HNS Global Leverages TrueCommerce EDI for Sage X3 to Streamline a Major Acquisition Scenario and Automate Remote Warehouse Order Fulfillment
Scale up an existing TrueCommerce EDI implementation to accommodate a new line of business with over 60 new EDI trading partners, several new 3PL relationships and a two-fold increase in order volume in just three months—while also integrating EDI with a new Sage X3 system at the same time.
Web-based TrueCommerce EDI for Sage X3, along with the TrueCommerce Scheduler add-on and optional support for warehouse documents to deliver robust, scalable automation across the order-to-cash cycle.
- Quick, worry-free onboarding of new EDI trading partners on an ongoing basis
- Seamless integration with Sage X3 eliminates manual effort and potential errors while accelerating order processing
- Saves hiring three or more additional staff to enter order details manually into Sage X3
- The modular TrueCommerce EDI architecture made it possible to switch ERP systems without disrupting EDI
- EDI scalability along with on-demand and expert customer support eliminate barriers to business growth
- Rapid, sustained ROI
The addition of a major new line of business required this growing distributor to revamp its EDI-related business processes and take on approximately 60 new EDI trading partners—all while moving to a new ERP system.
HNS Global is a consumer health and wellness company that develops, markets and distributes branded products that support natural wellness and healthy lifestyles across the US and Canada. Its well-known brands currently include Slim-Fast, Healthy Delights and Lifeagen Biosciences, which can be found at a wide range of major retailers including Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Safeway, Supervalu, Family Dollar, GNC, Amazon and many more.
The company has been a TrueCommerce EDI customer for about six years. Adopting the solution at that time was a business necessity: EDI capability is a prerequisite for doing business with Walmart, HNS Global’s largest customer, and other major retailers.
According to Rob MacFarlane, EDI Analyst, HNS Global faced significant EDI challenges in 2014 when they were acquired and took over responsibility for marketing and distributing the best-selling Slim-Fast brand. This necessitated not only a major increase in their EDI order volume and the number of EDI trading partners they had, but also entailed a simultaneous move to a new Sage X3 system.
TrueCommerce support staff helped HNS Global meet extremely tight deadlines. The robustness of the Sage X3 integration and TrueCommerce’ relationships with retailers were also success factors.
As an initial step in taking over Slim-Fast and upgrading its ERP to Sage X3, HNS Global outsourced the management of its TrueCommerce EDI environment to an EDI broker. This made it possible to continue shipping Slim-Fast orders as changes were made to integrate the new brand and new ERP.
“We transacted EDI with our broker and they handled the EDI partnerships with all our customers,” Mr. MacFarlane explains. “The broker would receive purchase orders via EDI and pass them on to us, we would send them all the corresponding invoices, and so on.”
When the time came to take over Slim-Fast’s EDI orders from the broker, HNS Global had just three months to setup more than 60 new EDI customers. “It was like we were in a startup mode only we already had existing customers that were placing orders,” relates Mr. MacFarlane.
Issues were many. “We had to deal with matching up pricing, items, terms and so on with our new customers,” recalls Mr. MacFarlane. “Because we’d communicated only with the broker and not directly with the customers, we weren’t aware of these issues until we took over those relationships.”
It helped that TrueCommerce already had prebuilt trading partner maps on hand for nearly every new EDI trading partner HNS Global needed to setup. “Almost all our partners already had a relationship with TrueCommerce, and we never once have had a problem meeting any partner’s EDI requirements,” asserts Mr. MacFarlane
The project was completed successfully and on-time. HNS Global’s new EDI workflow went live on July 30, 2016. “The TrueCommerce support team was great on that project,” Mr. MacFarlane notes. “They gave us their full attention, which was essential for us to onboard so many customers in such a short period of time. We were very happy with the turnaround time and everything went pretty smoothly, especially around setup and testing.”
EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMATION AND INTEGRATION
Automated, integrated EDI across both sales and warehousing is at the heart of the distributor’s new business model.
HNS Global now uses TrueCommerce EDI to automate its order-to-cash cycle end-to-end. EDI documents that are integrated with Sage X3 include 810 Invoices, 850 Purchase Orders and 856 Advance Ship Notices (ASNs), as well as 940 Warehouse Shipping Order and 945 Warehouse Shipping Advice. They also use the TrueCommerce Scheduler add-on to automate everyday import/export of EDI documents, which saves time and further improves efficiency.
The firm currently transacts EDI with close to 100 trading partners, as well as four third-party logistics (3PL) providers—adding up to 7,000 to 10,000 EDI transactions per month. 90% of HNS Global’s sales are transacted using EDI.
“We’ve been able to automate a lot of processes that were once manual,” Mr. MacFarlane states. “In general, we only deal with exceptions that error out, which mostly relate to new items, new ship-to addresses and other changes our partners have made.”
The integrated EDI helps HNS Global achieve rapid turnaround on orders for improved customer satisfaction. “If there are no issues with an order we like to have it over to the warehouse within an hour of receiving it,” observes Mr. MacFarlane.
The project also allowed HNS Global to keep its operations lean without sacrificing efficiencies.
“We’re a 200-million-dollar company and we need just two people to manage all those orders. So we’re very happy with the efficiency of the TrueCommerce EDI system,” adds Mr. MacFarlane.
SIGNIFICANT OPERATIONAL SAVINGS AND RAPID, SUSTAINED ROI
HNS Global’s integrated EDI will pay for itself over and over in operational costs saved, while also accelerating order processing.
Mr. MacFarlane estimates that his company would need at least five people instead of two to handle invoicing without TrueCommerce EDI: “For example, without our integrated 940s and 945s, lot tracking would be a very labor-intensive process. Also when you have to check every single line item to make sure the lots are matching there is a much greater chance for errors. Integrating EDI with Sage X3 takes away those concerns.”
According to HNS Global estimates, implementing EDI also eliminates potential chargebacks of up to $150 per paper invoice.
“EDI definitely has and does pay for itself,” says Mr. MacFarlane. “Especially if you factor in all the chargebacks we don’t have to pay and the employees we don’t have to hire because of it.”
“Overall we’re extremely satisfied with TrueCommerce EDI.”
“The TrueCommerce support team was great on that project. They gave us their full attention, which was essential for us to onboard so many customers in such a short period of time. We were very happy with the turnaround time and everything went pretty smoothly, especially around setup and testing.”
EDI Systems Manager
SlimFast and HNS Global