Liberty Distribution Finds A Sensible EDI Solution

What do you do when one of your customers asks for a little extra service? "Whatever it takes…it's a responsibility that comes with doing business in today's marketplace" explained Jim Schweikert, owner of Liberty Distribution.

Liberty distributes confections to non-traditional markets. Recently, one of Liberty Distribution's top five customers started asking all of its suppliers to become EDI-compliant. Schweikert knew that becoming EDI-compliant would not only benefit his customer, it would also help make his business more profitable. He started looking for a reasonable solution and chose the Vendor System from R-Net EDI.

When Jim started looking for an EDI system, he turned to his computer expert, Jade Meskill. Meskill started doing research on EDI providers and examined several alternatives. Traditional EDI software was too expensive and didn't offer them the flexibility they needed. VANs (Value Added Networks) offered the ability to transfer documents, but were either too expensive or didn't provide the ability to build the documents they needed. For awhile, they were faxing documents to an EDI provider who then sent the documents on to their customer in an EDI format. But, the heavy mapping charges made them realize they had to find a better solution. Meskill eventually wound up examining the online demonstration of R-Net EDI 's Vendor System on the company's Web site. "It seemed to have a lot of the features we were looking for," he said.

"One thing that impressed me about the Vendor System was that it was Internet-based," said Meskill. "It proved to be a much easier transport method for our data than traditional EDI providers could support." When it came time to try to import the data into their existing data system, Meskill was pleasantly surprised. "All I had to do was write a small interface from our software to the Vendor System. It was much easier than what we would have gone through with any other system we evaluated."

The move to become EDI-compliant proved to be a smart choice for Liberty Distribution. "One of our customers eventually mandated that all of its suppliers become EDI-capable," said Schweikert. "By implementing the R-Net EDI Vendor System, we were able to beat them to the punch. We began providing the EDI documents the customer was asking for — 18 months before the customer mandated them." Schweikert further explained that, "Moving to EDI certainly solidified our relationship with that customer; and it opened the door to other customers who demand EDI from their suppliers. Eventually, more of our customers began to demand EDI. We were able to meet client demand, and save money doing it."

The Vendor System from R-Net EDI is designed to be an inexpensive EDI solution for suppliers. "There are many manufacturers and wholesalers who do not have the employee base or the budget for large computer systems," says Steven Mauser, President of R-Net EDI. "Because the Vendor System uses a PC and Microsoft Window 95/98 or NT, ours is a viable solution for those businesses."

For more information on the R-Net Vendor System, contact R-Net EDI at 1-888-RnetEDI or visit Click the "Products and Services" link to view the Demo of the R-Net Vendor System.

Mark Henry