Powerbar Products

Active Nutrition International

Sport nutrition

For its brand PowerBar, Active Nutrition is building up an independent EDI infrastructure to connect all its partners with ecosio's Integration Hub.

PowerBar's EDI Journey

Active Nutrition International is an umbrella organisation for three sports nutrition brands. PowerBar brand products range from energy bars to energy gels to sports drinks and dietary supplements for athletes. 58 employees work at the European headquarters in Munich.

Having been founded in 1986 in a kitchen in California, PowerBar was taken over by Swiss confectionery giant Nestlé in 2000, at which point EDI processes were put in place. When Post Holdings took over ownership in 2014, however, 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.

“Because of ecosio we were able to greatly reduce the number of costly adaptations required for our ERP system.”

Alexander Marth, ERP Coordinator, Active Nutrition International

Strict deadlines

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. “One thing that quickly convinced me of ecosio’s expertise was the excellent, comprehensive complimentary blog that not only showcases the latest EDI developments, but also makes EDI subjects and knowledge accessible for newcomers to the topic.”
Alexander Marth, ERP Coordinator, Active Nutrition International GmbH

PowerBar’s previous EDI solution had complicated, rather than simplified things: “Rigid provider guidelines and software limits significantly 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 offer 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.

“Because of our extensive experience with a variety of ERP systems and their various demanding interface solutions, the PowerBar project was no problem – the challenge was meeting their tight deadline.”

Marco Zapletal, Managing Director, ecosio

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 flexible 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.

“ecosio took over contact with most of our clients during the transition phase and continues to manage coordination with clients for new connections, which frees up internal resources at PowerBar.”

Alexander Marth, ERP Coordinator, Active Nutrition International

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 fulfilled. 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”

Marco Zapletal, Managing Director, ecosio

Professional service

“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 clarification 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,” confirms 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.

“Because of ecosio’s flexibility with regards to message mappings, among other things, we were able to greatly reduce the number of costly adaptations required for our ERP system.”

Alexander Marth, ERP Coordinator, Active Nutrition International

In a nutshell


  • Project duration:
    • Part 1 (Transfer of existing 14 partners): December 2015 – March 2016
    • Part 2 (New connections): Ongoing since March 2016
  • In use since: January 2016
  • Connected partners: currently 18 – more preparing to go live


  • Problem: very short project duration with hard deadlines and a considerable number of technical and organisational specifications


  • General segmentation of partners in 3 groups (milestones)
  • Gradual transfer of partners with exact scheduling
  • Continuous new connections / expansion of PowerBar EDI activities throughout Europe
  • Additionally: large-scale introduction of DESADV (despatch advice message) in further steps


  • ecosio Integration Hub – managed EDI services with routing and converting

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