So we have to make the solution low-cost, and the only way to do this is make it a data-driven, rather than technology-driven, model."
I don't think cost competitiveness alone is the clincher for most organizations (to make the switch today).Most importantly you need comfort level for employees with the Software that is going to be set up.Otherwise,it won't see widespread adoption and lead to enormous heartburn for all concerned.
I believe the ease on integration issue discussed is addressed by Gcommerce: as I understand it, they take all of the communication protocols available, along with industry standard specs, and build the SuperSpec around that. The SuperSpec then handles maybe 80% of the transactions--the most common transactions done within the electronics supply chain--and the VIC handles exception management. To set this system up for the industry, it would take the kind of cooperation the automotive industry provided, but all of the major retailers--AutoZone, PepBoys etc., industry associations and finally, the suppliers all agreed to provide the information needed to develop the SuperSpec. This was done free of charge--Gco0mmerce donated this part of the process to the industry--but makes money by charging a small transaction fee--a flat rate--and by customizing links as needed.
I don't know if that helps--I haven't used Salesforce.com--but I know the setup time is reduced to days from months, maybe faster
I agree that XML feeds for EDI is not a better solution at all. So there's a reason that never took off.
And you are correct about the main difference between Salesforce and a potential EDI SaaS model is that you can use Salesforce on day one while with an EDI solution, obviously it doesn't do you much good if it doesn't integrate with anything... but I will point out that Salesforce does seem to do a good job already when it comes to integrating with other systems, quickly: for example, if you sell online advertising, it is very simple to sync Salesforce with DART Sales Manager, which in turn integrates with the actual DART For Publishers ad serving platform... meaning it's very easy to use Salesforce to manage the ad sales process from concept to delivery.
So a potential EDI SaaS platform would need to offer that sort of potential ease of integration as well to be successful. That's no easy task, of course, but if you got some big organizations to support it... let's say Wal-Mart or something of that nature backed one such system (which is something I'm sure Steve Smith is trying to do)... I think large-scale adoption could perhaps become possible.
Anyhow, even if this doesn't end up being viable, I think it's an interesting idea!
I myself love salesforce.com and the functionality of it. I believe using the cloud to replace EDI is an excellent idea. I fully believe it would simplify the ordering process for many companies.
The only down side I can see is it is going to take a few larger companies to take the initiative and implement this program. Then inform the other companies that they do business with of their success with this process.
Hopefully as word is spread and more companies implement this system it will become a mainstay.
XML via the Internet for EDI was talked about several years ago as the future for EDI versus the current data formats via VANs (value added networks).The XML method has not taken off yet and it’s not because it is not a better solution, but for the most part, the current EDI methods in place are already battle tested and just work.There is no urgency to make a change yet.The difference with Salesforce.com and offering EDI as a SaaS model is that Saleforce.com can be accessed independently of any integration, meaning it can be used day one.EDI needs much more coordination, internally and externally.It’s not as easy to make the switch and their needs to be a compelling reason to do so.
Thanks Barbara, I can't believe I was not aware of GCommerce and the Super Spec concept!
Long-term, I think that some sort of SaaS company will figure out how to do this really well and just dominate. I think it's possible, look at what Salesforce has accomplished in the CRM space in a relatively short period of time.
But like I said... this is a long-term proposition. I think it will be many, many years until a standard emerges and experiences widespread adoption. However, maybe some industries will adopt something like this more quickly? Who knows, maybe this will work out great for in auto...
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.