Major Food Services Distribution Network Uses Centerprise to Import and Transform Supplier Data Into Company System

We were using another tool, but it took too much manipulation of source files to get it to work correctly. Astera is much more user friendly.
Bill Ilmer, IT Director




This company is the largest food service distribution cooperative in the United States with over 650 shareholder companies in over 900 locations and a collective sales volume of over $31 billion. The company works with major suppliers of national brands in all segments of the foodservice industry.


Integration of supplier data into main system


Bill Ilmer is the IT director of a rebate program for suppliers and part of his job is to integrate supplier data into the company’s central system. Most of the supplier data comes in a predefined format that can easily be uploaded into the sales system, but some of the suppliers send their data via spreadsheets in their own format, including custom status codes and customer identifiers. Ilmer was forced to manually go through the spreadsheets and create another sheet with the missing and translated data. This was a laborious task and Ilmer thought there were better uses of his time.

Business Needs

The company needed a solution that was both easy to use and could be executed quickly–something Ilmer could turn to and just “run it” whenever he received data from a particular customer. And because this was a small but time-consuming piece of the overall process, it had to be unobtrusive.


Centerprise Data Integrator

Key Facts

  • Import disparate vendor data into the company’s system without manual copying
  • Handle multiple formats and translate specific terms
  • Flexibility, scalability, and ease of use was required

Astera Solution and Results

After evaluating various available tools, the food services company chose Centerprise because it was able to do exactly what was needed. Ilmer was able to use the visual drag-and-drop mapping with little fuss. He leveraged Centerprise’s static lookups to easily build the code translations for each supplier’s status codes and the database lookup to find the correct customer based on the supplier’s own customer identifier. In short, Centerprise delivered a simple but effective solution to an otherwise tedious problem.

After some initial setup to develop the mappings for each supplier, Ilmer is able to transform and import data into his own system in no time. In fact, he runs the transformations from a command line and simply double-clicks a batch file when he gets new supplier data. With manual spreadsheet manipulation out of the way, Ilmer is able to concentrate on processing rebates faster and without the context switch that was frequently involved.

Why Astera

The food services company chose Centerprise because it was a cost-effective option that provided all the functionality needed, as well as a user-friendly interface that enabled the IT director to quickly and easily execute his data transformation and import tasks.

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