Business Challenge

As a now independent company, Albéa needed something to help them drive their operations. How could the company continue to drive innovations and communicate effectively with trading partners?

Moving EDI to the cloud

To deliver the EDI capabilities it needed to drive its growing business, Albéa decided to migrate from the on-premises IBM Gentran solution to IBM Supply Chain Business Network Premium—a cloud-based digital business network.

“By staying within the IBM ecosystem, we were able to migrate many of our existing EDI mappings with minimal changes, which saved our implementation teams a great deal of manual work,” comments Lydia Ibgui. “Many of our large clients were already using IBM Supply Chain Business Network, which made it faster and more straightforward to integrate with them than if we’d chosen a solution from another vendor.”

To ensure continuity of EDI services, Albéa had to complete its migration to the new platform within a tight deadline. Working together with a team from IBM, the company successfully moved all its trading partner integrations to IBM Supply Chain Business Network before its parent company decommissioned the legacy platform.

“Although we had a large number of data flows to migrate within a very short period of time, our close collaboration with IBM helped us complete the migration quickly,” recalls Lydia Ibgui. “One of the things that struck us about IBM was how well organized and knowledgeable they were. From the start, it was clear that the IBM team were experts in their fields, and we knew we could count on them for fast answers to any of our technical questions. After a three-day engagement on site, IBM coordinated the remainder of the work via email, and the entire migration project went extremely smoothly.”

Today, Albéa uses IBM Supply Chain Business Network to communicate seamlessly with its business partners around the world.

Lydia Ibgui comments: “Overall, we’ve found IBM Supply Chain Business Network to be an extremely reliable solution, and we’ve had no major issues with the performance of the platform. On the rare occasions we need support from IBM, we know exactly who to call on to help us.”

Business Results


high availability, helping to ensure mission-critical EDI systems are up 24/7


onboarding processes for new business partners and supports business growth


can manage all EDI requirements, improving operational cost-efficiency

Ready for growth

Ready for growth

With a cloud-based solution supporting its B2B integration processes, Albéa can drive its growth as an independent business while gaining greater visibility of its business partner communications.

“In the past, Albéa needed a team with a considerable amount of technical expertise to manage its EDI workflows, but today that’s all changed,” says Lydia Ibgui. “IBM Supply Chain Business Network offers us a clear, easily searchable audit trail of all our EDI transactions. If something goes wrong, the solution automatically sends us an email explaining why the transaction failed in plain, non-technical language, which means there’s no need to go digging through large amounts of data to uncover the cause. As a result, it takes minimal time to train new employees to use the platform.”

By embracing the software-as-service model, Albéa can avoid the cost and complexity of managing the underlying IT infrastructure and give its employees more time to invest in value-added activities such as supplier development.

“Since we started using IBM Supply Chain Business Network, I sometimes forget there’s a database behind the solution,” Lydia Ibgui continues. “Everything just works, which means we’re free to focus on serving the business. In fact, we now need just one expert to manage to manage EDI for the entire enterprise.”

She adds: “Because IBM Supply Chain Business Network is a managed service, we can always respond quickly to requests to add new trading partners and accommodate additional protocols. When we receive a new requirement, we simply raise a ticket with IBM and the majority of the work happens seamlessly in the background—all we need to do is verify that the integrations work as they should. Today, it’s faster and easier than ever to integrate with trading partners of all sizes.”

Albéa is now beginning to incorporate AI and machine learning solutions into its approach to business partner integration.

“We are currently using IBM Business Transaction Intelligence to gain a high-level overview of some of our North American clients’ X12 document flows,” explains Lydia Ibgui. “Crucially, IBM Business Transaction Intelligence can answer questions typed in natural language—and we see great potential to use the solution to deliver self-service capabilities to the business. Next year, we plan to roll out the solution to monitor our European document flows.”

Lydia Ibgui concludes: “Our long-term partnership with IBM is helping us build a smarter, more efficient supply chain, and we’re very pleased with the improvements we’ve built into our EDI processes. By continuing to build on IBM Supply Chain Business Network, Albéa is in a strong position to deliver responsive, high-quality services to some of the world’s largest beauty brands.”

Albéa logo


Based in Paris, France, Albéa offers the world’s largest range of beauty, personal care and pharmaceutical packaging. Employing 15,000 people, Albéa serves large and small brands in 60 countries across the world, and operate 40 facilities in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

To learn more

To learn more about IBM Supply Chain Business Network Premium, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: