RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has announced a new initiative to help aftermarket manufacturers take advantage of existing e-commerce assets by enabling their suppliers to electronically exchange business document transactions. MEMA’s commercial division, the Management Information Systems Group, Inc. (MISG) developed a Web application, TransLink WebDX, to help eliminate the faxing, mailing and calling of orders.
MEMA recently conducted research studies which found that manufacturers are able to exchange critical business documents electronically with less than 10 percent of their total number of suppliers. While these vendors typically represent the largest portion of the purchased goods value, the costs to exchange paper documents with the remaining 90-plus percent of their suppliers is inordinately higher, according to MISG.
“We found that aftermarket manufacturers have automated the transaction processes with major suppliers, which has created efficient processes in ordering, receiving and payments,” said Alan Jones, president of MISG. “The problem is they are spending substantially more dealing with smaller suppliers that provide a small portion of the total received value of goods.”
MISG’s new solution utilizes a Web application to enable companies to receive and send, view, print, archive and manage electronic data interchange (EDI) documents, such as purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgments, advance ship notices (ASNs) and invoices. Suppliers also can automatically create a return document that is pre-populated with all relevant information and ready to send to the manufacturer. They also can manage EDI documents to create aggregated data on a variety of categories, such as amount of goods sold to a manufacturer over a specified time period.
“We developed WebDX to ensure that any supplier that can use e-mail and a Web browser can transact EDI documents day one,” said Earl Losey, vice president of sales for MISG. “This makes the process of helping manufacturers connect and exchange EDI documents with their vendors simple and fast.”
MISG claims that WebDX is the lowest-cost, fully capable EDI service available in the aftermarket today. The group said one significant advantage to WebDX is the unlimited usage and support that suppliers receive for a low annual subscription fee and without paying any transaction charges, eliminating the need to worry about escalating EDI costs.
Another key benefit, according to MISG, is the elimination of the need for WebDX users to purchase, implement, manage and update translation software. All mapping and translation are conducted on the network. Manufacturers also benefit from this because any document format can be used. This reduces complexities, cost and time required to begin communicating with trading partners.
“A lot of supply chain activities have focused on areas down channel from the manufacturing base,” said Bob McKenna, president and CEO of MEMA. “We determined that there are significant opportunities to reduce costs up channel of the manufacturers as well. MISG’s Web application is an integral part of MEMA’s efforts to help our members and their trading partners take costs out and do business better.”
For more information, visit: www.misg.com.
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