Totem Building Supplies the premier Home Improvement Retailer in Alberta Canada want to fully integrate the electronic movement of Purchase Orders and Invoices to/from with their supplier base into their existing business systems. They want a solution that provides a seamless transition of suppliers from paper based documents to electronic documents and they want to implement their largest suppliers as soon as possible to gain the “biggest bang for their buck”.
Totem’s goal was to integrate their existing enterprise wide business software with TradeLink EDI Management System to communicate business documents to their supplier base. In addition, they wanted to utilize a strategy to quickly and efficiently bring suppliers up electronically that did not increase internal support costs.
Totem Building Supplies Ltd. operates Alberta's premier lumber and building supply centres with its headquarters in Calgary and fourteen retail outlets blanketing the province.
Reduction in order processing time and effort at no cost to Totem through the SoftCare Solutions group outsourced Certification Process.
Supply Chain Management
Totem Building Supplies
Totem Building Supplies the premier Home Improvement retailer is integrating its Idealware Back Office System with TradeLink EDI Management System and Cleo’s VL Exchange and rolling out EDI to its largest strategic vendors using SoftCare’s Solutions Group to speed the transition of suppliers from paper based transactions to electronic transactions.
Totem Building Supplies Ltd. operates Alberta's premier lumber and building supply centres with its headquarters in Calgary and fourteen retail outlets blanketing the province. They are proud to be serving Albertans since 1970. Throughout the history of our company, they have maintained a commitment to customer service and product quality. The Totem name has become synonymous with quality lumber and we are proud to provide the preferred grade used by home builders, contractors, and do-it-yourselfers throughout the province.
In order to continue achieving this mission, they felt that they had to look for ways to lower costs and optimize their supply chain. To be competitive in the 21st century requires that a business not only improve it's own operating performance but that all partners in the supply chain improve their performance. It is the belief of Totem Building Supplies Ltd that this can be achieved through improved electronic ordering with their business partners.
Totem also realized that one of the biggest hurdles to obtaining maximum value of EDI is the rapid adoption of EDI enabled trading partners. This is why they turned to SoftCare.
Implementing TradeLink EDI Management System and VL Exchange
Totem choose TradeLink EDI Management System and SoftCare because they liked their approach of combining, software, consulting and EDI outsourcing to provide an all-encompassing solution to implementing EDI for them. The first step was to have SoftCare’s Solutions Group work with Totem to understand their business processes and to create company specific EDI implementation guidelines that closely mirror other industry players while ensuring that the necessary information required for Totem’s needs. Next, they worked with Totem’s internal staff to determine how to minimize their communications costs. This led to a decision to implement their largest vendors using direct communications over the Internet (AS2) and for their smaller EDI enabled vendors, the SoftCare Solutions group negotiated the lowest cost possible for a third party EDI Value Added Network. For document management, SoftCare implemented Cleo’s VL Exchange™ AS2 EDI hub management software. Once this was complete, the system was installed and configured at SoftCare’s site. To reduce Totem’s effort to maintain and implement EDI during the testing phase, SoftCare hosted TradeLink at their site.
Integrating with their existing applications
With the new business software installed, the company turned its attention to integrating EDI with their existing business applications. SoftCare’s Solutions group worked with Totem’s outside software provider (Ideal Group) and internal staff to identify what changes were necessary internally and from the software provider to meet Totem’s business goals and to ensure that the business documents to be sent would be “EDI compliant” and match the Totem EDI Implementation Guideline. Acting as the Project coordinator, the Solutions Group ensured that all of the necessary changes were done on a timely basis.
Trading Partner Rollout
To quickly and efficiently rollout out their EDI program, Totem partnered with SoftCare who certified suppliers to ensure that they can receive Purchase Orders and send Invoices in accordance with Totem standards. SoftCare ensured that the testing and setup of vendors is done smoothly and efficiently. Vendor cost to set up communications, test all documents, ensure that all documents met the Totem standards and that appropriate Functional Acknowledgments are received was $500.00. If there are any questions on the process, the Solutions group acted as a single point of contact to rectify any problems.
The SoftCare Solutions group reviewed Totem’s internal processes and EDI Implementation Guidelines to become the outside “experts” in Totem’s EDI process. This allowed the Solutions group to quickly and efficiently answer the majority of questions from Totem’s EDI trading partners. This expertise was critical to reduce Totem’s internal efforts to support the EDI Rollout process and to increase the satisfaction of their supplier base.
The Solutions Group worked with Totem to identify the initial target suppliers to rollout EDI to. Once identified, they worked with Totem’s business staff to create an “EDI Readiness Survey”. This survey is used to determine the EDI capabilities of your trading partners including any unique considerations or requirements
The Solutions Group drafted a letter on Totem’s explaining to their Trading Partner community the endorsement of SoftCare to certify and test all new EDI trading partners. Once completed, a copy of the EDI Readiness Survey, endorsement letter and your implementation guidelines was forwarded to Totem’s targeted supplier list.The Solutions group implemented Cleo’s VL Exchange to automate and manage the flow of business documents to/from Totem’s Idealware back-end system to/from their trading partner community. In the initial testing phase, they relied on VL Exchange’s “operations dashboard” and “alert” system, to identify problems with incoming or outgoing business documents and to quickly “resolve” problems with the movement of business documents to/from Totem’s trading partner community. Once implemented, VL Exchange’s superior audit system was used to manage day-to-day operations of the systems ensuring a smooth and seamless transfer of information to their trading partner community.
The solutions group provided Totem with a weekly updated scorecard of the status of each trading partner allowing Totem a simple way to review the status of the rollout program.
Once the initial group is implemented, the SoftCare Solutions group will continue rolling out the rest of Totem’s EDI capable suppliers as soon as possible to ensure that Totem receives the highest possible value out of their EDI investment.
Cleo is a registered trademark and VL Exchange is a trademark of Cleo Communications. SoftCare is an authorized reseller and co-developer of Cleo VL Exchange
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