Weathering the Storm With EDI - (problem solved)

Beaver Street Fisheries shores up its EDI strategy with some help from nuBridges' Commerce Suite.

When Beaver Street Fisheries Inc. CIO Howard Stockdale wanted to use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make the $500 million Jacksonville, Fla., company more competitive, he picked up the phone to enlist the help of former Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman. That same desire -- to bring enterprise-class technology to the midmarket importer of frozen seafood -- drove Stockdale's electronic data interchange (EDI) strategy. "We decided to take our electronic data interchange to a whole new level," says Stockdale.

Stockdale chose iSoft Corp. (now nuBridges LLC) and the Commerce Suite product, which allows Beaver Street to confirm product shipments from more than 50 countries electronically. The system also provides explanations of deductions or credits and a cross-reference invoice for suppliers and customers.

Now Stockdale is embarking on a colocated data center project. "We are going to put an AS2 EDI server, a nuBridges server, down at the colocation, so even if a hurricane hits Jacksonville, our partners all over the world won't have to worry about not being able to get their purchase orders."

After scouting locations, Stockdale rented space in a "mission-critical bulletproof data center," he says. When Beaver Street lost power two years ago, Stockdale and his staff of 10 discovered that many customers had systems that attempted transmission of electronic documents only twice before abandoning the task. "Now, no matter what happens in our building, our trading partners will always be able to communicate with us." The Commerce Suite, says Stockdale, is "not a $399 software package. And if you want premium support [like Beaver Street's], then it's about $7,000 annually. But it's a single piece of software controlling all your e-commerce. It's important."

Problem solved.

Ellen O'Brien, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a senior editor at Storage magazine. Write to her at eobrien@techtarget.com.

This was first published in February 2007

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