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Apr
16
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Supply Chain Technology Tip of the Day

Choosing an EDI vendor - especially one that integrates its EDI solution with your ERP system - is not simply a matter of choosing a commodity product on the basis of initial cost and perhaps feature sets, in order to meet a retailer's EDI mandate.Haitham Ghadiry

Phoenix User Conference Perspective

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After a great few days in the desert at the HighJump User Conference I thought I would share a few thoughts on the event…It was a hectic pace throughout, with 76 different scheduled sessions, and countless individual meetings (covering high level product road map, deep dive functionality discussions and everything in between) had to be scheduled across the conference center for some 160+ customer attendees. 

Here are some of the topics that frequently came up…

Enhanced Inventory Visibility

Increased data granularity was on the agenda for many of our customers as they look for new ways to manage their on hand, code date freshness, and variances. While these inventory management goals could be addressed in several different methods depending on how the issues they were looking to address – I really felt the willingness of operations staff to tackle this issue head on was a great sign!

Collecting Better Data from the Field

Whether motivated by supplier compliance requirements, the need for competitive product slotting, or plan old sales intelligence improved ability to track field information was frequently discussed. The flexibility to utilize this type of solution in a delivery, presell or stand alone model was key, and definitely something that HighJump customers are looking to expand their use of.

Easier/Centralized Data Access

Changing (and let’s be honest increasing) supplier requirements and putting more and more time demands on beverage distributors so the need for easier access to data is crucial to deal with these requirements. HighJump announced a new product for our Direct Store Delivery customers at Innovation called WebWise to address this requirement (Read more about it here). Beyond typical data mining this also provides users an easy method to maintain & create their own views with the level of knowledge most people gain manipulating Excel on a daily basis.

How can Hosted / Cloud services save costs?

The hosted Route Center product certainly generated a lot of interest. After the initial “mechanical” type questions like:

1.  Can I connect from home or office? Yes

2.  Is my data secure? Absolutely

3.  Will my users notice a difference?No

The next step was – “how can this save me money?” Beyond the obvious initial hardware savings, you are now offloading IT management costs where you may or may not have the expertise in-house to your software provider. Think about your server maintenance, operating system requirements, backups, disaster recovery…Now imagine all these challenges are now someone else’s responsibility. I don’t think I even got to explain the cost savings before the realization that pain points were going to be removed hit home and smiles started to appear on faces!

My final thought for this post will have to be that I am looking forward to the next User Conference….see you in Orlando!

 

 



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