B2B eCommerce programs generally commence with exchanging your high volume documents, such as the purchase order and invoice, with your high volume trading partners. As you expand your program to support less commonly used documents and smaller partners, you need to modify your approach to make it easier for your partners to participate. Redwave's Web Commerce solution allows your partners to collaborate within your eCommerce community without an investment in software and integration. Using a standard browser and easy to use applications, they can now exchange business documents and/or specific files quickly and easily.
Many companies have invested time and money building their EDI environment so that business documents can be exchanged electronically. The traditional and logical approach is to focus on one’s larger partners and on the documents with the highest volume, typically purchase orders and invoices. Generally this is successful as there is a financial benefit for both the company and the partners. But smaller partners are less inclined to participate because the cost of automating the process exceeds the benefit. Larger partners may also be reluctant to implement ancillary document types if their backend systems do not currently support them. Examples of this can be PO Acknowledge, Planning Schedules, Shipping Schedules, Sales Forecasts, etc.
Even for those partners that send and receive EDI documents, many implement a “rip-and-read” form of EDI, where they use a generic EDI package manually, printing off the inbound documents and keying in the outbound. The challenge with this is the data they send is validated only against EDI syntax and not against the business semantics. This results in invalid or incomplete data in the transmitted document which is subsequently rejected. Further, the partners pay for software and ongoing VAN services and aren’t really doing EDI.
Redwave's Web Commerce solution provides a browser based forms interface for your partners to use when communicating with you. Partners can begin using the interface immediately with no investment in software or EDI training. More importantly, business rules are integrated into the forms so that trading partners can only send valid data and get immediate feedback when entering invalid data.
Examples of business rules are:
- The supplier cannot change the quantity field in the PO Acknowledge and/or ASN from the actual quantity ordered, or can change it but only by a certain percentage.
- The price of an item on the invoice cannot be changed by more than an allowed percentage from the quoted price on the PO.
- The ASN must be sent prior to the ship-by date on the PO.
Web Commerce is a proven service used by thousands of companies. It provides robust features for both you and your partners which let you achieve your objectives quickly and painlessly.
Features for your partner:
- To facilitate creating documents the portal takes the data from inbound documents and pre-populates fields in the required outbound documents. For example generating an invoice from a PO.
- Business rules are built into the system providing instant feedback and help when entering data, preventing invalid data from being sent.
- Support for an N-to-N relationship between related documents. For example one PO can result in multiple Advance Ship Notices, where it is easy to see which line items have been shipped and which not.
- Event notification triggers messages for management by exception. This includes non-events, such as not sending an ASN on time.
- Users can import and export raw data to automate integration with internal systems.
- An audit history is kept of transactions sent and received.
Features for you:
- Redwave takes responsibility for ramping your partners onto the service; contacting, educating, implementing and supporting them.
- Monitoring the system is simplified with reports providing the status of transactions sent and received. Further, items of interest can be highlighted, for example where the supplier made changes to the original order the changed items can be flagged.
- The service can normalize the information flows for all partners so that from your perspective they all behave alike. One example is where a partner cannot provide necessary information on the invoice that was provided on the PO. The service will retain that data from the PO and populate it on the invoice. Another example is where a company issues a new PO when an order changes rather than a PO Change which is what is required. The service can handle the conversion on behalf of the company.
- Management reports show summary data about the established trading relationships. This Includes statistics regarding the performance of partners, such as percentage of ASN’s sent on time.
- The service has flexible billing options where either the partner or you can pay for the service.