Memec Goes Beyond EDI

Semiconductor distributor taps J.D. Edwards for RosettaNet solution

Tempe, AZ  September 24, 2001  Semiconductor distributor Memec will use a new middleware product from J.D. Edwards & Company to connect to its suppliers and customers in a private trading exchange, according to an announcement today from the software provider.

J.D. Edwards's eXtended Process Integration (XPI) technology will allow Memec, based in Oxon, England, and its partners to share such information as sales orders, purchase orders, acknowledgements and receipts as this data appears throughout the Memec supply chain, regardless of the disparate legacy systems that the companies may be using.

XPI is based on RosettaNet, the emerging standard of the high-tech electronics industry. Memec was looking to break away from the electronics industry's traditional reliance on EDI-based integration, a method that had resulted in disparate systems around the world interacting too slowly to justify the high cost.

Industry leaders developed the RosettaNet standard as an update to EDI to enhance flexibility for information exchange between partners and to increase a company's ability to react quickly to unpredictable shifts in the supply chain. RosettaNet allows isolated transactions to become partner interface protocols (PIPs), and private exchanges enable each PIP to share a particular type of document (purchase orders, sales orders, and so on).

Denver-based J.D. Edwards will be implementing Memec's XPI-based private exchange in a software bundle that connects with the company's OneWorld enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite. Over the next two to three years, OneWorld will standardize and automate Memec's business processes, including existing contract manufacturing and financial systems.

In the meantime, XPI will allow Memec, with $2 billion in annual revenues, to construct its first PIPs  and make its first trade  over its new private exchange as early as this fall. OneWorld and XPI will also address internal collaboration needs by enabling Memec's 2,500 customers to share information across offices in five continents using only one system rather than over the five disparate systems Memec previously employed.

"As a distributor, not only does our success depend on our ability to provide real-time supply chain information, but we must also be able to respond instantaneously to customers' needs," said Colin Black, director of global information for Memec, who praised XPI's flexibility and ease of implementation.

XPI's main feature is its capability that allows an enterprise to connect to companies utilizing multiple standards and vendors. Thus, in the future Memec should be able to connect with new partners or participate in other online exchanges with minimal additional integration costs.