime and if we have required support, this has always been provided to our expectations. Exportmaster are a fairly small team, but because of this we always feel that when required we are speaking to someone with a detailed knowledge of both the system, but also the overall export process.”

Gary Marshall, IT Director

The decision to progress with Exportmaster was based both on the processes and workflow contained within their solution, but also the expertise and experience that all staff at Exportmaster appeared to have in this area.

We worked closely with Exportmaster for several weeks both configuring the solution to meet the new requirements that Brexit brought, and also on the integration between our internal ERP, Exportmaster and finally into a 3rd party Solution that interfaced with CDS.

Gary Marshall, IT Director, Meadow

Functionality used

Custom Workflows

Order Interface

Email Templates

Order Consolidations

Customs Data Generation

Document Archiving


To discuss your needs or arrange a demo of our software, call us on 020 4532 3445

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