The Rainforest Alliance Sustains Supply Chain Visibility and Certification
Data clarity, quality, and visibility
To certify products that end up on the store shelf, the Rainforest Alliance works with farmers, foresters, and tourism operators through their supply chains. However, its data management, certification, and reporting processes were slowed by manual data processing steps. If data wasn't pulled on schedule due to staff vacation or sick days or other priorities, it could become outdated and cause significant disruption. Staff saw that if they could automate data processing steps and better integrate systems, they would have opportunities for better supply chain visibility, a shorter certification approval process, and reduced IT workload.
The Rainforest Alliance had several disconnected systems: Salesforce held supply chain information, including information on certification and audit results; Microsoft Dynamics CRM stored contact information; Microsoft SQL Azure was used as a data warehouse for reporting needs; and Microsoft Dynamics SL processed financial data and invoices.
To improve supply-chain data quality, the Alliance team wanted to automate movement of data among these systems. They considered Informatica, but chose the TIBCO Cloud™ Integration platform as a service because of its superior support for Microsoft SQL Azure and its pre-made connectors for the applications they were using, which would make the transition from manual to automated processes very quick.
First, they created an integration that moved certification and audit information from Salesforce to Microsoft SQL Azure on an hourly basis to ensure that data never got out of date. They also built an integration between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM so they could move certification contact information to their contact database. And they built an integration between Salesforce and their accounting system (Dynamics SL) so they could record transactions and easily move financial data into the data warehouse where it could inform management reports.
"We needed a solution that could tie together all of the data we store on our certification process as well as goods that need approval," said Eugene Kogan, CTO. "The strength of TIBCO Cloud Integration is that it can easily get the data out of one system and into another. Just a few hours after starting, we had a clear stream of data going from Salesforce to our data warehouse, and our entire supply chain view came into focus."
Data Clarity and Quality
With TIBCO Cloud Integration, the Rainforest Alliance can now run information seamlessly between core CRM, accounting, supply chain, and data warehouse systems without manual intervention. Information on certifications is processed in a more standardized and structured manner resulting in more up-to-date information and higher quality management reports.
Greater Supply Chain Visibility
The team now has a greater visibility into their supply chain. They can track certifications and provide stronger recommendations and options to consumers looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products. "Consumers look to sustainability labeling when choosing what purchases they make, so ensuring the accuracy of that assurance across the supply chain is essential," said Matt Snyder, application developer. "Trust is a pillar of our business and being able to certify that all products that bear our label meet the strict standards consumers expect means being able to better track our certifications."
Improved It Uptime
TIBCO Cloud Integration also provides alerts that expose network issues, such as the VPN going down, so the health of key systems can be quickly addressed.