SOURCE: Vendor Compliance Federation

April 04, 2007 09:38 ET

GXS and VCF Launch Partnership in Search of the Perfect ASN

Research Partnership Will Explore the ASN Process and Accuracy Metrics

GAITHERSBURG, MD and PARSIPPANY, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 4, 2007 -- GXS, a leading provider of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce solutions, and the Retail Compliance Council (RCC) and Vendor Compliance Federation (VCF) today announced a research partnership focused on evaluating the processes surrounding the advanced ship notice (ASN) in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

ASNs, also known as the EDI ship notice, have been identified as a critical contributor to supply chain visibility, as well as to warehouse receiving and inventory management. Since the mid-90s, ASNs have become a mainstay in the vendor-retailer exchange. The ASN, however, has been beleaguered by a number of factors, including significant complexity, misunderstanding of value versus cost and the difficulty of community on-boarding, all of which have impeded full realization of its benefits.

"The RCC and the VCF have a history of active collaboration with retailers and suppliers to ease supply chain pain points, and build greater harmonization between both groups," said Mark Jones, managing director of the RCC and VCF. "Delving into an ASN study with GXS is a natural extension of our efforts to streamline the broader retail supply chain to ensure efficient and error-free processes."

This research partnership will focus specifically on ASNs' overall value to retailers in improving warehouse receiving; the impact of purchase order process anomalies on ASN accuracy and success; and building a return on investment (ROI) model for the use of ASNs, regardless of supplier size.

"This new initiative with the RCC and VCF is aimed squarely at what our customers are telling us they need -- better understanding of how and why to implement ASNs. Too often, the hard costs associated with poor processes are not easily quantified. We hope to shed light on best practices and how to achieve a solid ROI from ASNs," comments Bryan Larkin, director of Strategy and Marketing for Retail and CPG at GXS. "We are confident that the findings will lead to a more synchronized ASN process, greater logistics visibility, and a more tightly integrated relationship between vendors and retailers."

GXS enables demand-driven supply chains for retail and consumer products companies by integrating trading partners, synchronizing product information, monitoring supply chain events and facilitating collaborative planning. Retailers and suppliers in the grocery, do-it-yourself, department store, apparel, and consumer electronics sectors, rely on GXS' solutions to help build customer loyalty, reduce supply chain errors, enhance supplier relationships and streamline operations. Through industry-leading technology, strategic partnerships and professional support on all major continents, GXS enables retailers, manufacturers and suppliers around the world to increase B2B e-commerce functionality and reach and to improve the efficiency of their supply chains. GXS customers in the retail and CPG sectors include Circuit City, JCPenney, Liz Claiborne, PepsiAmericas, Rite Aid and Warnaco.

According to Patrick Connaughton of Forrester Research1, "Implementing an ASN program improves warehouse inbound visibility, labor planning, and cross-docking, and it is an excellent alternative to RFID. Scan receiving is also more efficient in general, as any variance between the ordered, shipped, and received quantities can be systematically derived, and no manual data entry is required."

Preliminary results of the research are scheduled to be presented at VCF's June Conference on scorecards, to be held June 27-28, 2007 in New Brunswick, NJ. Final results are due to be presented at VCF's November Global Conference to be held November 4-7, 2007 in Indian Wells, Calif. Companies interested in participating in or contributing to the research project should contact Mark Jones at mjones@vcfww.com

About RCC and VCF

RCC and VCF is the nation's fastest growing retail membership organization. Focused on improving the entire sales-to-cash process, the organization has been an advocate for its members on trading partner issues and has championed initiatives to increase industry-wide productivity, profitability and growth. Visit www.vcfww.com for more information.

About GXS

GXS is a leading global provider of B2B e-commerce solutions that simplify and enhance business process integration, synchronization and collaboration among trading partners. Organizations worldwide, including 75 percent of the Fortune 500, leverage the GXS Trading Grid® to extend supply networks, optimize product launches, automate warehouse receiving, manage electronic payments and gain supply chain visibility. With an unmatched global presence, proven trading partner management and B2B outsourcing services, GXS' on-demand solutions maximize the benefits of integration for businesses.

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS' extensive global network serves customers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. GXS can be found on the Web at www.gxs.com.

1 Forrester Research, "RFID Assessments Drive Immediate Efficiencies in Supply Chain Execution" by Patrick Connaughton, April 20, 2006.

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