Gem-Sen cranks up sales volume with EDI

For small- to medium-sized businesses trying to stay afloat with the big fish, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) compliance is quickly becoming the only way to play.

Canadian electronics distributor Gem-Sen was contemplating an EDI

solution when they realized they had no time to lose. Not being EDI-compliant was costing the company time and money. Without automated order processing, the company faced the pitfalls of transcription error, reduced operations, and costly charge-backs from vendors. Furthermore, large orders could take days to manually key in, fill, and invoice.

On top of all this, Gem-Sen desperately needed to get up to speed with its large trading partners like HMV, Ford Canada and Sony. Gem-Sen was facing a rush that would require additional manpower — or a big change in technology.

The distributor’s current platform, BusinessVision, suited the company, but it couldn’t handle the EDI needs of their major customers. Gem-Sen’s BusinessVision representative recommended the eBridge Software solution.

eBridge, which offers “”application adapters”” — modular or integrated software solutions – to facilitate EDI from numerous accounting packages, seemed like the right solution for Gem-Sen. They spoke to eBridge recently about implementing a quick solution — quick being the operative word, since Gem-Sen was hoping to get EDI live within a month.

“”We had to make some changes to some of our equipment to be able to handle it, but they and our tech guy met all the deadlines. They actually did better than what we expected. We weren’t sure if they could do it that fast but they were there,”” said Belle Collins, controller at Gem-Sen.

The implementation of EDI, which was completed within the month-long timeframe, made it easy for Gem-Sen to get through a busy period without having to hire additional staff. “”EDI was a godsend because without it we probably would have had to add at least one more body, probably more, to handle the load. Everything was being keyed in,”” said Collins.

eBridge delivered a solution requiring minimal training, and one that considerably increased the speed at which Gem-Sen could do business.

“”With Gem-Sen, they were doing manual data entry for many of their customers, so they’d receive these big 300-line-item orders and they’d actually have someone manually enter that. So that could take a matter of days. With EDI, something that took a matter of three to four days takes three to four minutes now. There’s certainly a reduction in time and resources,”” said Susan Taylor-Kusek, Product Marketing Manager for Burlington, Ont.-based eBridge Software.

Taylor-Kusek further notes that the reduction in human error can have a significant impact on a company. “”We’re human, and errors will happen, and manually entered orders may have

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