EDI has come to mean more than just the exchange of electronic data between one organization’s IT system and another. Today companies are looking for more affordable, low-maintenance EDI solutions that offer complete integration, visibility, and control. Winplus is one such company. The fast-growing marketer and wholesaler of automotive lifestyle products needed a solution that would integrate seamlessly with its ERP software and support a diverse supply chain and retailer base.
Putting the pieces together
Winplus is a global marketer, manufacturer and wholesaler of automotive lifestyle products. The company offers a variety of auto accessories including seat covers, floor mats, air fresheners, storage items, and other driver comfort products.
Winplus is represented globally across Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and North America. The company’s products are sold worldwide through major retailers such as Auto Zone, Target, Advance Auto Parts, Walmart, Costco, and Amazon.
With a multi-party EDI solution and a third-party middleware, Winplus customer support was scattered across different providers. Consistent customer service was hard to come by and final resolutions were often too little – too late. Integration covered only half of the required transaction types and relied heavily on manual processes, while limited data visibility and an unintuitive user interface left too much room for error.
This is where SAP and DiCentral came in. SAP Business One was provided to Winplus by Softengine Inc.,and they brought DiCentral into the opportunity for EDI. SAP Business One provided the business information and operational control Winplus was seeking, while DiIntegrator addressed the company’s EDI integration needs. The SAP-certified solution is preconfigured and pre-tested to ensure seamless integration with SAP Business One. Automating the flow of EDI documents into SAP Business One was a vital step for Winplus in bringing its business together, simplifying its business processes, and ultimately reducing costs.
DiIntegrator is available in different versions – DiIntegrator for SAP Business One, as implemented at Winplus, and a stand-alone solution for flat-file integration with SAP Business All-in-One or SAP Business Suite. Customers also have the option of using DiWeb, DiCentral’s Web-hosted EDI solution. In the case of Winplus, DiIntegrator was installed locally and managed remotely via the DiWeb interface. This means streamlined customer support for Winplus, not to mention a lower cost of ownership. Without the burden of managing a complex EDI solution in-house, the company is free to re-align its resources to its core business.
A guiding light
Founded in 2000, DiCentral is the leading innovator in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Its Web-hosted EDI solutions enable buyers, suppliers, and logistics providers to seamlessly exchange data throughout their supply chain network.
DiCentral’s data integration solutions are scalable to the size, growth, and unique requirements of each business. DiCentral is a certified integration partner for SAP Business One.
Implementation at Winplus took just two months for 16 trading partners. The company opted for DiIntegrator Multi-User to support its broad user base. The intuitive interface guides employees through the EDI process step by step, automatically mapping, processing, and routing transactions according to trading partner specifications. “DiIntegrator comes with workflow processes for each retailer’s business rules so we have built-in procedures to follow,” explains Brooke Kosmal, Director of Operations, Winplus. “In DiIntegrator Multi-User you can control user settings and prevent user error, which is great for a fast-paced environment where staff is always changing.”
Winplus also implemented DiIntegrator’s Dynamic Inventory Update, synchronizing with the SAP Business One Pick and Pack Manager to automatically update both systems with the correct shipping information. With DiIntegrator and SAP Business One working in unison, long drawn-out processes such as inbound purchase orders – heavily dependent on manual manipulation – are now streamlined and automated. Unique processing agents within DiIntegrator allow Winplus to manage heavier data loads, process multiple orders and comply with industry requirements. Data flow is slick and smooth, bringing structure to EDI orders, minimizing errors, and speeding up order fulfillment.
“SAP Business One is a fantastic platform that lends itself nicely to data integration,” comments Eric Braswell, DiCentral’s senior director of global channels.
An important differentiator in ensuring effective data integration at Winplus was DiCentral’s in-depth knowledge of SAP Business One. The SAP partner provided fast and controlled integration of critical data, going the extra mile to guarantee compliance and accuracy. In the case of EDI allowance integration, the DiCentral team configured DiIntegrator to automatically calculate allowances in retailer purchase orders, enabling swift synchronization with SAP Business One.
Integration goes hand in hand with visibility. Winplus can now view, trace, and control goods and information as they move through the supply chain. DiWeb also offers incredible insight into data exchange. “Previously data was not easily accessible and there was limited access to trading partner data,” says Brooke Kosmal. “Now we have the ability to see all inbound and outbound line item data, as well as whether it was sent and received successfully. We have clear information to send to the retailer to prove our case if needed.”
Better visibility also means better support. DiCentral customer services can now navigate Winplus data easily and solve problems at a faster rate.