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Supply Chain Interview
<< Stockport in 1982 and began employing an umbrella,” he said. “The mini age was dying while record installations across Ireland
increasing number of talented people, registering down a little by then, hamstrung by proprietary established the company as the main supplier
as a private limited company in 1984. operating systems and languages. At the there. Irish giants such as Musgrave, BWG
same time, Microsoft PCs and Unix were and ADM Londis all use BCP systems. In 2009
Managing director, Peter Shield, joined BCP showing the way forward in terms of standard - the company is diversifying further globally,
in the mid ‘90s and a couple of years later the isation. So, we engaged in a thorough search with new client Foodservice Bahrain providing
company moved to its own premises, BCP to find an operating environment that would its first foothold in the Middle East.
House, to accommodate growth of the business. enable greater synergy for our whole business.”
Now nearly 100 strong, the workforce covers In 1989, BCP plumped for Progress as the Although the food & drink sector has dominated,
everything from technical support and operating environment on which to develop BCP has set about ensuring that it is in the
implementation to sales, marketing and its suite of Accord supply chain modules. best position to expand its user base. “When
administration, but the majority of staff are “Progress was a brave choice at the time, you’re a growing company, having a vertical
involved in product development and as it was much smaller than its direct specialisation is very important,” reflected
customisation of existing products for particular competition,” said Beales. “But that choice Preece. “You gain a great deal of credibility
users’ requirements. Many have come through has proved to have been the right one, if you can talk the language of a particular
the company’s own dedicated training school, because here we are 20 years later more industry. However, there comes a point –
which was established to ensure BCP’s successful than ever. Progress has gone from mainly when you have already become quite
developers are of the highest calibre. strength to strength, and, indeed, we have dominant in your chosen market – where
code that we developed back in 1989/90 specialism can hold you back. On the retail
Maturity that is still in our software now. Although this side in the UK, and on the wholesale side
Tony Beales recollects that the very first code has been transformed virtually beyond in Ireland, this was the situation we found
system BCP wrote on ‘micros’ was for a large all recognition over the intervening years, it ourselves in a few years back. However,
animal bi-products processing company. has proved that Progress has the high level product innovation and diversification have
“However, as we became more mature as a of backwards compatibility needed for resulted in companies from other market areas
business, we started getting more and more stability and reliability.” The first package taking a growing interest in what we have to
focused on supply chain issues and, in BCP developed on Progress was aimed at offer. A case in point is our Voice technology
particular, we started looking for ways of the wholesale market, followed soon solution, which has moved us to the forefront
bringing the two main parts of our company afterwards by a retail back-office system. of the warehouse management space and is
– those that dealt with microcomputers and These formed the foundation stones of what helping us gain customers in whole new
minicomputers – under a single development was to become the end-to-end Accord supply industry sectors.” The company was forward
chain solution of today. thinking in developing Voice directed picking
six to eight years ago. Now Voice technology
Diversification is available across all of BCP’s warehouse
Over the years, the management modules and can be deployed
majority of BCP’s end as part of a fully integrated Accord solution
users have been active or as a stand-alone WMS to interface to third
players within the food party ERP systems.
& drink supply chain.
Companies such as The future
SPAR – a customer Change and development continue at BCP
since the early 1980s - to take advantage of new technologies and
are still prominent within ensure its solutions meet the demands of
its customer portfolio, changing market and business conditions.
reflecting the strong Voice technology remains important and
partnerships the developments are widening its scope,
company develops with moving it beyond the warehouse into areas
its clients. Development such as supplier returns and marshalling.
of powerful Telesales With regard to electronic trading, Beales
functionality in the mid explained that BCP is now moving into global
1990s moved BCP into data synchronisation with GS1 UK, and
the foodservice sector, generally expanding the capabilities of its >>
Brian Preece: Enthusiastic about a new BCP development
designed to lower the cost of system ownership and make
information more readily available in real time across the
whole organisation.
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