The Rainforest Alliance is a growing network of people who are inspired and committed to working together to achieve our mission of conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. Through creative, pragmatic collaboration, we aim to rebalance the planet by building strong forests and healthy communities around the world. The Rainforest Alliance is on a mission to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods around the world by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. The alliance’s labeling and certification efforts encourage more than 1.2 million international farmers to follow sustainable agricultural, forestry, and tourism practices as they produce food, beverages, paper products, building materials, and other goods and services. Manufacturers, such as CPG companies, farms and forestlands that meet the rigorous, third-party standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network or the Forest Stewardship Council are awarded the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal.
GOAL: A MORE EFFICIENT PROCESS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN TRACEABILITY AND REPORTING
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal can be found on hundreds of sustainably-produced consumer goods including coffee, tea, cocoa, paper products and much more. This seal informs consumers that a given product meets certain eco-friendly guidelines, providing farmers and foresters a definitive marketing boost. To certify products, the Rainforest Alliance works with farmers, foresters and tourism operations through the supply chains that end up on the store shelf. The data management, certification, and reporting processes, however, was slowed down by a number of manual steps to process data from multiple systems. If someone couldn’t pull the information due to sick/ vacation days or other priorities, the data could become outdated and cause significant disruption. The Rainforest Alliance saw an opportunity to provide better visibility into the supply chain, shorten the seal approval process for suppliers, and reduce the IT workload if they could automate a number of key data processing steps and better integrate their systems.
SOLUTION: INTEGRATE SALESFORCE, MICROSOFT DYNAMICS CRM, AND MICROSOFT SQL AZURE
The Rainforest Alliance had a number of disconnected systems: Salesforce held supply chain information, such as information on certification and the results of audits; Microsoft Dynamics CRM stored contact information; Microsoft SQL Azure was used as a data warehouse to serve their reporting needs; and Microsoft Dynamics SL processed financial data and invoices. To improve the quality of their supply chain data, the Rainforest Alliance wanted to eliminate a number of time-consuming data handling processes by automating the data movement from one system to another. When looking for potential options to power their integrations, they considered using Informatica, but chose Scribe Online, Scribe’s integration platform as a service (iPaaS), because of its superior support for Microsoft SQL Azure and it offered pre-made connectors for the applications they were using, which would make the transition from manual to automated processes very quick.
After selecting Scribe Online, they created a number of key connections. First, they created an integration that moved certification and audit information from Salesforce to Microsoft SQL Azure on an hourly basis to eliminate manually pulling data from Salesforce and to ensure that the data never got out of date. They also built an integration between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM so they could move the contact information regarding certifications to their contact database. Finally, they built an integration between Salesforce and their accounting system (Dynamics SL) so they could record transactions, but also move the financial data easily into the data warehouse where it could be used to enhance their management reports.
“We needed a solution that could tie together all of the data we store on our certification process and goods that need approval,” said Eugene Kogan, CTO, the Rainforest Alliance. “Scribe’s strength is that it can easily get the data out of one system and into another. Just a few hours after starting to use Scribe Online, we had a clear stream of data going from Salesforce to our data warehouse and our entire supply chain view came into focus.”
RESULTS: DATA CLARITY
With Scribe Online, the Rainforest Alliance is now able to run information seamlessly between their core CRM, accounting, and supply chain systems and their data warehouse without manual intervention. After deploying Scribe, the Rainforest Alliance experienced a number of benefits:
- Improved data quality – The information on certifications is processed in a more standardized, structured manner so it no longer becomes out of date, resulting in higher quality management reports and better visibility into the supply chain.
- Greater supply chain visibility – The team now also has a greater visibility into their supply chain and tracking their certifications. With this information available, the Rainforest Alliance is able to provide stronger recommendations and options to consumers looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products.
- Improved IT uptime – Scribe Online provides alerts that give visibility into the health of their key systems and exposing network issues, such as the VPN going down.
“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, the Rainforest Alliance. “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.”