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Universal Robina Corporation Enables Enhanced Business Agility and Information Accessibility With an SOA Based on IBM Software


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Universal Robina Corporation (URC), one of the largest branded food product companies in the Philippines with a growing presence in other Asian markets, is streamlining business processes to help boost productivity and information accessibility with a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) powered by IBM software.

A household name in the Philippines manufacturing a diverse mix of food products with distribution to more than 120,000 accounts, URC’s first strategic SOA project is to streamline and integrate its supply chain to enable increased resource efficiencies and enhanced collaboration with, and responsiveness to, its distributors and key customers.

With an SOA, URC is able, for instance, to more rapidly fulfill order commitments to its customers. Prior to adopting SOA, orders were received via email or file transfers with information being keyed into, and extracted from, different systems and applications through the various order fulfillment stages such as order consolidation, production planning, supplier sourcing and distribution.

Now with the adoption of SOA and open standards, the supply chain is streamlined and accelerated through an integration framework, including SAP forecasting system, manufacturing execution system, and human workflow, enabling automation of exchanging essential information resulting in greater efficiencies including improved order fulfillment rate as well as significant reduction in production order entry errors and duplicate orders.

Further, before SOA, approximately 30 percent of URC’s IT man hours were spent writing integration interface code. Now, with IBM SOA, which enables conversion of SAP and legacy IT assets -- without modification -- into reusable services, URC expects a significant reduction in both the costs and hours spent in the development, support and maintenance of interfaces allowing more productive use of their IT resources.

“In today’s highly competitive environment, you need to look for solutions that help you to be agile and responsive to both changing market dynamics and to your customers -- especially when a key growth objective is to expand into new markets,” said Ester Asinas, Corporate IT Director, Universal Robina Corporation. “This is precisely what we have achieved with SOA and by having IBM as our technology partner.”

To achieve this, URC tapped the expertise of IBM Advanced SOA Technologies Team and business partner, Teligent Systems, to build an SOA environment using IBM WebSphere software which enabled the company to preserve their existing IT investments while more closely aligning technology with the needs of their business.

“IBM is deeply committed to helping businesses in the Philippines realize and take advantage of the benefits of SOA,” said James Velasquez, Country General Manager, IBM Philippines. “IBM has helped thousands of companies deploy SOA solutions, giving them greater flexibility and responsiveness to quickly meet new market opportunities and challenges. IBM’s team of dedicated experts is all geared up to help drive business growth and productivity for URC.”

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About Universal Robina Corporation:

Universal Robina Corporation (URC) is one of the largest branded food product companies in the Philippines with a growing presence in other Asian markets. It was founded in 1954 when Mr. John Gokongwei, Jr. established Universal Corn Products, a cornstarch manufacturing plant, in Pasig. The Company has since expanded and is now involved in a wide range of food businesses including the manufacture and distribution of branded consumer foods, flour milling, as well as, sugar milling and refining. In addition, the Company produces hogs and day-old chicks and manufactures animal and fish feeds, glucose and veterinary compounds. These businesses are operated through divisions and wholly or majority-owned subsidiaries that are organized into three core business segments, namely, branded consumer foods, agro-industrial products and commodity food products.


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