JR Wood Freezes Supply Chain Errors with Fresh New
Selecting EXTOL Business Integrator for UCCnet Compliance
POTTSVILLE, PA., April, 2004 – EXTOL International, Inc., a leading
vendor of B2B applications, announced today that food products pioneer J.R.
Wood has selected Extol to maintain supply chain accuracy and reliability
demanded by trading partners like WalMart and Wegman’s.
A vertically integrated grower/ processor of fruit products, J.R. Wood
pioneered the individually quick-frozen food (IQF) process for fruit, now
the standard in the frozen food industry. They are committed to satisfying
any fruit requirement of the retail, food service, industrial, conventional
and organic fruit markets. Their Big Valley brand has become the leading
frozen fruit label, and they provide private-brand products to major
J.R. Wood’s customers, including close-to-cost retailers like Wal-Mart
and grocers like Wegman’s, have demanding supply-chain requirements for both
accuracy and timeliness of product item data. Already committed to EDI and
aware UCCnet was a coming imperative, Jennifer Jones, director of IT,
started looking for solutions that would carry J.R. Wood into the new
environment. "There were time constraints," Jones comments. "We needed to
deploy a solution quickly, which meant eliminating the alternatives quickly.
"In fact," she said, "I was looking for a single solution for both EDI
and UCCnet. We evaluated several vendors and products. The EXTOL Business
Integration Platform made the most sense for us."
Chief among the criteria that brought J.R. Wood to EXTOL was the fact
that the EXTOL Business Integration Platform was more robust and easier to
implement than any system that J.R. Wood reviewed. "The other solutions did
not address the entire job," according to Jones. "Either they lacked data
cataloging, or internal validation. And, most did not provide a single
system of record for internal data synchronization.
"In addition, the EXTOL product was a strategic solution, one that could
address our UCCnet requirements right now, and enable us to add services for
EDI and our other B2B initiatives according to our resources, and, of
course, mandates for such things as RFID.
"The fact that EXTOL is an IBM partner was important, because it denotes
both business and technical credibility," Jones commented.
Jones said that competing vendors would have required installation of
several different products to match EXTOL’s functionality. "This would mean
multiple installation processes, and uncertainty over how they would work
together. We’re a small company and don’t have a specific e-commerce
department, and couldn’t dedicate the time required for other approaches."
J.R. Wood went live with Wal-Mart in about a month "One week of that was
for EXTOL to customize the product to accommodate a specific business issue
for J.R. Wood," she recalled.
The second implementation, for Wegman’s, only took about a
week-and-a-half, with most of the effort going to check their own data to be
sure it was accurate, before putting it through the data synchronization
process. This is especially important when fully integrating the UCCnet
initiative with their back-end systems, such as EnterpriseWorld--e (formerly
JD Edwards), on their AS/400.
There are two benefits J.R. Wood is predicting to realize quickly. "A
consistent manner of collaborating electronically with Wal-Mart to reduce
errors by at least 30% ," Jones said. "And, efficiency in workflow means
everybody in our own company will know the how and when item data changes.
This is where a supplier can recognize the benefits of UCCnet participation,
right to the bottom line."
Being UCCnet-able brings an added benefit to J.R. Wood: "It’s a selling
point in becoming a preferred vendor with customers like Wal-Mart," Jones
said. "They recognize that we place the same importance on the data
synchronization initiative as they do, and that we were willing to adopt
About EXTOL International, Inc.
EXTOL International, Inc. is a leading provider of B2B integration
application software for the mid-sized enterprise. EXTOL enables companies
to exchange and integrate transactions and documents, regardless of form or
format, between their applications and those of their partners. The EXTOL
Business Integrator is an integration platform for electronic commerce
applications including EDI, AS2, XML, UCCnet and the integration and
management capabilities required to take full advantage of supply chain
functionality. For more information go to
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