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Pet Supply Retailer

Data Integration Optimization

Datasource implements new Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for a leading pet supply retailer and coordinates migration with the over 600 of the client’s vendors.

Client Background

Our client is the largest specialty pet retailer in the Unites States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. They have more than 1,200 retail stores and employ more than 50,000 associates. Each store boasts more than 10,000 unique pet products. They are also the leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information.

Business Focus

An EDI translator was used to facilitate the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents between companies. To facilitate the EDI messages (PO’s, PO payments, sales changes, transportation messages, etc.), our client custom built business logic into the processing of the inbound and outbound messages.

Obstacles

The EDI translator on which our client relied was purchased by a competing company, resulting in a licensing issue. As a result, our client received a six month cancellation notice requiring them to switch EDI translators. Upon successfully negotiating a six month extension, our client had an aggressive 12 month window to address the following issues:

  • Selection and implementation of a EDI translator vendor
  • Identification and reconstruction of over 40 time-sensitive EDI messages
  • Coordination with over 600 vendors/suppliers
  • Identification and reimplementation of under documented business logic processes
The Datasource Solution
  • Lead EDI translator vendor selection, contract negotiations, and implementation
  • Reconstruct more than 40 time sensitive EDI messages
  • Coordinate and launch implementation of the new EDI translator with 635 vendors, suppliers, transportation companies, and distribution centers
  • Identify, document, recode, and install the business logic processes coded in the current EDI translator
  • Deliver a smooth implementation of the target project while integrating and effectively communicating with other company-wide projects reliant upon the success of the EDI project completion
  • Develop testing and launch schedules
  • Recruit, hire, and manage new staff for critical positions
  • Effectively manage a $2.4 Million budget
Vendor Selection

Leading the vendor selection process and contract negotiations were the first major hurdles to overcome. After analyzing many in-house and outsourced options, an outsourced option was selected as the best fit for the client’s requirements. Tight service level agreements (SLA) were negotiated, allowing the project to move forward with a solid framework.

Business Logic

Working from limited documentation, the business logic was deconstructed, documented, redesigned, and coded into the new business process in the appropriate source systems. Entering logic into the source system for 635 vendors required effective coordination, communication, and testing before launch.

Vendor Coordination

With the support of the project sponsor and top management, Datasource established:

  • A vendor communication plan
  • Vendor implementation and launch schedule
  • A rigid path for vendor escalation (if needed)
  • Testing protocols

Vendor communication directly impacted the success of the project. Datasource drafted a letter on behalf of the VP of Supply Chain to every vendor outlining the timeline, steps, and protocol for the updates. A four cycle testing and rollout procedure were developed for the project.

Each cycle consisted of a rigorous two week testing process prior to launch. Datasource sourced 20 EDI savvy experts, a full-time project manager, and a full-time communications lead to assist with the implementation and professional representation of our client throughout the process.

The Results

The solution was successful in delivering a functioning EDI translator on-time and under-budget.

  • Successful EDI translator vendor selection, contract negotiation, and installation
  • Updated business logic documentation and implementation
  • Smooth transition & successful launch for 635 vendors
  • Recruitment and effective management of relevant project leads
  • Effective management of a $2.4 Million budget
  • On-time and under-budget deployment

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