My message this month is simple: Our solution is comprehensive. Are you using Dicentral account to its full potential? You may have one or two connections now, but in the blink of an eye you may soon have ten connections. Our technology enables us to grow your EDI connections. Our tools are integrated to work together, which enables us to develop more and more enterprise connections that benefit all the trading partners in the DIcentral trading network.

- Our vision is to provide a one stop for all your EDI needs.

- Our tools are proprietary and engineered to map, test and validate the data we move.

- We own, develop, test, and improve our own software. We do not license it from anyone. If there’s a problem, you call us and we fix it.

- We have made major investments in customer service because we know EDI can be complicated. We are the experts you call.

- We manage and track the progress of your connection to your business partner.

- It’s not only speed, but the depth and breath of DIcentral that serves you.

- Our solution is designed to meet the requirements of a wide range of customers. It scales.

You have invested time and money in DIcentral, but have you gotten the biggest bang for your buck? Today, we have mapped nearly 280 major buying organizations into our system. This means you can connect - without mapping cost - to a whole new host of customers. By connecting to us, you are connected to the retail, pharmaceutical, energy, and manufacturing industries, to name a few. As your company grows, DIcentral will grow with you. We can integrate our service with your accounting system. We can help you solve thorny EDI problems. We can help you reduce chargeback costs. We can send invoice copies to your factor and help decrease factor costs. If you’re interested in learning more about all the things DIcentral can do for you, give us a call. Leverage your EDI. It can save you money!

Thuy Mai

A new packing option has been added for customers who ship using consoli dated ASNs.

Now you can pack by SKU.

“You get an order that says your pack quantity is 12 for a certain item and 8 for the second item and so on,” says DIcentral sales director Adi Zarhy. “But you always pack those items as a four pack or a two pack, respectively. Instead of going into our DIcentral system and changing the pack quantity from 12 to 4 for the first item item, and 8 to 2 for the next item, you now have the ability to have our system automatically calculate how many packs you want overall
for a specific item.”

In other words, you can decide how many packs you want of a specific item, and DIcentral will calculate automatically from the purchase order how to break down the order to fit your shipping requirements.

“This minimizes the time you have to spend at the computer changing the quantities, we enable you do this automatically by SKU,”
says Zarhy.

The cost to you? Zip.

Find the packing by SKU feature in the “Bundle to Ship” notice as part of your packing options.


It’s no secret that retailers require their suppliers to adhere to so-called vendor compliance requirements – detailed technical rules that ensure digital purchase orders, invoices, and scores of other supply chain documents move efficiently without error between retailers and suppliers. Complying with EDI rules is complicated. One mistake in an electronic document costs retailers lost inventory and the suppliers expensive chargebacks.

In November, a team of DIcentral sales and customer service staff, had a front row seat at the recent Vendor Compliance Federation (VCF) conference where vendors, retailers and service providers tackled the thorny issue of helping suppliers meet retailers’ EDI requirements.

“Vendor compliance is really important in cutting costs and streamlining the retail supply chain,” says Peter Edlund DIcentral Sales Director. “Retailers are calling for tougher requirements and demanding better vendor performance. This conference helped us understand both sides of the compliance issue.”

DIcentral’s team staffed a booth, attended compliance seminars, and networked with retail representatives from some of the biggest retail chains in the United States. “What we learned at the conference will help us better serve our customers,” says DIcentral Sales Director Edlund. “Like VCF, we are dedicated to providing and improving knowledge of compliance issues and its impact on our customers’ profits.”

DIcentral has a new manager to lead the Customer Support Team. Her name is Jean Respass, and to the workplace she brings experiential knowledge in EDI and good management skills. “I came to DIcentral because I like working with advanced technology and sharing my expertise”.

Her track record is impressive. Her e-commerce/EDI experience began in the late 80’s with a pharmaceutical printing company. “As the network administrator, I worked on the setup and integration of the PO and invoice. In those days, we worked with either VANs or FTP to exchange the EDI data,” says Respass.

In the early 90’s, she was the e-commerce manager for JST Corporation, a manufacturer of connectors in the automotive, and computer industries. “I upgraded the EDI system and managed several integration projects for ordering, inventory, warehouse and finance. The data was mapped into Oracle. We also implemented an e-com- merce site for the US and European Offices. They could check the status of an order or review inventory,” she says. “It was pretty effective.”

Next, she became e-commerce manager for Land O’Lakes. “I worked with a team to improve the flow of the data and bring efficiencies to the process. We reduced our costs and made our system more effective, timely and consistent,” she says.

For the last three years, Jean worked as EDI team leader for Walgreens. She supervised a team and worked on several special projects for Ordering and Logistics.

“When DIcentral began handling EDI for several of our suppliers, we noticed the testing data was more consistent,” says Respass. “When the vendor moved to Production, there were almost no errors. This reduced the amount of time we had to spend on Production follow up.” “We also received allot of praise from vendors who used DIcentral as their EDI solution” she said. “Small firms don’t have the resources or business experience to start up an EDI system. DIcentral with its Web-based solution was more cost effective for them. It is a great tool for both Mid size and Small companies.”

Respass started work with DIcentral November 1. “DIcentral takes a proactive approach to servicing customers’ needs,” says Respass. “We’re always trying to provide a better product for the customer.”

DIcentral CEO Thuy Mai says hiring Respass represents his commitment to customer service. “She has experience, and she knows how to squeeze more efficiency from our processes. We’re very lucky to have her on our team,” says Mai.

What do you do when one of your big retail customers sends you a purchase order with the wrong UPC codes. That was the question facing EDI coordinator Susan Miller of Wish Licensing, a California junior clothing supplier to most of America’s major retailers.

She called the buyer. “We’ll make the corrections on our end, but we’re not sending you an updated EDI Purchase Order,” he said. Miller sat down at her computer and corrected her ASNs. “Without DIcentral, we would have had bad labels, bad ASNs, and bad invoices,” she says. “Everything would have been incorrect.” Wish Licensing can’t afford to make mistakes.

The company provides nearly every big retailer in the United States, from Wal Mart to Mervyn’s to JC Penny. “We started with DIcentral in June this year,” says Miller. “We use the service for all our big retail customers, except one, and we’re working on moving them over. My screen is set to my account on DIcentral.” In a week the company can move as much as $900,000 in merchandize from its California warehouse and far flung manufacturers.

This fall, Peter Pan Industries, which began life in 1928 as a maker of children's records, changed its name to Inspired Corp.

To the public, the change reflected the company's move to expanded video and audio products, covering topics such as wellness and fitness, children's activities and lifestyle learning, family, children and holiday entertainment.

Privately, the company had also changed its business model from a do-it-yourself to a if-it’s-not- key-to-your-business-outsource-it mode. “As part of that outsourcing effort, we moved our operation to Rosedale, New Jersey where among other things we out- sourced our EDI, which was really designed for a warehousing facility,” says Steve King, VP of technology. “If you can imagine, we were working on a PC with Windows 3.1.1 for Workgroups.”

To perform EDI operations, data had to move among three systems that were never designed to work together – all on an antiquated PC. “To upgrade I considered my options,” said King. “But hardware and software for $10,000 that didn’t even get me to first base or use DIcentral, a straight on solution with a Web interface that I could use from anywhere, solution that allowed me to deal with one company instead of several.

No More Headaches.

“The bottom line is DIcentral took care of all the headaches,” says King. “All I have to do is talk to DIcentral. I don’t have time to deal with Amazon’s specifica- tions or Transworld’s new 850 requirement.” King says he likes knowing that when he sends an invoice to Target, it goes to Target quickly and accurately.

The next step, says King, will be to upgrade Inspired’s accounting system and integrate it with DIcentral’s EDI service which will make it easier to move data back and forth. “All in all, DIcentral is responsive,” says King. “They do what they say they’re going to do.

They help us keep in touch with our trading partners. They save us from being charged up the whazoo for EDI noncompliance. In short, they have become key long-term trading partners.”

Inspired’s products are sold through major retail chains, mass marketers, music stores, video stores, rental stores, book chains, food and drug stores and many specialty resellers. They're also included in more than 150 catalogs. Among the titles previously released by Peter Pan are fitness videos featuring Denise Austin, Tony Little, Jazzercise, Leslie Sansone and Joanie Greggains.



December 02, 2004


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