This is Post IV in an ACSIS Content Series on Supply Chain Visibility in an Outsourced World. Read the first three posts:
- Breaking down the barriers to supply chain partner visibility
- The Partner Visibility Puzzle: What Is the Missing Piece?
- The harsh realities of not integrating with supply chain partners
ACSIS Edge Network is a visibility and integration solution that mitigates or eliminates the barriers we discussed in our last post:
- Simple: Acts as a hub and is easy to deploy. Seasons change. Partners change. ACSIS Edge Network is a lightweight solution that sits on top of your existing network and allows partners to exchange data using the technology and format of their choice. This enables you to implement and change very quickly – with limited impact to your business.
- Fast: Minimal training (less than an hour) needed to get users up and running. Easy to use, task-oriented transactions can ease the deployment process, minimize training needs (which is especially important given the high average industry turnover), and ensure seamless integration with ERP systems.
- Bidirectional: With ACSIS Edge Network, interactions are bidirectional. Partners are not only able to share and view information, but also complete tasks, such as printing shipping labels and other shipping documents directly at their locations (and you can receive immediate notification of those actions). Your supply chain view looks the same across all types of partners in all locations regardless of the technology capabilities available to the individual partner.
- Secure: Sits “outside” of company systems. Security issues often arise when a company allows outside suppliers to access its ERP system. You need a solution that provides a layer of extraction between you and your partners. As a gateway and a secure method of transacting commerce with your partners, ACSIS Edge Network enables you to exchange data and collaborate securely, and in real time.
How does it work?
ACSIS Edge Network extends the visibility of make-to-ship actions to your external supply partners – without the need to directly connect them to your internal operating systems. In essence, you have the same information available whether it’s inside your four walls or outside, from any third-party you choose.
With ACSIS, you connect with your partners using the technology they already have. Connectivity options include:
- Web portal
- Direct machine-to-machine communication
- Flat file interfaces
- Excel spreadsheets
- EDI messages
All of the transactional data is then integrated into your ERP system (and your partners’ systems) through the ACSIS secure integration layer, which sits between your firewall and your partners’ firewalls and sends data both ways.
As a result, you can efficiently manage your manufacturing and distribution network as an extension of your company – with clear, consistent data-sharing processes. No more time-consuming, error-prone, manual data entry. Faster partner on-boarding. No security risks from exposing your ERP system for direct partner connection. And because you have accurate, timely visibility of all movement or actions taken at item level, you can take direct steps to reduce inventory and labor costs and improve customer satisfaction.
The Bottom Line: Supply network integration brings more than just visibility
At ACSIS, we recognize that there’s more to partner integration than visibility. With ACSIS Edge Network, we have been able to help our customers achieve the following financial improvements:
- 13.5% improvement in inventory turns and shorter lead times
- 30% reduction in safety stock based on visibility of accurate demand
- 19% reduction in inventory carrying costs
Contact us today, so we can work together to assess your current partner environment and calculate the value you will gain from better supply network visibility and collaboration.