TradeStone Links Planning, Sourcing and Order Execution

Latest version of international sourcing suite adds features to support supplier adoption across expanding supply chains

Latest version of international sourcing suite adds features to support supplier adoption across expanding supply chains

Gloucester, MA  January 5, 2006  International sourcing specialist TradeStone Software has released the latest version of its flagship software suite, adding several planning capabilities that marry existing sourcing and order execution functionality; updates to the Finance and Logistics modules; and capabilities intended to benefit suppliers and foster rapid adoption and deployment across expanding supply chains.

Version 3.5 of the TradeStone Suite, currently in production at several customer sites, comprises five modular applications: Product, Sourcing, Logistics, Finance and Unified Order Management. The suite was designed to help retailers and merchants work together throughout the buying process, fostering global collaboration among buyers and suppliers.

The new features in 3.5 support retailers, vendors and manufacturers building out their own exclusive TradeStone Commerce Communities. All community members will be able take advantage of the suite's ability to connect planning, sourcing and order execution with access across multiple applications, TradeStone said. This provides a financial and merchandise view of sourced and ordered items across all production phases. The system captures committed-to quantities, approved quantities, on-order quantities by sell channels and flow, production status and financial commitment.

Upgraded features in the new suite including letter of credit processing, which unites the buyer, supplier and their financial institutions. This virtual link allows the supplier to collect their new orders and present them electronically to their financial institution or financing partner in order to receive any necessary drafts or cash advances to pay for raw materials, new machinery or any quality assurance tests necessary to begin work on the new orders.

New packing list features can help save time and eliminate redundant data entry by allowing suppliers to build customized packing lists from original purchase orders for each shipment. The packing list includes information on bar codes, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and containerization specifications and ensures suppliers are in compliance with buyers' documentation requirements. Accurate, timely and standardized documents mean faster clearance through customs.

With the vendor self invoicing capabilities, the Packing List automatically creates, audits and approves vendor invoices reducing invoice payment processing expense by more than 90 percent.

Elsewhere, all shipping and banking papers are now automatically pre-populated with order information drawn from original purchase orders, saving time by using data that is already available in the system. These documents and their detailed information regarding carriers, shippers, country of origin, export country, import country and final destination are essential for global trading security standards and clearing customs without delay.

Once a buyer or merchant approves an invoice for payment, other TradeStone users in the finance department are alerted and can use the Payment Builder feature to authorize the payment, eliminating interoffice memos, cutting checks and other manual procedures. The Payment Builder is automatically updated with any prepayments, change orders and advanced shipments so there is never a question of what to pay and when.

Finally, when a payment is made, a Payment Summary is automatically generated, providing a view into each payment and the related invoices, and allowing the buyer to link back and forth between payment records and original invoices to a concise reconciliation of each transaction. This information is critical for chief financial officers (CFOs) looking for one report to show the reconciliation between what items have been committed to, which items have been manufactured towards the plan, and which items have been paid for towards the season's plan.

"The TradeStone Suite provides retailers with the technology infrastructure they need to manage all aspects of the purchasing process, from the high-level planning stage, through product development and range plan creation, initiation of an order, sample and production tracking, and shipment and financial reconciliation," TradeStone said in announcing the new version.

In addition, the suite's ability to layer across an organization's multiple software applications and legacy systems provides one real-time view and interaction to designers, sourcing personnel, buyers, suppliers and logistics support staff, the enabler said.

Additional Articles of Interest

 All that glitters may not be gold when it comes to outsourcing manufacturing productions to China. First, weigh the costs and learn the facts with this helpful guide. Read "China or Bust: Recognizing the True Costs of Outsourcing" on

 Looking to outsource your supply chain? For five success factors for your outsourcing project Read "Rising to the Challenge of the Outsourced Supply Chain," cover story in the October/November 2005 issue of Supply and Demand Chain Executive.

 Look before you leap: For tips to follow before you set up shop in China, especially with regard to the supply chain, read the exclusive "Entering China: No One Said It Was Easy."