Connected Supply Chain Show

Integrated Solutions for Retailers Features Article by Mary Kleespies

Posted by Daniel Ford on Mon, Jan 30, 2012

If you haven't already, take a moment to check out Mary Kleespies' article entitled "On-Demand Sourcing: Helping Suppliers Succeed in Today's Economy" in the current issue of Integrated Solutions for Retailers

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Topics: DiCentral, EDI, supply chain, B2B integration, EDI enablement, EDI integration, EDI software, ask mary, retail solutions online

NRF Big Show 2012 - A recap by DiCentral's Ask Mary

Posted by Daniel Ford on Thu, Jan 19, 2012

This year marked NRF's 101st annual Convention and Expo, held this week in New York City. A number of impressive industry leaders were invited to speak, including Fortune Magazine's Senior Editor-at-Large Geoffrey Colvin, Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren, Saks Inc. CEO Stephen Sadove, Burberry's CEO Angela Ahrendts, and Whole Foods Market's Co-CEO Walter Robb. Of course, the most talked about speaker was 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation.

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Topics: DiCentral, EDI, supply chain, B2B integration, EDI enablement, EDI integration, EDI software, ask mary, NRF

Ask Mary: Vendor Compliance -- To Charge or Not to Charge (Part 3/3)

Posted by Daniel Ford on Tue, Sep 27, 2011

The debate goes on in the retail industry on whether to issue chargebacks for noncompliance or avoid chargebacks. This year I have met with several medium-sized retailers that are aware of the benefits of EDI and a compliance program, but their hands are tied when it comes to implementing a compliance program. The main obstacle in implementing a compliance program is that their corporate culture believes in being gentle with their vendors and chargebacks are not part of this culture.  I do understand their concerns but due to my role in identifying best practices for the retail industry it is my duty to explore this issue.

Reasons that 2nd and 3rd-tier retailers do not implement a chargeback program:

  • Their C-level executives have not embraced issuing chargebacks as a way of doing business
  • The fear that the vendor will stop shipping to them due to chargebacks
  • The fear that vendors will raise prices to compensate for the chargebacks
  • The organization feels that they are not like big box retailers (2nd and 3rd-tier retailers believe that they do not have the power to implement a compliance program)

Can you afford the noncompliance of EDI in your organization? Consider these consequences:

  • Loss of sales due to low fill rate
  • Loss of productivity at warehouse
  • Movement of merchandise through supply chain will be delayed

Cost of paper-based POs:

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Topics: DiCentral, EDI, B2B integration, EDI integration, EDI software, vendor compliance, ask mary

Ask Mary: Creating a Supplier Compliance Program (Part 2 of 3)

Posted by Daniel Ford on Tue, Sep 20, 2011

As promised in part 1 of this 3-part series, below is a list of key points that will provide you with a solid foundation for establishing a compliance program.
 
Survey your Vendors  
The survey should be very simple and the goal is to determine if your vendors are already EDI capable. The survey should contain no more than 10 questions. Keep in mind that people are busy and do not have time for a lengthy survey, thus if you keep it short and simple you will get better results.  

Implementation Plan  
Establish a timeline for implementation with the following:

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Topics: DiCentral, EDI, B2B integration, EDI integration, EDI software, scorecard, ask mary

Ask Mary: Creating a Supplier Compliance Program (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by Daniel Ford on Tue, Sep 13, 2011

The debate on the subject of supplier compliance and chargebacks continues with one big change: it is no longer the question of whether to establish a compliance program or not, now the topic is when and how do I start a supplier compliance program. Due to the impact of the economy on retailers’ bottom line, retailers simply cannot flounder on this issue.  They must act immediately to ensure that they stay in business in the coming years. 

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Topics: DiCentral, EDI, B2B integration, EDI integration, EDI software, supplier compliance, ask mary

Ask Mary: First-in-Class Drop Ship Program

Posted by Daniel Ford on Tue, Aug 30, 2011

I have been hearing a lot of buzz lately on concerns of online retailers that do not have end-to-end visibility for their drop shipments and are facing loss of sales due to unsatisfied customers. Recently I attended a meeting where a retailer asked me for an example of what is possible with a first-in-class drop ship program; secondly, he wanted a measure of first-in-class. I told him a true story of a retailer (the first letter starts with a "J") that has a first-class eCommerce site and first-in-class drop ship program. The retailer received an order at 3:00 am for a 5 carat diamond ring from Las Vegas. The order was filled and shipped to Las Vegas within 1 day, arriving in time for a very important wedding ceremony.

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Topics: DiCentral, drop ship, ask mary

Ask Mary: Joe Andraski's thoughts on today's retail climate

Posted by Daniel Ford on Tue, Aug 02, 2011

This week we have great insights on this year in retail brought to you by Joe Andraski, President and CEO of VICS (Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions) Association. Enjoy!  ~Ask Mary

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Topics: DiCentral, ask mary, vics, joe andraski

Ask Mary: TMS = Optimization of Shipments

Posted by Daniel Ford on Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Shipment optimization is best serviced by the implementation of a Transportation Management System (TMS). The EDI transaction set for TMS is composed of the 753 Request for Routing Instructions and 754 Routing Instructions documents. 

The 753 Request for Routing Instructions is sent by the supplier to the retailer and includes PO information, weight, and cubic space required. The 754 Routing Instructions is returned by the retailer to the supplier and gives authorization for the shipment with updated trucking information, such as ship-to location, ship date, and time.

Benefits of TMS

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Topics: EDI, ask mary, TMS, shipping

Ask Mary: Have You Lost Your Way?

Posted by Daniel Ford on Wed, Jul 13, 2011

The onset of warmer weather can encourage complacency about goals made at the start of the year, but the need for EDI compliance is as important as ever. During my May business travels I discovered a common concern among retailers: the task of convincing the executive management team and merchandise areas to impose chargebacks on non-compliant vendors.

This raises the question: is it good business practice to expect and receive exactly what is on the purchase order?

If the answer is "yes," then vendors should be charged for violations such as:

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Topics: vendor compliance, ask mary

Ask Mary: Benefits of ASN Compliance

Posted by Daniel Ford on Thu, Jul 07, 2011

For those companies who run direct-to-DC or direct-to-store operations and have not taken advantage of the advance ship notice (ASN) and UCC-128 shipping label, now is a great time to begin.  Use of the ASN can cut warehouse operational costs and ensure that the correct product is moved to the retail shelf in a timely manner.

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Topics: ask mary, best practices

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