Inovis Beefs up Catalog Solution for Retail, Draws Perry Ellis Deal

New capabilities added to meet global standards, address the needs of SME retailers and suppliers

New capabilities added to meet global standards, address the needs of SME retailers and suppliers

New York — January 24, 2005 — Inovis, a provider of business-to-business solutions and services, has debuted new features for its Catalogue solution, a product data synchronization application targeted at the retail industry.

In other news, apparel company Perry Ellis International has Inovis to be its preferred electronic data interchange (EDI) provider.

The provider said that the new features in its Catalogue solution are aimed at helping retailers and suppliers improve communications with their global trading communities. New capabilities in the solution, which currently has more than 100 million items, include expanded support for the latest global standards, as well as functionalities focused on the needs of small to midsize customers.

"By automating key business processes, Inovis Catalogue helps customers achieve increased revenue and greater productivity," said Michael Croxton, senior vice president of marketing and product management at Inovis.

Building on the global standards framework released in April 2004, Inovis Catalogue now offers GTIN-14 compliance for customers who wish to take advantage of expanded global trade item numbers (GTINs) rolled out with the Uniform Code Council's Sunrise 2005 initiative.

Leveraging the Inovis GDSNconnector, Catalogue customers can register GTINs with UCCnet services and publish catalogue data to retailers that subscribe to UCCnet services. With its attribute support and data validation capabilities, Catalogue, which Inovis acquired in its merger with QRS, is suitable for a range of industry sectors within the retail market, including general merchandise and apparel, do-it-yourself, grocery, health and beauty, and hardlines, according to the provider.

Additional planned updates this quarter include enhancements for the small to midsize enterprise (SME) market. Inovis said that Catalogue will offer a flat file (csv) upload tool that enables SME vendors using spreadsheets, such as MS Excel, to import catalogue data directly from their desktop via Inovis' Web user interface.

Added benefits, including on-screen responses, e-mail notification options and "smart" delete functionality, will assist vendors in keeping their catalogues accurate as discontinued or outdated trade items are removed from the supply chain, Inovis said. This added functionality will allow smaller suppliers to better facilitate relations with retailer customers, and therefore reduce costs and increase productivity, according to the solution provider.

Perry Ellis Dresses up B2B Connectivity

Elsewhere, Perry Ellis is now using Inovis' value-added network (VAN) services as well as the company's Catalogue solution, to meet its data synchronization needs, ensure communication with its global trading community and drive improved supply chain efficiency.

Perry Ellis, a worldwide apparel company, is leveraging Inovis' VAN services to communicate and transact with its trading community, which includes regional, national and international department stores, mass merchants, green grass (i.e., golf-related), specialty stores and corporate wear distributors.

In addition, Perry Ellis synchronizes product data for its portfolio of dozens of brands using Inovis Catalogue.

"In order to best serve our customers, we strive to lead the industry in all aspects of business operations," said Luis Páez, chief information officer of Perry Ellis. "Partnering with Inovis to maintain data integrity across our trading community is a mission critical part of that strategy. We chose Inovis as our preferred EDI provider based on the reliability of its solutions, as well as the company's depth of retail experience."

For a look at how Canadian company McCain Foods is overcoming data synchronization challenges in its supply and demand chain, see the article "Building a 'Trusted Source'" in the April/May 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.