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Web-Based Direct-Connect Application Announced By MEMA

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has announced a new initiative to connect warehouse distributors (WDs), program groups and retailers with suppliers, enabling them to conduct e-business and exchange data on a real-time basis. The new Web-based Direct-Connect application, developed by MEMA’s Management Information Systems Group, Inc. (MISG), is based on the aftermarket industry’s non-proprietary Internet Parts Ordering (IPO) standards and will be ready for production in 2005.

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has announced a new initiative to connect warehouse distributors (WDs), program groups and retailers with suppliers, enabling them to conduct e-business and exchange data on a real-time basis. The new Web-based Direct-Connect application, developed by MEMA’s Management Information Systems Group, Inc. (MISG), is based on the aftermarket industry’s non-proprietary Internet Parts Ordering (IPO) standards and will be ready for production in 2005.

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MEMA/MISG continues to manage the industry’s first system for emergency orders, order status inquiries and inventory checks – Direct-Connect, which will be phased out in 2005. The new Direct-Connect solution will enable users to process requests for quotes, get quotes, process emergency and special orders, conduct order status inquiries, order acknowledgements and ship notices.

According to MISG, the browser interface will simplify sending, receiving and managing IPO documents. Invoices based on orders placed through the Web Direct-Connect system can be routed to customers via MISG’s TransLink Internet solution or its ANSINET VAN EDI network.

The system will facilitate real-time communications between WD, program group, retailer and manufacturer systems. A significant benefit of the application, according to MISG, is the elimination of the requirement a customer currently has to visit multiple supplier extranets with different formats to check part inventories. The direct connect solution will enable this to happen through one interface, thereby simplifying the procurement process.

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“Our new Web Direct-Connect application extends the capabilities of our suite of B2B e-commerce solutions,” said Alan Jones, president of MISG. “It represents the next level of technology we are bringing to the aftermarket to eliminate trading barriers between manufacturers and their customers and enable cost-effective e-commerce transactions.”

IPO standards enable the special order environment to be moved to the Web. They are not designed to replace batch-oriented communications, such as electronic data interchange (EDI), used to manage stocking orders. The standards use XML technology and comply with the Open Applications Group Incorporated (OAGI) XML standards that were developed for the global automotive industry.

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The new Direct-Connect solution is part of MISG’s growing suite of solutions, which includes TransLink Internet EDI network services; Document Cycle Tracking Services (DCTS), which enable users to manage as much of the EDI process as desired; and WebDX, a browser-based solution for non-EDI-capable companies. The new solution is an extension of WebDX, which will enable subscribers to take advantage of WebDX’s ability to sort, print, manage, archive and create return documents.

For more information about MISG, go to: www.misg.com.

To learn more about MEMA, go to: www.mema.org.

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