May 5th, 2021

Businesses today are moving a million miles a minute (or rather, 1,609,344 kilometers per minute for our international readers). No matter your preferred unit of linear measurement, businesses are moving fast, and they’re in desperate need of technical solutions that can make their supply chain processes run more efficiently. In other words, it’s a time sensitive matter.

This is especially true for large organizations and SMEs that have realized the limitations of legacy systems and need to upgrade their infrastructure to remain competitive. Many of these businesses are choosing to move their operations to the cloud in order to achieve a connected, end-to-end supply chain that will provide them with the transparency they need to make strategic improvements across the board.

But if one thing is certain, undergoing a huge project for one or more core systems, like ERP or EDI, is a daunting task, and everyone has to be on board. Developing a solid business case is in no way easy, but based on real-world experiences with our own customers, we’ve noticed a few trends that seem to drive the digitalization theory into practice.    

High Cost of Ownership for On-Premise Solutions

One of our customers, Bunzl, is a focused and successful international distribution group providing customized solutions to B2B customers. Their European division, Bunzl Continental Europe, decided it was time to migrate to the cloud for one major reason: As a growing business, the total cost of ownership for an on-premise solution would be much too high.  

Arjan Vonk, eCommerce EDI Consultant at Bunzl, claims: “If we would have used an on-premise solution, we would have needed a much bigger EDI team on our side.” To clarify, Bunzl would have had to hire 2-3 more employees to run EDI operations with an on-premise solution. With TIE Kinetix’s cloud-based solution, FLOW, they’re perfectly comfortable with a two-man EDI team. To learn more, you can read the full Bunzl case study here.

Time-Consuming Trading Partner Configurations

For another one of our customers, HDA Truck Pride, connecting suppliers and members to their previous EDI platform was becoming costly and time consuming. John Lurz, Director of IT at HDA Truck Pride, says: “We were looking for simplification, enhanced operation efficiencies, and an increase of EDI adoption and utilization across our members and supplier partners. FLOW stood out with its unique capabilities.”

By unique capabilities, he is, in part, referring to FLOW’s canonical mapping library, which provides immediate access to thousands of pre-configured connections. This helped HDA Truck Pride to save time and money on map changes and transaction processing and ensured that new trading partners were onboarded quickly and easily. To learn more, you can read the full HDA Truck Pride case study here.

Similar to HDA Truck Pride, Bunzl also needed a solution for time-consuming trading partner configurations. Cloud-based solutions offer enhanced flexibility when compared with their on-premise counterpart, and with FLOW, Bunzl was able to onboard 950 out of 1,000 suppliers (their initial target) within a single year.

In fact, Mr. Vonk claims that “Using the FLOW platform as our supplier portal (labeled as Bunzl VIP) has reduced our supplier onboarding time to seconds instead of months.” As trading partner networks continue to grow, the ability to rapidly configure new connections has proven to be invaluable for not only our own customers but for the business-to-business community as a whole.   

Integration Limitations

As previously mentioned, many on-premise and legacy systems lack flexibility. This often leads to various integration-related complications, which, in turn, seriously limits visibility throughout the supply chain. For businesses today that are competing in a fast-paced market, lack of transparency is simply not an option. Seamless integration is a must.

With an expanding network in the automotive aftermarket space, HDA Truck Pride needed to gain access to a large pool of partners and organizations throughout the world so that they could quickly begin doing business with new stakeholders. This level of connectivity could only be achieved with an end-to-end EDI solution from an experienced service provider.  

With FLOW, HDA gained instant access to TIE Kinetix’s vast network and a wide range of pre-built connectors. Without changing their existing systems and infrastructure, they’re now able to easily connect with virtually any third-party system—ERP, WMS, CRM, and more—and can take advantage of TIE Kinetix’s long-standing relationships with highly regarded organizations, like UN/CEFACT and GS1.

A Service Provider You Can Count On

Tackling a large-scale EDI implementation project is tricky business. For that reason, it’s crucial to take on the challenge with a service provider that you can trust, especially if you’ve set the bar high and have ambitious goals. For instance, Bunzl aims to achieve 100% electronic document exchange with all suppliers. In order to achieve this goal, they needed to have a high level of confidence in their service provider, else risk a failed digitalization attempt.

In regard to their decision, Mr. Vonk claims: “We know what TIE Kinetix can do, and we know the competitors in the market very well.” He brings up a good point, because we can’t stress enough how critical it is to put in your due diligence when it comes to researching service providers. After all, finding the right guy for the job is half the battle.

You can read the full case studies here:

TIE Kinetix Supports Bunzl’s Ambitions with Electronic Document Exchange

The FLOW Platform Makes Integration Easy for HDA Truck Pride