Symbion is Exceeding Expectations with SPS Vendor Enablement Program

A large and growing national healthcare company in Australia with businesses in pharmaceutical wholesaling, retail services, hospitals and more, Symbion wanted to complete automation of its purchasing processes. Symbion selected SPS Commerce to lead its vendor enablement program. SPS’s vendor compliance programs leverage proven best practices and expertise to maximize adoption rates.

Symbion
  • Customer Type:
    Retailer
  • Industry:
    Healthcare, Pharmaceutical
  • Headquarters:
    Melbourne, Australia
  • SPS Product(s):
    Fulfillment, Community
  • Customer Since:
    2012

Symbion is a large and growing national healthcare company headquartered in Australia with businesses in pharmaceutical wholesaling, retail services, hospitals and more. The company employs more than 1,000 people and has sales approaching $4 billion.

In January 2012, Symbion’s senior management decided to complete the automation of its purchasing processes across its Retail Pharmacy and Hospitals business units. As a result, the company would require all vendors to use EDI. The majority of Symbion’s large suppliers were already utilizing EDI with the company, but many of the small and midsized vendors were exchanging information via fax and e-mail.

Symbion began to search for a partner to help reach out to its fax vendors and bring them into compliance. It was important to Symbion that the provider offered EDI technology as well as the resources and knowledge to work directly with the suppliers to convert to Symbion’s EDI requirements.

Leveraging Proven Best Practices with SPS Fulfillment and Community

Symbion selected SPS Commerce to lead its vendor enablement program. SPS had experience working directly with similar vendors and offered a web-based EDI solution, WebForms, for its less technical suppliers. SPS’s vendor compliance programs leverage proven best practices and expertise to maximize adoption rates. More than 50,000 SPS customers have found success in the breakthrough approach to EDI, with most achieving 70% to 90% compliance within a few months.

The Symbion EDI vendor Enablement Program Included the Following Phases:

  • Planning: A dedicated supplier enablement team from SPS worked with Symbion to design and execute its custom program. The local and US-based SPS experts helped Symbion identify vendors and guided the suppliers through the enablement process quickly and easily.
  • Rollout: SPS maximized adoption with a formal kick-off program with Symbion’s vendors including customized communications. Symbion stayed informed through weekly teleconferences and progress reports with SPS.
  • Certification: SPS’s on-demand EDI services and hybrid solutions ensured compliance with Symbion’s program requirements for vendors using their own EDI solution.

Symbion EDI Enablement with SPS Commerce Exceeds Expectations

The vendor enablement program resulted in more than 125 suppliers becoming EDI compliant with Symbion. Approximately 90 suppliers are using SPS’s WebForms solution to transact via EDI with Symbion, with others electing to certify their existing EDI service or leverage SPS’s integrated EDI solution to automatically transact via EDI from within their internal ERP or accounting systems.

“SPS’s vendor enablement program exceeded our expectations,” said Brett Barons, General Manager – Pharmacy at Symbion. “The program resulted in more suppliers becoming EDI-capable than we had forecast and we received support from SPS Commerce throughout the process.”

After the success of its initial program, Symbion is looking forward to adding additional suppliers in the near future.

Positively Impacting the Business

Symbion’s vendor enablement program has streamlined its order fulfillment process, giving the wholesaler better visibility and control. For example, the company can more easily track inbound stock and equip its customer support staff with order information, resulting in better communication with its pharmacy customers.

“SPS provided a talented team of individuals to work with our staff and suppliers,” continued Barons. “The implementation went smoothly, and they made it an easy process for our technical staff and our nontechnical suppliers.”

The Interviewee:

Brett Barons, General Manager

The Challenge:

Onboard small and midsized vendors from exchanging documents via fax and e-mail to EDI automation.

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The Solution:

SPS Fulfillment and Community vendor enablement program to get trading partners onboarded.

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The Results:

Over 125 suppliers became EDI compliant with Symbion, exceeding the original forecast.

“SPS’s vendor enablement program exceeded our expectations. The program resulted in more suppliers becoming EDI-capable than we had forecast and we received support from SPS Commerce throughout the process.”

– Brett Barons

Additional References

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