– Case Study –

SPS Commerce & Reliance Worldwide Corporation: A Network Success Story

  • Customer Type:
  • Industry:
    Water Flow Solutions, Construction
  • Global headquarters:
    Atlanta, USA
  • Australian headquarters:
    Eagle Farm, Brisbane
  • Flagship Products: channels:
    Sharkbite®, Cash Acme®, HoldRite®
  • Retail channels:
    E-Commerce, Stores
  • SPS Product:
  • ERP:
  • Network Member Since:

Executive Summary

In 2013, Reliance Worldwide Corporation (RWC) was contacted by one of its retail customers, Canadian Tire, wanting to automate its fulfilment cycle with them via EDI. The supplier saw this request as a growth opportunity to strengthen its partnership with the retailer, but also to open them to streamlining its order fulfilment process by doing EDI with more customers. At the time RWC had one full-time employee dedicated to its EDI operations and did not wish to expand this team. The solution was to partner with SPS Commerce to provide an EDI solution that would integrate with RWC’s SAP system and hundreds of EDI professionals to ensure they were running smoothly. Since then, the supplier has connected with more than 50 retailers and logistics partners on the SPS network, managing more than 75 percent of its U.S. revenue.


The Challenge:

Automate order fulfilment with key retail customers and provide a foundation for global rollout.

The Solution:

SPS Commerce Fulfilment deployed to support 100 percent of its retail channel.

The Results:

75% of North America sales are transacted using the SPS platform. No additional staffing needed to support new customers.

Seizing an opportunity

Reliance Worldwide Corporation (ASX: RWC) is an industry pioneer that delivers water solutions that move the world. RWC’s business portfolio is expansive with key operations in Americas, APAC, and EMEA. The company manages multiple brands and over 14,000 product SKUs globally. Its family of brands includes such flagship product brands as SharkBite, HoldRite, and Cash Acme, that offer innovation in plumbing, water controls, and engineered solutions across residential, commercial, and industrial projects. From push-to-connect (PTC) fittings, water valves, to firestop cast-in-place engineered systems, RWC delivers customised and complete total water solutions to its clients.

In 2013, the U.S. division of RWC was contacted by one of its retail customers, Canadian Tire, to advance their partnership and automate their order process using EDI. The management team at RWC saw this as a positive step towards a stronger sales channel with this retailer, and one that they’d like rollout with more customers.

“Our retail sales channel is critical to RWC and it is continually growing as we add new product lines and new retailers,” said Paul Mears, Global Data Manager at RWC. “Scaling our EDI operations to support this expansion was a top priority.” The company knew it had limited resources and didn’t want to invest in staff dedicated to EDI, so it looked for a trusted, global partner. After reaching out to SPS Commerce, the company was impressed by its network that already included the majority of its retail customers and had offices in North America, as well as Australia and Europe to support its long-term fulfilment strategy.

RWC deployed SPS Commerce Fulfilment with its first customer later that year, integrating it with its SAP solution. SPS Fulfilment offers an easy and cost-effective alternative to in-house EDI. With one connection to the SPS platform, RWC has access to the 120,000 members of the SPS network. The cloud-based solution offers EDI compliance, visibility to order statuses and shipments, manages large order volumes and integrates to major ERP, WMS or TMS systems.

A platform for growth

RWC has continued to add more retail trading partners to its EDI program. Today more than 50 retailers are connected via the SPS network to RWC, automating its order fulfilment to improve efficiencies across its supply chain. In addition, RWC has deployed many advanced EDI transactions with its customers to provide increased order visibility, accommodate special orders and more.

“SPS is the backbone of our company’s supply chain operations and we view them as a strategic partner for our retail sales in Americas, ” said Mears. “Retail moves quickly and our customers are continually updating their requirements. The SPS team handles all updates on our behalf, most often completing them before we are even aware the customer has made a change. It’s that simple.”

“If we were still doing EDI manually, this account would have required a team of 10 full-time staff members manually entering these orders as the customer required, for nearly a week per order cycle.”
– Paul Mears, Global Data Manager, RWC

Saving time and money

In 2017, the company signed with a new retailer with over 2,000 selling locations that would carry more than 100 RWC product SKUs at each location. “If we were still doing EDI manually, this account would have required a team of ten full-time staff members manually entering these orders as the customer required, for nearly a week per order cycle. Our integrated SPS solution allows us to completely automate the management of these transactions and reap the rewards of these new sales without adding staff or systems.” Not only is RWC able to onboard new customers quickly, they haven’t needed to hire internal EDI resources. “SPS is our partner for all customer-facing fulfilment, providing the scalable technology platform and the knowledgeable team to support our company from our initial customer to our current deployment that spans borders.”

Preparing for global expansion

Based on its success in the U.S. with SPS, RWC will be teaming with SPS as they deploy SAP globally and will then automate its EDI operations in Australia and Europe. “With offices and experience in Australia and Europe, there is a lot of potential for us to expand our partnership with SPS beyond Americas,” said Mears. “SPS has earned our trust in the U.S. and their global footprint was one of the primary reasons we chose them as a long-term strategic partner.”