RXBAR & SPS Commerce: Integrating EDI with NetSuite & OTM

Using automation to grow their business, not their staff

  • Industry:
    Food & Beverage
  • Headquarters:
    Chicago, IL
  • SPS Solution
  • System Automation:
    Oracle NetSuite, Oracle Transportation Management

RXBAR was founded on the principle that simple is better. They delivered the first nutritious protein bar to the market, made with a short list of real, all-natural ingredients that consumers could easily read to know exactly what was in each bar. RXBAR used this same strategy around simplicity when nationwide grocers and retailers came calling. They needed EDI but wanted a straightforward way to do it well. A full-service EDI provider was the answer and they soon discovered SPS Commerce. SPS provides the EDI technology, the expertise on every retailer’s requirements and the daily support. Their EDI operations are now integrated with SPS Fulfillment, NetSuite and OTM, that work together to keep their whole order-to-cash process running smoothly. RXBAR began in 2012 with a mission to bring a nutritious protein bar to the market. It wasn’t long before consumers at cross-fit gyms and e-commerce sites became loyal fans. Their sales took off. Today the company’s bars, snacks, nut butters and oats are sold at independent gyms and nationwide retailers.

Moving from E-Commerce to Retail

RXBAR started selling primarily online and with wholesale partnerships at independent gyms and cafes. Their e-commerce sales and reviews caught the attention of major grocery distributors and retailers like Costco, Kehe, Loblaws, Rite Aid and Target. Soon, RXBARs were selling across the United States.

The company’s supply chain was also expanding to support the new business. RXBAR added third party logistics providers (3PLs) to pick, pack and ship their products. Multiple warehouses opened across the country.

“RXBAR keeps a close eye on its supply chain,” said Greg Brown, Senior Manager of Technology at RXBAR. “We outsource a lot but purchase our raw materials direct. Our ingredients are core to everything we do. To keep our attention on what matters most, we partner with companies we trust. SPS Commerce is one of these trusted partners.”

Integrating with NetSuite and OTM

National retailers and distributors require their trading partners to be EDI-capable. To comply, RXBAR started using SPS Commerce Fulfillment to receive EDI orders from their retail customers. The orders were then entered and sent to one of RXBAR’s 3PLs for shipment.

“SPS Fulfillment worked well for our company for quite a while,” said Brown. “Increasing order volumes drove us to look for more automation including a new ERP. We chose Oracle NetSuite as our new ERP, knowing that SPS offered a system automation solution for NetSuite. Our success with SPS Fulfillment assured us that SPS was still the right EDI partner for our business.”

Today, RXBAR’s orders go from the retailer through the SPS retail network to NetSuite ERP and the designated 3PL. It’s hands-free. Only orders that have issues or exceptions need personal attention. This saves RXBAR time and keeps their focus on growing their product line and securing new sales channels. Also, when they do secure new channels, they are able to use SPS Fulfillment to receive orders at once from new customers. This allows the supplier to do business with the retailer right away while the integrated EDI connection is being tested and completed.

In 2020, RXBAR made the decision to implement a Transportation Management System (TMS) and opted for Oracle Transportation Management (OTM). They integrated OTM with their SPS EDI solution to efficiently manage carrier invoicing, with load tendering coming soon.

“Our fully integrated order process based on SPS Commerce, OTM and NetSuite provides us with advanced inventory management,” said Brown. “Our goal is to scale to support growing order volumes and the complex trading requirements of our trading partners. We need EDI to make sure the right inventory is at the right place at the right time. This is critical to our business.”

Offloading EDI operations from internal teams

The SPS team takes on the responsibility of running all the technology aspects of RXBAR’s EDI operations. From setting up a new customer and testing the connection to ongoing monitoring, RXBAR relies 100 percent on SPS.

“RXBAR has two staff members in charge of EDI. They work with SPS Commerce, but thanks to the full-service nature of SPS, the EDI function is a small part of their role,” explains Brown. “The team at SPS continually monitors our transactions and makes sure everything is running smoothly. They collaborate with our team to find new ways to optimize and collaborate with us to develop our EDI road map. It is a true partnership.”

Managing EDI Orders from 70+ Retailers with SPS, NetSuite and OTM

Today, RXBAR has more than 200,000 EDI orders flowing through their business from more than 70 retailers and seven 3PLs. The company has come a long way in a short period of time. From its start in 2012 to becoming part of Kellogg’s, their products proved that natural and simple is best. As for the future, they continue to expand their product line and sell through most major grocery and retail chains with no end in sight.

“RXBAR’s business continues to multiply and our partnership with SPS helps us scale using existing resources,” states Brown.

The Interviewee:

Greg Brown, Senior Manager of Technology at RXBAR

The Challenge:

Build a completely automated order fulfillment process

The Solution:

Deploy SPS Fulfillment, integrated with NetSuite and OTM

The Results:

Hands-free order operations between RXBAR, its retailers and 3PLs

“RXBAR’s business continues to multiply and our partnership with SPS helps us scale using existing resources.”

-Greg Brown, Senior Manager of Technology at RXBAR