Retailer Roadmaps for Consumer Products Companies

New template library to lower cost and IT burden of integrating with trading partners, according to Prescient

New template library to lower cost and IT burden of integrating with trading partners, according to Prescient

West Chester, PA  September 9, 2003  Supply chain planning solutions provider Prescient announced this week the expansion of its supply chain integration capabilities with the development of Retailer Roadmaps.

An extension of Prescient Connections, Prescient's data synchronization platform for data exchange and translation, the provider said Retailer Roadmaps are a library of electronic data interchange (EDI) templates that correspond to retailers' and distributors' requirements for supply chain data exchange with their suppliers.

Prescient said it has already developed Retailer Roadmaps for its clients to collaborate with retailers and distributors including Rite Aid, McLane, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie, Family Dollar, Wegmans, Wakefern, Kroger, H-E-B and Food Lion. Additional Retailer Roadmaps are currently under development and will be available in future iterations of Prescient's supply chain product suite.

"The cumulative effect of customizing EDI reports to meet the technical idiosyncrasies and distinct integration standards of multiple retail trading partners places a strain on manufacturers' resources," said Steve Banker, director, supply chain management, at ARC Advisory Group. "ARC believes that solutions that offer manufacturers the ability to communicate electronically with multiple retail clients with a minimum of pain  what we call supplier enablement  have great value."

Prescient said that although major retailers and distributors have standardized on the EDI 852 document specification for receiving supply chain collaboration transactions, most have tailored this format to their unique systems' requirements and frequently make adjustments without informing their suppliers. The provider said that, because it focuses exclusively on the consumer products industry, it is able to modify Retailer Roadmaps as retailers alter their data format specifications.

"In the typical collaborative relationship between supplier and retailer, consumer products manufacturers shoulder the cost and headache of supply chain collaboration by building homegrown data-sharing interfaces specialized for each of their retailer partners before supply chain information can be exchanged," said Jane Hoffer, president and CEO of Prescient. "The genesis of Retailer Roadmaps came from our client portfolio of consumer products companies that presented us with the opportunity to cost effectively provide custom data integration capabilities."

Retailer Roadmaps are part of Prescient's supply chain suite, Prescient 5, which is designed for mid-market consumer products manufacturers and distributors.