Connecting to the Retail Supply Base

Retailer taps ADX for outsourced Internet EDI to electronically connect with smaller suppliers

Newark, CA  November 13, 2002  Sporting goods retailer Gart Sports has tapped solution provider Advanced Data Exchange to provide outsourced Internet EDI services to electronically connect with its entire supply base.

Gart, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is the largest full-line sporting goods retailer in the Western United States, operating 180 stores in 25 states under the Gart Sports, Sportmart and Oshman's names.

Under the agreement, financial terms of which were not revealed, ADX will develop a program to recruit and enable more than 1,000 of Gart's midsize and small-sized suppliers to trade electronically through the ADX Network.

By using ADX, Gart is addressing a problem that frequently confronts specialty retailers: their supply chains often include thousands of highly differentiated suppliers exchanging business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, in high volumes with their trading partners.

Typically, major retailers establish electronic data interchange (EDI) connections with their largest suppliers to electronically send and receive business documents. However, the majority of the suppliers in this industry cannot afford traditional EDI. These smaller firms continue to manage transaction processing through fax and mail, business processes that cost their larger trading partners millions of dollars each year due to the inefficiencies associated with paper-based transaction processing.

"We've been using EDI to trade with large suppliers for five years," said Patrick Cotter, director of supply chain management for Gart Sports. "But until now we've never found an easy way to get our mid- and small-sized suppliers on board."

ADX solves this problem with an outsourced translation service. Large enterprises like Gart partner with ADX to recruit, educate and connect suppliers to the ADX Network, enabling the suppliers to conduct EDI transactions without the costs or complexity of traditional EDI systems.

With ADX, Gart can extend its existing EDI systems to expand electronic trading relationships to even the smallest suppliers to reduce errors, achieve greater efficiency, cut costs and increase profitability. Smaller enterprises use ADX as an outsourced translation service, without the need to purchase and maintain EDI software.

"With ADX, we've found a partner that can finally electronically connect our entire supply base and bring about improved efficiency, reduced costs and ultimately increase profits," Cotter said. "ADX is a natural extension of our electronic trading program and should be a major asset to our suppliers."

"Gart Sports is a great example of a large enterprise with an excellent EDI infrastructure that has struggled to find a cost-effective solution to get their smaller suppliers electronically connected," said ADX CEO Andy Duncan. "Because these suppliers account for a significant portion of total trading volume, Gart has experienced significant business process inefficiency and costs associated with handling paper documents. We are partnering with Gart Sports to solve this problem and eliminate millions of dollars from their supply chain costs."