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SPS Commerce Unveils New Multi-Party Supply Chain Capabilities

Jan 8, 2007
SPS Commerce Unveils New Multi-Party Supply Chain Capabilities Minneapolis, Minn., Jan. 8, 2007 - SPS Commerce, the leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), today announced several new product enhancements to its outsourced EDI and Label Services designed to electronically connect the multiple constituencies involved in today's supply chains using only existing Internet connections. Manufacturers can enable their third party supply chain partners, such as third party logistics or warehouses (3PLs), banks, consolidators, freight forwarders, import and export entities, and international sourcing companies, to perform restricted tasks on their behalf using the supplier's online EDI account from SPS Commerce. These activities may include purchase order forwarding, on-site label printing and affixing, and sending Advance Ship Notices (ASNs). These improvements offer better visibility to the actual order status to the both manufacturer and the retailer, and eliminate many manual processes that can take days out of the order fulfillment process. Several SPS Commerce customer sites domestically and internationally have completed beta testing these capabilities earlier this year, and are now using them in full production for several months.

"For the most part, the first generation of SaaS applications simply mimicked the capabilities of traditional enterprise software, but in a more accessible and affordable manner," said Jeffrey M. Kaplan, founder and managing director of THINKstrategies and the SaaS Showplace. "Now SaaS providers, like SPS Commerce, are providing sophisticated offerings that solve fundamental business problems traditional enterprise software model couldn't address. As a result, organizations of all sizes are adopting SaaS solutions to better serve their customers and support their partners."

"International and domestic supply chains often include trusted third-parties that are critical to the successful delivery of the desired merchandise," said Archie Black, president and chief executive officer at SPS Commerce. "Until now EDI documents were only able to be sent from one party to another, usually between the retailer and the supplier. With these new enhancements, suppliers can securely empower their business partners to perform additional tasks on their behalf. It is only through a Software-as-a-Service model that SPS Commerce is able to connect these unique sites anywhere in the world using only an Internet connection and no additional software."

Onsite Label Created and ASNs Sent by Trusted Third Parties
With SPS' new access management capabilities, manufacturers can offer their international or third-party supply chain partners limited access to their existing outsourced SPS Commerce EDI and Label service(s). These users could be given permission to view and create certain EDI documents, such as ASNs, on behalf of the supplier for specific trading partners.

For example, a supplier could enable its 3PL to only print and affix an order's GS1-128 label onsite, complete the corresponding Advance Ship Notice (ASN) and send the ASN via EDI to the retailer on behalf of the supplier. The 3PL would not be able to see the corresponding invoice or any other documents. This automated process eliminates the traditional process where the 3PL sends the supplier the packing slip. Then, the supplier must prepare shipping notices and mail barcode labels to the 3PL across town or overseas before the order can be shipped.

Forward Filtered EDI Information to Partners
Organizations can now use SPS Commerce's services to filter and forward the content of EDI documents (such as purchase orders) to additional locations or third parties.

For example, a vendor could electronically forward its retail customer's purchase order to its international sourcing company. The sourcing company could then use the vendor's SPS Commerce EDI service to forward it to the actual factory chosen to manufacture and ship the desired goods to the retailer. At each step, the content of the purchase order can be filtered to exclude confidential information, such as pricing, from the forwarded document.

SPS Commerce's new multi-party supply chain capabilities (User Control or Filter Forward) are available directly from SPS Commerce, with pricing for either capability starting at $49/month/user.

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