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The textile and furniture conglomerate Gabriel strengthens its global customer relationships with EDI

Tietoevry ensures 100% delivery reliability for Gabriel's trade messages across borders.

Anders Ødegård / July 08, 2024

Gabriel Group has been working with Tietoevry since 2014 to digitize trade messages between their various companies and customers worldwide.

With expertise, solutions-oriented approach, and in-depth knowledge of Gabriel's business, Tietoevry ensures minimal friction in the development and maintenance of trade messages.

Having a single contact person who understands our business in detail is a huge advantage for us as a customer. Many companies only allow communication through ticketing systems, but that makes you feel like just a number in the queue. Working with someone who knows us well adds much more simplicity to the process, affirms Peter Vagn Nielsen, M3/ERP system manager at Gabriel Group.

Nielsen is responsible for the heart of the company, the Infor M3 ERP system. All trade messages between Gabriel and their customers are naturally integrated into M3. Digitization is necessary to save resources and minimize errors resulting from manual work.

Optimization is a prerequisite for global businesses

Gabriel Group offers products and solutions for the global furniture industry, including development, design, and production of textiles, furniture, and components. Additionally, the company provides customized samples, solutions for acoustic comfort, and expertise in knitting, embossing, and lamination services.

With over 1200 employees, generating more than 900 million Danish kroner in revenue, and maintaining customer relations in 57 countries, Gabriel has a wide reach.

Dealing with complex products, there are significant potential sources of errors in manual handling of trade messages such as orders, order confirmations, delivery notes, and invoices. Since 2014, Gabriel has been collaborating with Tietoevry to digitize trade messages between the various companies under the Gabriel umbrella and their customers worldwide.

Our collaboration with Tietoevry started long before I joined the company. Gabriel experienced significant growth since the time we began using M3. Optimization and digitalization of all processes in a global business are crucial, hence the need for EDI solutions," says Peter Vagn Nielsen.

Using EDI minimizes the number of error sources

One of the benefits of digitized trade messages is timesaving, which allows for the allocation of free resources to other tasks.

It's certainly a matter of cost-effectiveness. But, equally important, we strengthen our bond with customers by using digital solutions that integrate them into our collaboration. We become more connected when we have solutions tailored to each other's business compared to the 'old days' when we made a phone call, received an invoice, and had goods sent by post," says Vagn Nielsen.

He highlights that the work on digitized trade messages has been a precursor to Gabriel's ongoing digitalization process, exploring the possibilities of artificial intelligence and robotics in production.

The entire mindset of digital workflow began with EDI, where today we focus on automation and data integration across platforms as part of our business growth.

When asked where Gabriel would be today if the story hadn't started ten years ago, Nielsen is clear that they would have lost many customers if they hadn't been ready to digitize their collaboration.

Moreover, we have the security of receiving accurate orders and sending the right products to customers, which is optimized with these solutions. Most of our delivery errors are due to manual data entry, precisely because many of our products are complex with many variables. It's an obvious motivator to implement EDI with as many customers as possible.

Tietoevry provides a high level of customization

Gabriel's ERP manager explains that the journey with Tietoevry has primarily involved developing standard EDI solutions: at a high level, the customer sends an order, which is received and read. Order confirmations, delivery notes, and invoices are then sent back.

– "However, some of our customers face challenges with EDI. Sometimes they don't have an ERP system, and other times they only have some Excel sheets or custom XML formats. Around half of our customers are in the furniture industry, dealing with many configured items. This makes the tasks more complex," he says.

This complexity makes it more challenging than having standard messages throughout the process.

That's why we greatly benefit from Tietoevry, allowing us to customize the different solutions that come from our customers.

100% delivery reliability

Customer Service Manager Torild Antonsen from Tietoevry emphasizes that some of the communications to Gabriel's customers can be unique and challenging to set up. She highlights that the many exciting projects have provided valuable learnings.

"When a new customer needs to be integrated with M3 at Gabriel, we check the communication, obtain contacts, establish communication, and agree on the message format. We check if we already have something similar for Gabriel and can reuse it. Test files are sent, and we get started," she explains.

The time it takes to set up integration between Gabriel and a new customer varies from a couple of months to a couple of years.

- "It can sometimes take a while, but it's nobody's fault. There are many variables that can come into play, and digitalization of trade messages is far from the only thing we deal with. Tietoevry has a 100% delivery reliability, and if there are unforeseen data issues in the files we exchange, it can present a challenge. However, it always gets resolved," emphasizes Vagn Nielsen.

Ongoing development ensures satisfied customers

Once integration between Gabriel and a customer is established, Tietoevry continues to develop and maintain it with new data fields resulting from new requirements or standards, such as the European format Peppol.

An example is the FSC environmental certification, which promotes responsible forest management. According to Peter Vagn Nielsen, this is a requirement from customers, and the certification needs to be included when exchanging documents.

"Such development has been part of our progress in recent years. New fields are added to an XML file from Gabriel, which we extract and integrate into relevant message documents, as customers expect to find the information. All the steps need to be agreed upon, tested, and then put into production," says Antonsen.

Peter Vagn Nielsen emphasizes that setting up and maintaining trade messages between different units in Gabriel and their international customers involves considerable work. Therefore, outsourcing this service is the right choice for the company.

I am pleased with our collaboration with Tietoevry. There are other providers, and perhaps we could save some money by switching. But we receive excellent service and have a good relationship where our dedicated consultant knows our business. I also appreciate being able to brainstorm and receive suggestions for solutions from Tietoevry, while also being open to their critical perspective. That's a significant advantage, he concludes.


About Gabriel Group

Gabriel Group combines a long tradition of craftsmanship with innovative product development, leading to a range of unique textile products and furniture solutions used worldwide.
Founded: 1851
Headquarters: Aalborg, Denmark
Industry: Furniture Industry
Products: Development, design, and production of textiles, furniture, and components
Services: Offers customized sample solutions, acoustic comfort solutions, and expertise in knitting, embossing, and lamination
Sustainability: Gabriel is CO2e-neutral within Scope 1 and 2, in accordance with the international greenhouse gas protocol. Focuses on sustainable materials and technologies.
Strategy: Continuous global growth and establishing as a preferred partner in the global furniture industry
Subsidiaries: Gabriel Fabrics, FurnMaster, SampleMaster, Acoustic Comfort, Screen Solutions, Gabriel Asia

Anders Ødegård
Product Manager Nordic

Anders Ødegård is a Product Manager within Business Information Exchange (BIX) In that area, he is responsible for Supply Chain Messaging offerings for the Nordic market. He is well experienced in topics around the exchange of business data and has been working with Open Peppol initiatives since 2014.



Anders Ødegård

Product Manager Nordic

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