B2B Integration

REI Shares Lessons Learned During ERP Upgrade and EDI Migration

Many companies find themselves in a similar situation to what REI had in back in 2010. Business is going well, with about 1,400 suppliers, approximately half of them doing EDI. Then, a strategic decision to change and upgrade ERP systems led to the decision to require EDI from all suppliers. REI’s three-person B2B team faced a major challenge: They had six months to automate 700 suppliers who had been faxing, phoning, and mailing in POs — while simultaneously migrating the other 700 suppliers to their new B2B solution.

Click below to hear two of the three-person team share their fascinating journey. Listening to their first-hand account is insightful and thought-provoking. I can tell you, without spoiling the story, that they were successful with the migration and have continued to grow the benefits from B2B to REI’s business. Continued process improvements have resulted in ongoing value. In 2015, they saved more than $1.4 million, along with over 37,000 man-hours freed up for more strategic work.

The thing that really stuck in my mind was in the lessons learned section. One of the speakers commented on whether it was better to first implement the ERP or migrate/automate the suppliers first. Maybe it was so interesting because in all the conversations I’ve had with companies that have been in that situation, nobody had ever mentioned it. I won’t tell you what she recommends — you’ll have to listen to the story yourself.

Market Segment Manager for B2B, Commerce, and Procurement at IBM

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