Managed EDI-Services with the best
Active Nutrition International is an umbrella organization of three sports nutrition brands. The product range of the PowerBar brand ranges from energy bars to energy gels to sports drinks and dietary supplements for athletes. 58 employees work at the European headquarters in Munich.
The PowerBar parent company was founded in 1986 in a kitchen in California. In 2000, when the Swiss confectionery giant Nestlé took over PowerBar, EDI processes were put in place, but when Post Holdings took over ownership in 2014, a new EDI solution was needed. Following the integration of PowerBar into the portfolio of Active Nutrition International, ecosio’s EDI services continue to be in use and will also be used for the other brands Dymatize and Premier Protein.
Alexaner Marth, ERP Coordinator for Active Nutrition International faced one particular challenge in search of a new EDI service provider: he was on an extremely tight schedule. All existing partners were to be integrated with the new EDI processes within just four months.
PowerBar’s previous EDI solution had complicated, rather than simplified things: “Rigid provider guidelines and software limits signi cantly restricted our capacity to react to new requirements, such as new message types,” explains Alexander Marth. “That is why we were committed to finding a full-service EDI provider to take care of EDI routing and converting professionally.”
Alexander Marth quickly found ecosio online. After an initial conversation, it was clear that ecosio would not only be able to meet PowerBar’s tight deadlines, but also o er a competitive price. Mr. Marth was impressed by ecosio’s extensive experience with ERP systems and implementation of EDI interfaces, and competent support. The ecosio blog helped finalize Mr. Marth’s decision.
Flexibility and high performance
PowerBar‘s goal was to outsource EDI processes while limiting changes to in-house operations. Flexibility was required for connecting with Topix, the ERP system; the existing import and export interfaces were not to be changed; and there were clear guidelines for message exchange and central data storage on the in-house server. The mappings also needed to be exible enough to ensure that the ERP system’s message structure could be adopted without adjustment.
With these instructions, ecosio began the process of smoothly transferring all fourteen existing partners in just four months, in coordination with PowerBar.
Routing and converting with ecosio Integration Hub
The ecosio Integration Hub is now responsible for PowerBar’s EDI message exchange: with just one connection between PowerBar’s ERP system Topix and ecosio’s message center, all of PowerBar’s EDI requirements are ful lled. Messages are converted to their target format in the Integration Hub and then delivered to the recipient – and vice versa
ecosio manages EDI connections, administration, and central monitoring. EDI partners can be connected using AS2, X.400, SFTP/FTPS, HTTPS, OFTP2, PEPPOL, SMTP or RESTful API.
“When none of these is possible – as was the case with PowerBar – there’s still EFEX client, ecosio’s practically maintenance-free message exchange software. EFEX client is installed locally with the client and creates the connection to ecosio Integration Hub,” explains Marco Zapletal, ecosio Managing Director.
“For a project like this one, direct contact between our clients and our experts is absolutely indispensible,” explains Marco Zapletal. Every question or need for clari cation is processed quickly, simply, and directly by the ecosio team. “When system problems occurred, ecosio got in touch right away to ensure that critical delays could be avoided,” con rms Alexander Marth.
After successful setup and transfer of the original fourteen clients, ecosio is now working on the continued expansion of PowerBar’s EDI activities throughout Europe. The next goal is to introduce DESADV (despatch advice message).
“ecosio’s extensive experience and know-how contributed significantly to our cooperation. Because of this great collaboration, we’ll take on more complex EDI projects together,” says Alexander Marth about future cooperation with ecosio.