Northern Tool + Equipment Automates Its Supply Chain

Do-it-yourself retailer to gain better visibility to orders from more than 700 vendors

Do-it-yourself retailer to gain better visibility to orders from more than 700 vendors

Minneapolis — April 25, 2005 — Northern Tool + Equipment Co. has said that it will electronically integrate more than 700 members of its supplier community by July 1, 2005, using SPS Commerce's Community Enablement service.

The rollout will include integration with Northern's internal Oracle (formerly JD Edwards) systems.

With more than 50 retail stores nationwide, combined with a thriving catalog and online business, Northern saw significant advantages to increasing the number of its suppliers sending order information electronically, including advance ship notices (ASNs). Integrating this information from its vendors will enable Northern to have better control and visibility of its incoming orders and ensure a high level of customer service for its drop-ship orders.

According to Mark Kaufman, vice president of merchandising, Northern Tool + Equipment Co., the company's business is rapidly growing, and it was necessary to streamline the order management process with our vendors. "Having worked successfully with SPS in the past, we knew they could execute a successful campaign and offer our vendors a cost-effective and simple means to test their [electronic data interchange (EDI)] solution or EDI-enable them using SPS' hosted EDI software," he said. "Our vendors have been pleased with SPS' approach and expressed their appreciation for introducing them to SPS Commerce as a reliable EDI solution without the traditional costs of hardware, staffing and more."

SPS' Community Enablement campaign will enable more than 700 of Northern's regular vendors to conduct electronic transactions with the company in 2005. The program includes four distinct order management models including Ship to Consumer, Ship to Store, Ship to DC and Ship to DC Cross-Dock. Suppliers may use SPS' Testing Service to certify their existing solution, or they can choose to employ SPS Commerce's hosted EDI services.

"We are pleased to have Northern and its suppliers as a part of our community," said Archie Black, CEO officer of SPS Commerce. "By using SPS' reporting and alert capabilities, Northern can monitor the status of their orders and be alerted to any exceptions needing their attention."