Selects software to synchronize product data, ensure reliability
Columbus, OH August 11, 2004 Lamson Home Products, a division of Lamson & Sessions, recently selected Sterling Commerce to synchronize product data through UCCnet Services with Lowe's, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Wal-Mart.
Data synchronization is a way for suppliers and retailers to exchange and update standardized product information electronically, thereby reducing errors from mismatched items and prices. Like many suppliers in the home improvement market, Lamson Home Products received a mandate from its major retail customers to synchronize data by the end of the year. Working with Sterling Commerce and its data synchronization analysts, Lamson said it plans to be fully compliant by the end of 2004.
After a review of available solutions, Lamson said it chose Sterling Commerce because of its position as an implementer of UCCnet services and 30-year history of multi-enterprise integration. "The Sterling TR2 Hosted solution was recommended by some of our largest retail customers," said Dave Barnett, director of e-business for Lamson & Sessions. "Plus we've had positive experiences with Sterling Commerce products and services in the past. We feel comfortable working with them and trust their ability to handle our business requirements."
Lamson initially considered an in-house solution but realized UCCnet Services standards were still evolving. With the Sterling TR2 Hosted solution, Lamson knew it could meet all synchronization requirements without having to manage software in-house or worry about keeping pace with evolving standards. "Another advantage is Sterling Commerce's migration path," Barnett explained. "If, down the road, we want to bring the solution in-house and integrate it more fully with our SAP system, we have that option. Having a partner for the long term was a major factor in our decision."
Lamson Home Products has a long history of improving customer satisfaction through business integration initiatives. "We have always responded quickly to customer-driven supply chain initiatives, which has given us a competitive edge" commented Gina McClendon, customer service manager for Lamson Home Products. "It's no longer enough to supply good products; you need to operate in a way that helps your customers keep their edge."
The company also sees an opportunity to improve internal operations. Currently, customer service and sales managers manually fill out item sheets for retail customers. Each spreadsheet is different and can take from hours to days to complete. With the new system, item data will be uploaded directly from Lamson's SAP system to Sterling Commerce for all UCCnet Services messaging and communications. Retailers, in turn, will download Lamson's data from UCCnet Services so all manual keying is removed from the process.
In addition, Sterling Commerce said it will ensure Lamson's data is synchronized over time. When Lamson changes an item or its packaging, or releases new products, the Sterling TR2 Hosted solution will recognize the changes and send appropriate updates to customers through UCCnet Services.