One of Europe’s biggest discount grocery chains, Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, uses Software AG’s webMethods Integration Platform and Enterprise Service Bus to harmonise the exchange of data between its store and national systems and its central retail information system. As part of the corporation’s switch to the new electronic Lidl Retail Information System eLWIS (SAP) the integration platform has enabled fast and smooth integration of existing systems.
Lidl’s previous integration scenario had reached its limits with regard to meeting future requirements and further development. The project proved to be very challenging. The new solution would have to integrate many different systems, which, until that point had communicated via point-to-point connectivity. The international rollout of the planned 10,000 installations required meticulous coordination.
With this move, Lidl’s demonstrates a clear focus on transitioning from decentralised data exchange at store and country level to centralised total connectivity and just about real-time exchange. Lidl operates in 29 countries, 27 of those in Europe, with about 10,000 stores. They all send their data to its central data warehouse located in Neckarsulm, Germany. The objective was to develop an extremely slim and flexible platform for use at the company’s main IT center and local warehouses and stores which would standardise data exchange between all systems as well as with the SAP platform. Lidl has already been able to reuse the integration platform in other projects and countries.
Enhanced flexibility enables real-time analysis
René Sandführ, executive vice president IT ERP Systems at Lidl, said: “Thanks to the flexibility of webMethods, we have been able to integrate more than 30 systems from Lidl’s existing infrastructure into our new retail information system.” Connectivity between all stores and the central information system will enable Lidl to access inventory levels in real time.
Oliver Albig, business area head of system integration at Lidl, said: “Due to the comprehensive expertise of Software AG’s consultants—including industry-specific knowledge—we were always confident that Software AG was very well equipped to address our specific needs.”
Alexander Sonnenmoser, divisional board member for business technology at Lidl, said: “A modern and flexible global systems and application landscape is becoming an ever greater key success factor in business today. This new solution provides the technical framework to drive Lidl’s IT landscape transformation. Our IT specialists and consultants support and advise Lidl in global innovative projects. Thanks to their high level of dedication and technical expertise, they are playing a key role in the implementation of a future-proof IT strategy.”
Lidl’s IT division plans to continue its successful partnership and collaboration with Software AG.