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July 3, 2009

Regatta ensures orders with sales message broker

Inovis automates supply chain connections across Europe

By CBR Staff Writer

Outdoor equipment supplier Regatta has hit upon a way to standardise the exchange of multiple format sales order data using software from Inovis.

The company behind the High Street chain of Hawkshead, and a wholesale supplier of outdoors clothing to UK retailers like Blacks and Debenhams, the business has to be able to take sales order data in many different formats from its different wholesale and retail operations, mail order business and online shopping web estates.

TrustedLink i series from Inovis provides Regatta with a platform that automatically translates sales documents, such as orders and delivery notes into the various data formats and connectivity standards required by retailers, ensuring sales order processing information can be quickly and accurately processed at both ends of the supply chain.

“It’s brought together into one place all the different electronic communications that are transferred across the order chain,” explained Chris Bulmer, Group IT Director for Regatta. Through web-based Inovis software, Regatta staff can send and receive purchase orders, invoices and other sales data in the required format of its customers.

“We have a whole range of retail systems, mail order systems, web, wholesale and concessions systems, and data from all of these need some time to pass through our main ERP’s financial and warehousing applications. It’s excellent that we have a uniform platform to handle that.” 

The company runs the Info System21 Aurora ERP suite from Infor, and the TrustedLink system has helped the business standardise all inputs to and outputs from its enterprise resources system. 

Bulmer describes TrustedLink as a type of message broker, which sits and maps the data exchange requirements of Regatta’s systems and those of its customers. It has been set up to help automate data exchange between systems, dealing just as effectively with XML formats as it does flat files. 

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The system also alerts Regatta to any file transfer failures in real time, so that any disruption of the sales order process is minimised, Bulmer said.

Use of the software simplifies electronic data interchange (EDI) communications to support the company’s European operations in more than 30 countries.

Bulmer noted, “The complexities of trading with different countries meant that our new EDI system must be able to support the latest data standards and communication protocols being adopted by retailers across Europe.” 

He added, “TrustedLink works like a Swiss army knife for our business, providing a multi-functional portal through which all parts of our organisation can access and process live order information, ensuring we can meet customer requirements in a timely and efficient fashion.”

By integrating live order information directly into the company’s back-office ERP system, it also has helped eradicated manual input and is improving data accuracy and simplifying the exchange of export data required by HM Customs and Excise.

The system developed by Inovis monitors orders, shipments and other business partner processes.

The vendor’s system provides web portals and workflows so that supply chain owners can quickly and easily tie in their trading partners and speed the sales order process. The systems are also used to find and fix issues across trading partner transactions, including purchase orders, shipments and invoices.



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