Weaving a Supply Chain Web

Unifi taps IPNet to connect suppliers, customers

Newport Beach, AZ  January 7, 2002  Textured yarns giant Unifi has tapped IPNet to knit a web of connections with the manufacturer's customers and suppliers.

Unifi, which is the world's largest producer and processor of textured yarns, will use IPNet's eBizness Transact to connect with its many customers and suppliers while avoiding fees associated with using value-added networks and eliminating paper processes, according to Ben Holder, vice president and chief information officer for Unifi.

"To challenge the effects of this down economy, we're focusing our efforts on reducing costs throughout the organization from manufacturing to the supply chain," Holder explained. "By implementing eBizness Transact, we're able to eliminate unnecessary expenditures in a number of areas, from VAN [value-added network] fees to those associated with paper processes. The system will also free up resources previously spent processing invoices and purchase orders and reduce errors that are inevitable with human intervention."

In addition to eliminating costs, eBizness Transact will become a component of Fyberserv, Unifi's suite of e-business applications. Inclusion of Web-based EDI (electronic data interchange) will allow Unifi to exchange information with its partners in real-time, which should allow for more timely information throughout the supply chain.

One advantage of the IPNet solution is that it will not be necessary for Unifi's customers and partners to install the software on their systems as well, according to Ted Smykla, senior vice president of products for IPNet. "It's not practical to think that all of Unifi's partners will install IPNet on their end as well," Smykla said. "The advantage for Unifi is that it's not necessary. Unlike proprietary systems, the openness and flexibility of eBizness Transact enables Unifi to interact with a variety of disparate systems from e-mail systems to VANs."

Based on open standards, eBizness Transact will allow Unifi's partners to communicate and transact business via standard browsers or transport protocols, including VAN, Internet, FTP, SMTP, HTTP and HTTP/S.