CGI offers a global and versatile solution to the French defence commissary Économat des Armées

"The 'Vivres Métropole' outsourcing reform is a success: EdA has developed an original set-up with the private sector where everybody achieves their best to serve a common aim: quality of service and cost management."

Pierre-Yves Durbise, High Commissioner, Director of Eda (2009)

About Économat des Armées (EdA)

The French defence commissary Économat des Armées (EdA) is an industrial and commercial public organisation. It works under the authority of the French Ministry of Defence through the Etat-Major des Armées (Chief of the Defence staff). Its aim is to ensure 'logistical support and to provide services, food supplies and different merchandise to military detachments in France and abroad as well as to stakeholders, groups and individuals, authorised by the French Ministry of Defence'.

The Defence Procurement Organisation has been operational since March 2005 and spent close to 270 million euros in 2010. With our help, EdA, is putting into place a management information system (logistics, billing, management) and a supply sales system (portal) for supplying food to the armed forces in France. The systems cater to about 350 restaurants, serving 48 million meals per year with a volume of about 55,000 tonnes.

What Économat des Armées needed

The project, known as Vivres Métropole (Food Supplies France) or VM, is the first large-scale project by the procurement organisation. It is based on three main projects that are carried out simultaneously:

  • Implementation of a unique catalogue of 1500 products
  • Contracting 260 food suppliers
  • Contracting with one logistics supplier

EdA introduced two complex outsourcing projects by bringing in two elements:

  • The organisational element, which consists of contracting food suppliers, and commercial and management functions of the organisation, with activity reporting in all areas of the army.
  • The outsourcing element, which consists of two complex and closely related services:
    • Outsourcing logistic services to GIE Stef-Tfe-Géodis - supply, storage and distribution of food supplies as well as billing and activity reporting
    • Outsourcing IT systems to CGI and its partner Prosodie, which hosts the system and ensures the whole system is monitored

The Challenge

In 2004, the French Ministry of Defence wanted to reorganise its food supply services. For all military units, this meant:

  • Opening up to public tenders
  • Grouping the different specialist public buyers into similar areas
  • Achieving economies of scale by globalising needs

Our answers

Within the framework for the VM project, the information system (IS) for EdA needs to combine two main types of activities:

  • Flows linked to the sales portal
  • Flows linked to the supply mode

This information system can only work in very close harmony with the logistic provider's IS. Several flows are exchanged in order to provide accessible functions to customer groups and to EdA alike, for the general running of its mission. It is, therefore, essential that these flows are reliable, exchanged and integrated by the logistic provider's IS. This must be done by the planned business deadlines in order to return up to date information to customer groups and to EdA. The CGI team has therefore offered a global and versatile solution. It is based on three main elements: availability, performance and reliability of the information system.


Our capacity to work with the group for all of its IT projects and to provide the new site with a reliable and long-term solution attracted the EdA. Similarly, our business expertise in the public service sector combined with solid facilities and IT outsourcing experience, convinced decision makers at EdA.

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