Vexilar EDI Transactions Improve with Help from SPS Commerce Fulfillment

With increasing compliance requirements, Vexilar found itself spending more and more time doing EDI to support cross docking and direct-to-store.

Vexilar
  • Customer Type:
    Supplier
  • Industry:
    Electronics, Marine Electronics
  • Headquarters:
    Minneapolis, MN
  • SPS Product:
    Fulfillment
  • ERP:
    Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Customer Since:
    2007

Since 1960, Vexilar has been a leader in marine electronics for one very good reason, Vexilar makes the highest quality sonar system in the world. They are known for innovation and invented the first LCD sonar display for open water and ice fishing.

Vexilar EDI Demands from Retailer Trading Partners Growing out of Scale

Vexilar had been using SPS’ web-based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) service for several years to comply with their high-volume retail customers, including Big Rock Sports, Blaine’s Farm & Fleet, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, and Mills Fleet Farm. With increasing compliance requirements, Vexilar found itself spending more and more time doing EDI. Several retailers had adopted new processes, primarily cross docking and direct-to-store. These changes resulted in hundreds of additional EDI transactions being sent, which quickly led Vexilar to consider integrating its outsourced EDI solution with its Microsoft Dynamics GP system.

New Vexilar EDI Solution with SPS Offers a Hands-Free Experience

The IT staff at Vexilar knew they did not want to own and manage their own EDI infrastructure (hardware, software, network/communications), or be responsible to design and maintain the ever-changing EDI rule books that itemized the details of all EDI transactions with their retailers. Their business was marine electronics, not EDI, so Vexilar preferred to have a proven third party in charge of their application and system monitoring, backups, data monitoring and diagnoses, system upgrades and more.

Prior to making their decision, Vexilar carefully analyzed all of the costs associated with the integration and compared it to the costs of Vexilar’s time spent entering EDI information and correcting errors due to misskeyed information. The analysis showed that integration was cost effective and enabled Vexilar to focus on their growing business.

Vexilar chose SPS Commerce’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integrated EDI service in 2007. Not only did it meet their outsourcing requirements, SPS’ multi-tenant service was already in use by other sporting goods vendors connected to the same retailers.

Easy EDI Integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP

At the recommendation of SPS Commerce, Vexilar selected InterDyn Business Microvar, a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, to perform the integration work. Business Microvar had worked with SPS on multiple web-based EDI integrations with GP and offered a pre-wired integration adapter (eConnect), making the integration easy.

Today, Vexilar EDI has been integrated with the company’s highest volume customers onto SPS Fulfillment solution and plans to add the remaining EDI customers at a later date. “As our retail customers were requiring more and more EDI transactions for their direct-to-store and cross docking processes, we decided it was time to automate Vexilar’s EDI process to draw the needed order and shipping data from our Dynamics GP solution needed by our outsourced EDI service provider, SPS Commerce,” said Laurie Foell, controller at Vexilar. “With the help of InterDyn Business Microvar and SPS, Vexilar integrated the hosted EDI service with our Dynamics GP system in 2007 before Vexilar’s fall busy season. These organizations know EDI, but also knew the detailed workings of Dynamics GP, making our integration one that fit our timeline and delivered the efficiency we needed.”

The Interviewee:

Laurie Foell, Controller

The Challenge:

Time spent managing EDI constantly increasing after several retailers adopted new processes.

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The Solution:

Find a provider to manage EDI for them, so they can concentrate on growing business.

i

The Results:

SPS Fulfillment EDI integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP finished just in time for the busy season.

“As our retail customers were requiring more and more EDI transactions for their direct-to-store and cross docking processes, we decided it was time to automate Vexilar’s EDI process to draw the needed order and shipping data from our Dynamics GP solution needed by our outsourced EDI service provider, SPS Commerce.”

– Laurie Foell

Additional References

Read more about full-service EDI and other stories of how we’ve helped businesses optimize their supply chains and increase sales.