The Challenge: Find a simple partner integration solution that could support its not-so-simple partner network
DuPont, like many other companies today, has a diverse group of subcontractors, suppliers, co-manufacturers and third party distributors. Converting its materials into the finished products used by the military, first responders, and industry and law enforcement requires an extensively integrated, multi-level third-party global supply chain. In order to capture and share information among their supply network, the company needed an application that could connect nearly 200 unique entities.
The goal was to create a virtual manufacturing and distribution environment, providing a complete view of their extended supply chain, and providing “one window pane” into their enterprise for partners.
DuPont’s partners and their technological capabilities varied greatly. Many 3PLs requested fully-integrated EDI, while small “mom and pops” wanted to email
spreadsheets. Neither method was ideal for communication. EDI requires extensive maintenance costs. Email is not a secure method of communication and involves a great deal of error-prone manual entry to record supply chain events in ERP. Prior attempts to connect partners to its SAP system were only successful for those partners able to connect via various highly custom data interchange methods.
This lack of technical consistency across the partner network meant that DuPont did not have access to the reliable and consistent supply chain information needed to support their customer base.
The Solution: A single portal for near real-time data exchange and SAP synchronization
DuPont implemented the Acsis Edge Network solution to provide a common platform and process to communicate across its global partner network, regardless of the partner’s technical capabilities or IT resources.
Acsis Edge Network is a cloud-based solution that solves the problems of visibility of product movement and synchronization of systems across extended supply partners. With Acsis, DuPont’s partners are able to exchange data using technology they already have.
To help DuPont maintain its existing security measures, Acsis installed Edge Network outside the company’s firewall as a partner “portal” for third-party
order tracking, goods movement and delivery status. Information is exchanged between the Acsis partner portal and DuPont’s SAP system, via a secure
message bus. The architecture ensures ongoing transaction security while providing instant information visibility.
In addition, Acsis enables all partner locations to create and print custom format labels based on DuPont’s SAP data. This capability centralizes partner printing activities, increases speed and efficiency, and ensures that all labels generated at DuPont partner locations follow a standardized, compliant format.
The Acsis solution also provides DuPont’s supply chain partners with visibility of upcoming orders and incoming shipments in transit. This visibility enables partners to better plan their resources, be more efficient and reduce costs.
The Benefits: Increased productivity and better performance without compromising security
As a result of the partner network visibility provided by Acsis Edge Network, DuPont has been able to:
- Increase productivity and order accuracy. By replacing manual processes and data entry with scanning, system extracts and data capture, DuPont is able to eliminate the resultant errors and increase employee productivity.
- Gain near real-time supply network visibility. DuPont has visibility into goods and their status as they move through third-party production and distribution cycles. They no longer need to wait until the end of the day to be alerted if there is a production issue; they can intervene immediately to ensure on-time, accurate deliveries.
- Maintain system security. Because Acsis sits “outside” of the company’s SAP system and firewall, DuPont is able to exchange data and collaborate with partners
securely without exposing valuable intellectual property.
- Improve customer satisfaction. DuPont is able to provide better customer service not only through improved shipment accuracy and on-time deliveries, but also though the ability to report accurate status to customers and faster triage and resolution of product delivery concerns.
- Get up and running with new partners immediately. Like most manufacturers, DuPont has a fair amount of turnover in partners (and its suppliers have employee
turnover). By establishing “instant” onboarding without the need for intensive training or a learning curve, DuPont realized a 90% decrease in the time needed
to onboard partners.
Acsis provides the supply network visibility that DuPont needed and helps the company save money, improve efficiency and accuracy,
shorten delivery times, and reduce security risks. As a result of its smarter supply chain, DuPont has been able to gain market share and
increase cash flow.