This case study describes how Servlite automated their EDI order processing using the Realisable IMan platform with Sage300, resulting in significant cost & efficiency savings and organisational benefits.
Servlite is a domestic lighting manufacturer and volume supplier, located in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Prior to IMan, the increasing volume of EDI trade coupled with the manual process was causing significant problems for Servlite: it was inefficient with dedicated staff managing the process; data entry errors resulted in heavy financial penalties; and Servlite were under increasing pressure from a major trading partner to automate.
Their manual process was typical of most small/medium companies: EDI orders received from GXS Freeway (EDI Gateway), were re-keyed into their ERP solution, Sage300; and shipment & invoice information re-entered into Freeway upon despatch in Sage300.
Servlite engaged PlanIT Business Systems, their existing Sage business partner, to find and implement an automated solution.
Why was IMan selected?
PlanIT chose IMan based on:
- The majority of Sage300 EDI applications are US based and consequently European compliance & support was patchy. IMan can comply with practically any EDI format.
- IMan is 100% configurable, thereby reducing cost.
The solution implemented with IMan automates the ‘classic’ EDI order process cycle. Orders are imported from Freeway into Sage300 and ASNs & Invoices exported from Sage300 back to the Freeway for electronic delivery to the customer.
In short, IMan links GXS Freeway by providing the transformation engine and integration with Sage300.
- Order Import & Data Translation – The first step downloads orders from Freeway into Sage300. IMan retrieves the XML formatted orders from Freeway, transforms the data and applies the necessary business logic before pushing them into Sage300.
IMan’s lookup functionality addressed one of the key requirements of translating codes used by the trading partner e.g. EAN/item codes, global & location codes, etc. to the corresponding value in Sage300.
“IMan’s ability to incorporate this and all the other required logic makes it a wonderful solution.” – Steve Bagnall
- ASNs & Invoices – Following a similar, but reverse process, ASN and Invoices documents are extracted from Sage300, transformed and output to CSV & XML formats respectively.
- Notifications & Scheduling – IMan’s configurable Audit reporting are a key component of the solution. Not only does it alert to any errors or failures, but it also provides Servlite with a comprehensive reconciliation between Freeway and Sage300. IMan’s inbuilt scheduler fits perfectly with Servlite’s time sensitive processes & trading partner’s trading conditions.
Implementation & (No) Stumbling Blocks
Their first IMan project, PlanIT took advantage of the ‘free first-project assistance’ provided to Sage business partners by Realisable.
“Servlite are very happy.” Not only were they able to satisfy the trading demands of their large EDI customers but orders from several other smaller customers are now received via EDI and processed with IMan.
Speed & Accuracy – The trading penalties arising from inaccurate or late receipt of ASNs of Invoices have been all but eradicated. This has resulted in a financial improvement of £10k’s per year & the staff previously managing the EDI process are now re-deployed to a more meaningful role.