Northern Tool Gearing up Its Supply Chain

Retailer taps SPS' automated hosted service to meet suppliers' electronic order management needs

Retailer taps SPS' automated hosted service to meet suppliers' electronic order management needs

St. Paul, MN  September 22, 2003  Northern Tool & Equipment Company is set to use hosted supply chain services provided by SPS Commerce in a bid to more efficiently meet its suppliers' electronic order management needs.

Midwest-based Northern Tool is a prominent multi-channel supplier to do-it-yourselfers and businesses, operating 43 stores in 10 states, along with a Web presence. The company will use the SPS Vendor Enablement and Management Program to provide its 900 suppliers with hosted testing and electronic transaction services.

"When assessing our supply chain strategy, we realized the need for a cost-effective option such as SPS Commerce's enablement program to incorporate suppliers into our electronic business processes," said Todd Wermerson, chief information officer of Northern Tool. "The streamlined approach will grant us the benefits of reduced order errors and full electronic transactions while improving our vendor order management capabilities."

To date approximately 80 percent of suppliers are still using paper and faxes to communicate with corporate buyers, causing a huge bottleneck in the supply chain. SPS says its automated supply chain integration services help streamline the transaction process, replacing current costly and error-laden methods with a hosted model that increases efficiencies and improves order accuracy for enterprises such as Northern Tool.

Now suppliers will be able to exchange electronic purchase orders and invoices with Northern Tool, improving delivery times and payments for both parties, according to the solution provider.

"Small and midsize suppliers have different needs than large enterprise suppliers, and the available electronic resources have typically neglected to offer options appropriate in both cost and ease-of-use," said Archie Black, SPS Commerce CEO. "This dearth has created lag time in the supply chain, slowing inventory turnover and increasing overall lost revenue opportunity."