CWC Inventories Simplifies EDI Processes with DiCentral's TMS Module

Company Profile:

CWC Inventories Inc. is a world leader in the Closeout Industry and services more than 2000 sales accounts worldwide; the company has also established long term relationships with more than 600 brand name vendor resources. Originally founded in 1973, CWC Inventories is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and operates showrooms and offices in Miami and Philadelphia.

The Challenge:

In 2009, CWC made the switch from DiCentral to a well-known competitor in favor of the competitor's style of webforms. Not long after the switch, CWC's business expanded when they won a sizeable account with JCPenney. Leveraging the competitor's solution was sufficient for the time being; CWC used webforms and merely entered data into the necessary fields. Shortly thereafter, CWC found that the competitor's solution could no longer keep up. Tom Diedrich, executive vice president of CWC, stated, “We won the JCPenney account, and our transaction volume began to grow.”

Adding JCPenney as a customer meant strict EDI requirements; the company now needed a solution that could accommodate JCPenney's Transportation Management System (TMS) requirement. Changes had to be made in order for CWC to be able to efficiently meet the new requirements. Mr. Diedrich commented, “We really needed to do one thing well; comply with JCPenney's TMS 753/754 at a cost that fit our budget.”

Simplicity Should be the Key:

CWC's customer JCPenney represented a complex EDI scenario. In order to correctly schedule trucks for pickup per JCPenney's requirements, JCPenney Outlet Store requires vendors to send the EDI 753 Routing Request; they then return the EDI 754 Routing Instructions to the vendor. CWC needed to make a change in its EDI processing to accommodate these new requirements and avoid the lengthy process that would have resulted in the use of the old system. “Things were fine until the EDI requirements got complicated,” comments Mr. Diedrich.

In addition, CWC's system called for a simple method of consolidating orders onto one form, thereby allowing all orders to be viewed and completed simply and quickly.

Inaccuracy Leads to Lost Sales:

A main challenge CWC faced was the handling of JC Penney and the need for assurance that the strict guidelines of JCPenney could be accommodated accurately and at a cost effective rate. CWC knew of a friendly competitor who suffered from inaccuracy of its order system when trading with JCPenney. Although Mr. Diedrich sympathized with the competitor, he did not want his company to sustain the charge-backs and delays associated with inaccuracy.

Future Expansion:

Part of CWC's goals includes expansion of their trading partner community. Bed Bath & Beyond is one such addition. To maintain this trading expansion, the company desired a more flexible package that accommodates different processes for different retailers.

The competitor's add-on solution did not provide the flexibility to adequately meet CWC's needs. As Tom Diedrich saw it, “The competitor's solution was rigid and really too big and costly for our needs.”

The Solution:

Once CWC realized that using the competitor's solution was no longer a viable option, the company made the switch back to DiCentral. DiIntegrator-a solution that allows users to process large groups of orders while providing tight integration with local backend applications-was chosen as the best fit for CWC's needs.

Simplicity is the Answer:

DiIntegrator comes with pre-programmed paths for each retailer's order fulfillment process. CWC elected to go with the JCPenney TMS Module add-on, which includes built-in workflow for the 850 Purchase Order, 855 Purchase Order Acknowledgement, 753 Routing Request, 754 Routing Instructions, 856 Advance Ship Notice, UCC128 Label, and 810 Invoice processes.

With DiIntegrator, CWC began experiencing positive results immediately. According to Tom Deidrich, “We liked DiIntegrator's ability to simplify the order picking process by providing a consolidated Pick Ticket. We have our warehouse work off one form for order picking.”

DiIntegrator is installed locally and managed remotely via the DiWeb interface. Since the burden of managing a complex EDI solution in-house is eliminated, DiCentral's solution offers simplicity and ease-of-use-exactly what CWC was looking for. The company was now able to realign resources and time to more complex and core issues.

Accuracy Gives Reassurance:

DiCentral's services provided the accuracy that CWC needed to prevent unnecessary delays in the order workflow. For Tom Diedrich, this made life easier: “Two of the main benefits DiCentral delivered were time savings and order accuracy in the JCPenney TMS process.”

To complement order accuracy, DiCentral's web interface provides an incredible level of visibility into the data process, including a type of “checks and balances” capability for the business user. All line items, both inbound and outbound, are transparent, providing the user with verification that data transmission is successful.

“Having our warehouse work off one form for order picking saves time and eliminates errors,” states Mr. Diedrich. “In fact, after implementing DiIntegrator, our accuracy is above 99.5%.” As CWC experienced, the value of leveraging DiCentral for EDI processes can pay off with a rapid return on investment.

DiCentral's software plus services EDI model delivers savings that competitors' solutions simply cannot match: fewer staff members are needed to manage the EDI process, and DiCentral's experts are on hand to answer questions and to train staff from the time of purchase.

Expansion in the Horizon:

With the future addition of Bed Bath & Beyond and other trading partners, CWC can be confident the connection will be handled smoothly.

DiIntegrator's unique architecture allows DiCentral to easily maintain maps to many retail customers. Each retailer's EDI rules are built into the DiIntegrator interface for accurate creation of Invoices, Advance Ship Notices, and UCC128 labels.

For CWC, this architecture allows easy internal workflow fulfillment for JCPenney, Sears, and soon Bed Bath & Beyond.

When CWC decided to switch to DiCentral, the last thing that the company needed to worry about was customer support- their main concern was getting the new solution up and running. CWC needed heavy support with JCPenney's strict EDI guidelines, i.e. the company needed experts to quickly and accurately answer questions and ensure ease of implementation. DiCentral's staff is cross-trained in product and unique requirements, guaranteeing up-to-date, relevant information for customers. CWC experienced a smooth, problem-free transition, and the company is now reaping the benefits of DiCentral's solution: CWC is expanding its trading partners and its sales. No doubt, DiCentral will be there for CWC with the addition of more trading partners in the future.

To Find Out More...


DiCentral Solution:

DiIntegrator Pro Single User with Purchase Order, ASN, Invoice and UCC128 label capability Also available:

- 5,10, and 15 user pack

- Label Sort & Audit

- VICS Bill of Lading

- Factor Invoicing

- Custom Reports

- TMS 753/754

- Pallet ASN


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