Inovis Launches New, On-Site Partner Management Software : Five on-premise modules help trading partners improve supply chain visibility, B2B e-commerce and compliance

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Inovis, a provider of Business Community Management solutions, today announced the availability of its Actionable Intelligence, Software Edition.

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B2B Integration Trends: Message Formats

Inovis Actionable Intelligence improves transactions between buyers and sellers. By monitoring electronic orders, ship notifications (ASN) and invoices against business rules and compliance guides, suppliers and retailers can uncover problems faster and create projects to fix the issues. And better data quality means lower out-of-stock rates, fewer vendor chargebacks and more time to manage the rest of your business.

The Software Edition is a great fit for companies with IT policies that require behind-the-firewall solutions for managing partner transactions. Companies now have three ways to integrate Inovis Actionable Intelligence: the Software Edition, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Edition, used by retailers like Big Lots, and the Managed Services Edition. This product is part of Inovis' overall strategy for providing customers with flexibility in how they connect with partners, exchange transactions and manage exceptions.

"Retailers want to move beyond juggling individual orders and invoices to broaden the scope of their partner interactions," said Erik Huddleston, chief technology officer for Inovis. "Actionable Intelligence is a packaged solution that lets retailers integrate transactions at every level throughout the supply chain, from vendor setup through day-to-day order fulfillment, shipping, invoicing and compliance."

Webcast

On July 31, 2008 (11am ET), Inovis CTO Erik Huddleston will host a live webcast and provide a product tour. The webcast registration page is located at the link below:

https://inovis.webex.com/inovis/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=577250621

Challenges Facing Trading Partners

Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce activity continues to grow, with more than one-third of the US GDP is directly supported by electronic transaction exchanges (EDI) in retail, manufacturing and other markets. Globally, each day over 20 million EDI transactions flow between companies, roughly 90 percent of all B2B transaction volume (source: Forrester Research, 2007, "B2B Integration Trends: Message Formats").

But many suppliers and retailers struggle with the process of exchanging transactions with hundreds or thousands of business partners due to a "perfect storm" of challenges.

First, supply chains continue to expand globally, bringing the complexities of trade compliance and longer supply routes. Second, retail supply chains continue to shift to a demand-driven model with less room for error, as inventory pulled from consumers at stores and dot-com sites rather than pushed down to distribution centers and store. Third, companies are looking to deploy flexible, multi-enterprise applications but are stuck with legacy back-office systems that are difficult to extend to partners. As a result, twenty percent error rates continue to be common in business-to-business (B2B) transactions, slowing sales, raising inventory costs, and triggering vendor deductions that can reach two percent of sales for suppliers.

Modules

Five modules are provided, including:

Chargeback Avoidance helps retail vendors reduce the amount of deductions due to preventable, data-related compliance errors. Community Management helps rollout and certify vendors to compliance changes, using surveys to assess readiness, self-service certification to validate transactions against compliance rules, and workflow to automate projects. Operations Support gives distribution center teams visibility to data-related errors in shipment notifications, orders and invoices by tracking the quality of "in-flight" partner transactions. Deductions Management automates a retailer's vendor deduction program, helping organizations simplify cost-recovery processes by validating transactions against compliance guides to trigger deduction items. Scorecard Management automates the collection of key partner metrics, such as late shipment notifications (ASN), tracks partner performance by product category, process or facility, and creates remediation programs to improve poor-performing partners. How Actionable Intelligence Works

Behind the scenes, each Inovis Actionable Intelligence module combines four core technologies into a unique package for each targeted business process: compliance-guide modeling, transaction validation, collaboration and dashboards.

Compliance-Guide Modeling. A flexible business-rule modeling database captures and maps a company's exact trading partner requirements -- such as compliance guides, routing guides and service level agreements -- and provides an easy way to make updates and create compliance exceptions for particular groups. Transaction Validation. A validation engine watches a carbon copy of transactions and compares them to documented rules and requirements, flagging errors and issues with drill-down to root-cause data. A wide range of data types and methods are supported, including value-added networks (VANs) such as Inovisworks. Collaboration Workflow. A flexible workflow engine enables users to manage tasks, worklists and projects across thousands of partners. Online surveys, triggered email notifications and self-service web access make it easy to assess vendor readiness, remediate chronic advance ship notification (ASN) errors, roll out new cross-docking programs and certify partners to electronic data interchange (EDI) specification changes. Dashboards. A reporting engine creates dashboards that can be customized, shared, subscribed to, exported and drilled into, making it easy to collaborate with partners on supply chain issues. A number of best-practice, process-based dashboards are provided, such as Vendor Scorecards, Reverse Scorecards, Deduction Items, and Inbound Logistics Performance. About Inovis

Inovis is a provider of Business Community Management solutions that enable companies to transact, collaborate and optimize communications with their entire trading community. By standardizing and automating business interactions, companies can dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of supply chain communication. This foundation of high-quality, reliable and secure connectivity provides real-time visibility across the order-to-payment lifecycle and lowers supply chain risk. The resulting actionable intelligence enables users to proactively address supply chain issues before they impact profitability, shortening cycle times, improving productivity and increasing customer satisfaction.

With more than 20 years of expertise, Inovis delivers its products and services to more than 20,000 companies over a wide range of industries and markets across the globe. For more information, visit http://www.inovis.com or the Inovis Community Blog.

Inovis is a trademark of Inovis, Inc.

Keywords:

actionable intelligence, avoid chargeback, chargeback avoidance, eliminate chargeback, deduction management, vendor deduction management, create vendor scorecards, vendor scorecards, trading partner scorecards, global supply chain logistics, global logistics managment, community management, scorecarding, supply chain visibility

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