Juvenile Products Manufacturer Automates the Unique Order Processing Requirements of Key Customers with TrueCommerce
Exploit new online channels and meet the diverse and increasing demands of major retailers across both online and in-store channels to ship orders efficiently, accurately and reliably at minimal additional cost.
Add value to an existing TrueCommerce EDI investment by leveraging affordable add-on capabilities to automate specific order processing workflows with Amazon Marketplace and Target.
“TrueCommerce takes a manual process and turns it into a completely seamless, automatic process—it helps us tremendously.”
— Tanika Snyder, Accounts Payable/EDI, Combi USA
Established in 1989 as a subsidiary of Japan’s renowned Combi Corporation, Combi USA is a premier provider of juvenile products of the highest quality, style and practicality. The innovative manufacturer offers a wide range of sought-after items, including lightweight strollers, carriers, car seats, mobile entertainers, feeding products and more for babies and toddlers.
Like many manufacturers of top-brand consumer products, Combi offers its products through multiple channels, such as major brick-and-mortar retailers, online through its own website, and on Amazon.com.
According to Tanika Snyder, Accounts Payable/EDI, Combi has been using TrueCommerce to process orders from its major retail customers for over five years. More recently, Combi has extended its use of TrueCommerce EDI to automate order processing end-to-end with Amazon Marketplace.
Using the TrueCommerce Amazon Marketplace Integration offering, Combi can import Amazon orders directly into its Sage 100 business system and send outbound orders—including tracking numbers—back to Amazon using EDI. This significantly accelerates order processing and helps eliminate errors, both of which are critical in this direct-to-consumer channel.
The TrueCommerce Amazon Marketplace Integration took less than a week to rollout, from start to finish. “We were already set up to use TrueCommerce EDI with Amazon, so all we had to do was set up our different account numbers in our Sage 100 system,” Ms. Snyder notes. “Then, TrueCommerce mapped everything on the EDI side, and we were ready to go.”
The integration has been in operation for about a month. “It seems to be working very smoothly,” states Ms. Snyder. “TrueCommerce Support has helped tremendously with the whole process.”
Combi also automatically processes and drop-ships about 10 to 20 orders per week to Amazon warehouses using EDI through Amazon Seller Central, as a participant in the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.
“Fully automated EDI saves us a lot of time, especially when the order volume goes up,” Ms. Snyder indicates.
Besides Amazon Marketplace, Combi also uses integrated EDI to automate and accelerate order processing with the brick-and-mortar divisions of its largest retail customers. These include Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s.
The automation and responsiveness that integrated EDI provides is vital to serving these demanding customers. “TrueCommerce takes a manual process and turns it into a completely seamless, automatic process—it helps us tremendously,” emphasizes Ms. Snyder. Combi’s order processing workflow automates everything from receiving the EDI 850 purchase order into Sage 100, to “turning around” the EDI 810 invoice back to the retailer, to generating advance ship notices (ASNs) for retailers that require them, such as Target and Amazon. “TrueCommerce EDI even supports the automated generation of packing slips from the purchase order,” says Ms. Snyder.
Target has very recently mandated that its vendors need to send a purchase order acknowledgement within 30 minutes of receiving an order—no matter what time of the day or night that order is received.
TrueCommerce handles this requirement effortlessly thanks to the TrueCommerce Scheduler, a popular add-on. Scheduler makes it possible to set up everyday tasks, like receiving and sending EDI transactions and importing/exporting transactions between EDI and Sage 100 (as well as other leading ERPs) to occur automatically, at whatever times you choose.
Ms. Snyder explains: “For most customers, we pull orders once per day. When an order ships, we turn around the EDI 855 purchase order acknowledgement. With Target, orders can come in throughout the night. We use Scheduler to automatically process those orders and turn around PO acknowledgements every 15 minutes around the clock using the TrueCommerce solution. Without our TrueCommerce solution that would be impossible, and we’d be getting multiple chargebacks per week from Target.”
According to Ms. Snyder, if Combi didn’t have TrueCommerce, the company would have to hire more staff.
“I would absolutely recommend TrueCommerce and its Amazon Marketplace solutions to other companies like ours that need to work with these big retailers,” concludes Ms. Snyder.