Tag Archives: Electronic Commerce

8 Things To Remember When Starting With EDI

Oh my goodness! I’m faced with choosing an EDI solution! Where do I turn? I just don’t know any of these companies. It is often a daunting task for many businesses, especially those who have little or no experience with EDI. Many companies become familiar with the technology only after being informed by a major trading partner of the need to be EDI compliant. Here are a few key points to consider when choosing an EDI solution:

Your Checklist
Your Checklist

Brussels Airport Cargo Community


Brussels Airport (after new terminal connector)

Global logistics premiere for FlandersJune 12, 2014 – With the support from the Flemish government, Brussels Airport, Voka and Nallian are launching a unique platform which will enable the various players at BRUcargo to securely exchange information. Based on Nallian’s cloud technology, the Cargo Community System (CCS) will enable the various players in the cargo zone to exchange information faster and more efficiently.

With its “Strategisch Actieplan voor de Reconversie en Tewerkstelling” (START – Strategic Action Plan for Reconversion and Employment) in the airport region, the Flemish government wants to recharge the airport region and provide it with new socio-economic incentives. In 2012, as part of this framework, Brussels Airport, the private players at the airport and Voka started BRUcargo Secured Gateway; a research project in cooperation with and led by the VIL (Vlaams Instituut voor de Logistiek). The objective was to develop BRUcargo into the most efficient and safest cargo airport in Europe.

Cargo Community System

The BRUcargo Secured Gateway project revealed that a CCS was imperative to arrive at the desired short and long term process optimisation. The CCS enables an easier, clearer, more reliable and faster (real time) exchange of information between the various players (industrial shippers, operators, truckers, handling agents, airlines, Brussels Airport Company, customs and the FAVV (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain). The physical handling of the cargo will be improved and costs saved by this way of operating. The CSS enables continual process optimisation and provides the following benefits:

  •     flexible response to current and prospective market developments
  •     readily taking advantage of new technological evolutions
  •     remaining ahead of the competition from other cargo airports.

Nowadays, an efficient cargo community system is indispensable for the development of any logistics cluster and certainly for BRUcargo”, states Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo at Brussels Airport. “We see an enormous increase in information in logistics; both in the available information and the need for information. The challenge that lies ahead is managing and steering this properly and we believe that, in Nallian, we have found the right partner to achieve this.”

Global logistics premiere for Flanders

The project, of which the first results are expected within 6 months, is a global premiere. The CCS is based on Nallian’s cloud technology. In addition to CEO Jean Verheyen, there are various captains of industry behind the company, including Peter Hinssen and Jan De Schepper. Nallian’s data sharing technology enables companies to cost-effectively share information with all their business partners while maintaining full control of who can see what and under which conditions. This approach offers users and the Flemish government an integrated picture of the total value chain and strengthens the position of Flanders as Slimme Draaischijf van Europa (Europe’s Smart Logistics Hub).

According to Paul Hegge, General Director of Voka Halle Vilvoorde: “The CCS offers the industry and region the possibility of valorising existing competencies, enabling the existing industrial and logistic sectors to become more flexible, more competitive and more appealing. We are happy to be able to support our members in this and will facilitate the continued roll-out of the platform.”
The Flemish government’s investment in soft infrastructure will also have a clear leveraging effect on the existing logistics “hard infrastructure”. In the short term this investment will lead to concrete results and will support all players at the airport with the flows of cargo through this important logistics hub. This platform will certainly be exportable once established, whether or not in combination with the international expansion of our air- and seaport activities.

About Nallian
Nallian connects supply chain business partners in the cloud to enable real-time data sharing and facilitate interactive collaboration. Using social media concepts, Nallian empowers its community members to create private data clouds with trusted contacts, manage all types of data and automate cross-company processes. The Nallian solution guarantees a ‘single version of the truth’, offering higher data quality at all times and a consistent use of accurate data across the supply chain. Nallian delivers ecosystem wide supply chain visibility, higher levels of operational excellence and increased business agility. Visit www.nallian.com for more information or connect with us through LinkedIn.

Media contacts :

Jean Verheyen
+32 3 808 25 81Ina Suffeleers
+32 495 59 02 32
Brussels Airport Company:
Florence Muls
+32 486 41 08 05Voka – Kamer van Koophandel Halle-Vilvoorde
Cliff Van Craen
+32 478 81 81 71
Copyright © 2014 Nallian NV, All rights reserved.

Supply Chain Intelligence – Utilizing the Services Hub


It is a given that to manage our supply chain, we have to have as much visibility as possible. Our SCM Control Tower is hooked up with logistics providers, parts suppliers, customers, manufacturing, procurement…did I forget anybody? Yup. The electronic commerce people who move this data all around for us: the Services Hub.

Yes, we are getting good info from these other sources, but our Services Hub could add value too.

Leveraging the Services Hub for Supply Chain Visibility is just one example of what services vendors are capable of. The approach to better visibility is combining existing IT technology with some more unique tools.They have explained the language of supply chain visibility, measuring the value of visibility, and building a solution with a step-by-step strategy.

Now we could look at all the current definitions of “Supply Chain Visibility” and write a book (gee, what a great idea for my spare time)! Let’s use the following definition for now: Visibility gives you the information you need, when you need it and in the right context to make business decisions. It finds root causes, which now makes it “actionable intelligence”.



When we got into SCM Control Towers, there were not too many others (you know, the “experts” who appear in your mailbox every day and draw crowds at those big conferences) who were writing about them or building them.


Now the “big guys” are finally getting into it.

So let’s recreate what we have published and give you some great material.

12 February, 2013

A new term is appearing in the supply chain arena: “Supply Chain Control Tower”. Just as an airport control tower coordinates airplanes landing and taking off, a Supply Chain Control Tower coordinates inbound and outbound distribution flows. Sure sounds more professional than a “dashboard”.
It is all about “knowledge”. Air controllers get information on weather, speed, direction, and altitude of aircraft and use that knowledge to keep their air space safe. Companies must know what is happening with their supply chains so they can prevent disasters too. They need to be able to do “what-if” analysis and work their way around events that will cause disruption and risks to the supply chain

10 May, 2013

Who Sits Where In The SCM Tower

The Global Supply Chain Forum has identified eight key processes that make up the core of supply chain management: (1) Customer Relationship Management (provides the structure for how the relationship with the customer is developed and maintained); (2) Customer Service Management (the company’s face to the customer); (3) Demand Management (coordinates all acts of the business that place demand on manufacturing capacity): (4) Order Fulfillment (integration of the firm’s manufacturing, logistics and marketing silos); (5) Manufacturing Flow Management; (6) Procurement (supplier relationship management); (7) Product Development and Commercialization (integrating customers and suppliers into the product development process in order to reduce time to market; (8) Returns.

In my first take at staffing the SCM Control Tower, I have Logistics, CRM, Demand Planning, Procurement and EDI/Electronic Commerce. I’m not far off the mark. I am covering all the “processes” that the Forum covers. In the Forum’s approach, everybody still reports organizationally in their own “silo” and proper operation of the SCM Control Tower depends on collaboration among the silos

21 June, 2013

SCM Control Tower Team Troubles

You are in the process of staffing your SCM Control Tower. This group will be drawn from different areas of your company (different “silos”) and different skill sets (for example, a “hazmat” expert). Is your SCM Control Tower going to be a team building melting pot or a boiling cauldron of dis-function. You could draw the brightest and most hard working employees in and outside of your company; but if they don’t get along, it could wreck your business.


19 August 2013

SCM Control Tower Functions

Our Supply ChainControl Tower is up and running. Yes, the idea makes a lot of sense, but what are the benefits? How do we make full use of our resources? What else do we need to add to it?

If you take a look at an airport control tower, it usually is a boring place. Yes, they work around the clock but all you see is a super smooth operation. Operators viewing screens and talking calmly into headsets. When it is not “boring”, they usually throw visitors out. Our goal with our SCM Control Tower is to make it a “boring” place.

Airport towers handle incidents on the ground like failed landing gear. They handle incidents in the air like a “near miss”. They even reach out to other airports: anybody ever sat in an airport waiting for your destination airport to plow its snow, or whatever?

So all the time our SCM “tower operators” are monitoring for aberrations: in-house; with the suppliers and service providers; and the external World. They are looking for anything that has, will or might interrupt the supply chain. When ever, let’s call it an “incident”, is detected, the tower operator first determines if it has already occurred.

05 September 2013

Transportation Control Towers

We have been talking a lot about Supply Chain Management Control Towers. Yes, transportation (usually under logistics) is included in the control tower. In many companies, transportation is outsourced to a 3PL, 4PL or 5PL provider. This provider is an expert at hooking your company up to any required transportation resources. Your provider already has some excellent tools available. A popular concept since the 1990’s has been the “Load Control Center” (LCC). We are looking at outsourcing, but yes, excellent software is available if you do it yourself.
Transportation has always been an opportunity to centralize and get some benefits. 3M started the concept of Load Control Centers(LCC) and lots of others followed suit. The LCC is simply centralization of transportation planning and execution. Benefits include:

  • better pricing from centralized transportation sourcing

  • development of standardized operating procedures

  • fewer planners than in several separate operations

  • ability to combine more shipments and loads because of greater visibility

  • electronic integration with carriers


4 November 2013

SCM Control Towers and BIG DATA

Control towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a “SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CONTROL TOWER” to monitor and assure supply?

The SCM Control Tower is all about having visibility throughout the supply chain. But if there is total visibility and no ability to make decisions, then it is not a control tower. To be a decision maker, you will need to run “what if” scenarios: forecast and recalculate the entire inventory if “your ship doesn’t come in” (something that literally could happen). To be able to calculate effects of events, it will require a LOT of data. Hence, we need to introduce BIG DATA to our Control Tower.

HEY, I have a GREAT IDEA. If you have more stories or things to add, Send us your story (on the contact form) and WE WILL PUBLISH IT

Automotive EDI – Tying The Strings Together


In our article on “EDI Goes Deep”, we first encounter the concept of “regional” networks. These developed over the years, but now that everybody is going global, how has the auto industry adapted? Like instead of everybody having to join all these regional groups, how have they “gone global” How do we bring these regional centers together?

Everything starts with Industry Associations. The automotive industry has developed a number of industry associations. These associations provide standards for how automotive companies exchange information electronically with each other. With global expansion in recent years, the industry associations around the World now work closely with each other so that automotive companies can set up new plants and onboard new business partners as quickly as possible.

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10487-automotive-edi-tying-the-strings-together#ixzz2zsZxrtRb


Master Data Management (MDM)


Ever get billed by your bank for car insurance when you don’t own a car? Does your cell phone provider fail to send you a bill, yet keeps asking you for your address? Sounds like they both have a Master Data Management problem. The recent emphasis on regulatory compliance, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and mergers/acquisitions has made the creating and maintaining of accurate and complete master data a business must-do.
Most software systems have lists of data that are shared and used by several of the applications that make up the system. For example, a typical ERP system as a minimum will have a Customer Master, an Item Master, and an Account Master. This master data is often one of the key assets of a company. It’s not unusual for a company to be acquired primarily for access to its Customer Master data.

All about Electronic Commerce Service Providers


Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP) are a “hybrid” with high turnover rate, deal with all implementation guides, and amount to a “Hub of Spokes”). An ECSP is what we previously called VAS (value added services) such as SPS Commerce. Can be referred to as a “VAN2” if it moves EDI messages over the Internet.
Let’s characterize the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes; Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP). A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Let’s take a typical ECSP and describe their service offerings by reviewing their respective WebPages:

Spokes, the 2nd Type of EDI Customer


What is wrong with the current approach to EDI implementation? We need a new concept. Everybody wants to be a “Hub” not a “Spoke”, because that is where the money is made. That is also why new EDI implementations have stagnated. Our answer is to turn Spokes” into “Hubs. Currently, the “Hub” realizes benefits; the “Spoke” does not. Why can’t a Spoke become a Hub and trade electronically with lower-tier suppliers and with their own customers? Only because traditionally they have thought it was too complicated.
We have been discussing the three types of EDI customers: Hubs; Spokes (low turnover of trading partners but higher technical requirements); Ecommerce Service Providers (ECSP); A “Super Hub” accommodates all three types of customers.

Lets dig a little deeper into how things have changed and what would it take to do:

Todd Gould’s Call For Input


Call for Input: Accessing Web Services in various environments. Contribute your experience.

There are many new languages that support REST (POST / GET) and ECGridOS allows this, albeit without the rich error handlers of SOAP – but there are many instances where new language enthusiasts will find themselves in a position to use ECGridOS, and the collective knowledge amassed in our developer community is invaluable.

ECGridOS developers:

An increasing number of web developers that use text editors and non-IDE non Visual Studio coding environments are looking for advice on the best way to make Web Services function calls from popular web languages, such as Ruby, Python, PHP, Scala, Hasklell, I think you get the idea.

If you can contribute your favorite non Visual Studio method for importing and unwrapping the ECGridOS WSDL (.ASMX), could you please help a brother out and post your ideas on the ECGrid Developers Forum – Users of Eclipse, you could weigh in, too. There are many new languages that support REST (POST / GET) and ECGridOS for the moment allows this, albeit without the rich error handlers of SOAP – but there are many instances that a new language enthusiast will find themselves in a position to use E

For those that have not joined, the geniuses that never needed nor asked for help, Jim….I am asking you and folks like yourself, to please go to  http://forums.ecgrid.com/index.php and let us know the inner working of PHP web clients and stuff. Note: The forum is much faster now, thanks to Todd.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm and is filed under ECGridOS Developers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

QR Codes For Business


Ever see these funny square things that work like a barcode? QR Code (abbreviated from “Quick Response” Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode  (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside that industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background.