Sterling Commerce offers The Scotts Company one-stop solution for business integration

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The Scotts Company, the world's leading supplier and marketer of consumer products for do-it-yourself lawn and garden care, has deployed Sterling Commerces modular business integration solution, Sterling Integrator, to manage the growing amount of data exchanged between the company and its customers.

With new industry mandates changing communication standards and a critical need for real-time information exchange, Sterling Integrator is helping Scotts, and more than 1,000 manufacturing customers, to streamline their supply-chain processes in order to better manage information residing outside the corporate firewall.

Scotts sells numerous name brand products to consumers through the worlds largest retailers, making it critical for the company to support secure data communications, Global Data Synchronisation, EDIFACT, and a number of new initiatives mandated by these retailers, in an effort to streamline the exchange of data.

Scotts required a single solution that could handle this myriad of new integration requirements. Lori Boyer, EDI Coordinator at Scotts, said: Standards for B2B initiatives continue to evolve as more and more companies use them and identify new areas of improvement. In some cases, different industry sectors have developed standards that are specific to their community. With Sterling Integrator, we have one unified platform that supports the latest standards and handles any type of per-partner format requirements.

Nolan Rosen, chief marketing officer at Sterling Commerce, said: Retailers are turning their attention to a variety of B2B initiatives that will improve the availability and use of information within their supply chain, including collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), data synchronisation, radio frequency identification (RFID) and other information-dependent initiatives. An increase in internal and external information access, exchange, and use carries with it several technology requirements that an integration toolset must be able to provide. With nearly 30 years of industry experience and 29,000 customers worldwide, Sterling Commerce is well positioned to be Scotts full-service integration enabler.

Sterling Integrator offers the necessary flexibility and capabilities to tailor processes to suit each companys way of conducting business. For Scotts, this means managing more than 5,000 business transactions per day globally from customers using numerous communication vehicles and data formats.

Boyer added: Sterling Integrator allows us to feed information from customers directly into SAP, which supplies the applications that help us manage more than 800 SKUs in the largest retail centres around the world. Scotts is also looking to implement Sterling Integrators Web extensions to permit company employees to view business information online. Currently, we get numerous calls from Customer Support and Shipping asking about document status. This tool will put the information into the hands of the right people so that decisions can be made quickly.

Sterling Commerce takes a leadership role in developing flexible, interoperable solutions and has key employees in place on standard-setting bodies and committees including EAN.UCC / GSMP, VICS E-Collaborative Commerce Data Sync Committee, BPMI.org and Rosettanet. In addition, the company provides foundational design for industry standards including ebXML, AS1 and AS2.

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