2016 PPAI Expo: Essent working with PromoStandards to enhance Supplier and Distributor Relationships


PromoStandards is creating a refreshed communications standard for lower cost of production and more efficient relationships for the industry as a whole.

While 11,000 Distributor representatives visited 3,300 Supplier booths at the 2016 PPAI Expo, some of the most important relationships between trading partners were being cultivated away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor.

PromoStandards, a group of progressive industry suppliers, distributors, and technology providers, including Essent®, convened at the PPAI Expo to advance technology standards for more efficient relationships between Suppliers and Distributors.

Like popular electronic commerce integration standards before them, PromoStandards is creating a refreshed communications standard between Distributors and Suppliers, so that business information like orders and inventory can be shared. The bottom line is lower cost of production and more efficient relationships for the industry as a whole.

Top Suppliers, Distributors Participate

More than 40 Suppliers representing billions in annual sales are working for a more efficient supply chain.

More than 40 Suppliers representing billions in annual sales are working for a more efficient supply chain.

If you’re a promotional products Distributor, you most likely already work with a Supplier who’s involved in PromoStandards.

Four of the Top 5 Suppliers in the promotional products industry – Essent integration customers SanMar, Polyconcept North America, Bic Graphic North America, and Hit Promotional Products – seat representatives on the PromoStandards board. Alphabroder, also a Top 5 Supplier and Essent integration customer, implements PromoStandards standards with Distributor partners. In all, more than 40 Suppliers representing billions in annual sales are working with PromoStandards to either develop or implement technology for a more efficient, more profitable supply chain.

If you’re a promotional products Supplier, you most likely already work with the largest Distributors or would like to work with them.

The effort also includes some of the industry’s biggest Distributors. Representatives from Top 10 Distributors Staples Promotional Products, HALO Branded Solutions, and Geiger serve on the PromoStandards board. Dozens of other Distributors like AIA Corporation and the Vernon Company, are connecting with Supplier partners.

Connect to the Future

PromoStandards has the potential to mature into an industry standard and Essent is working hard with others to make it a reality.

The standards established by PromoStandards are a natural fit for Essent.

A tenet of Essent Integration Services, which includes consulting and integration development, is to integrate using industry standards whenever available. PromoStandards has the potential to mature into an industry standard and Essent is working hard with others, using its expertise and clout, to make it a reality.

An implicit goal of standardization is to do it once. The realities are that standards evolve and newer standards establish themselves over time. The future is always changing. A tenet of Essent OrderTrax®, the promotional products industry-standard commerce network and the largest network in the industry, allows a trading partner to integrate once and let the OrderTrax Network translate between the other protocols in use with their trading partners. OrderTrax communicates using open standards like ANSI X12, ISO 9735 EDIFACT, cXML, ePSA, and now PromoStandards. A company needs to integrate with OrderTrax just once to enjoy the latest and greatest integration standards that the industry has to offer, including the latest from PromoStandards.

Essent is implementing PromoStandards throughout the organization, allowing Essent customers to leverage the standard without having to do any work themselves to integrate.

The EssentOne™ Business Management System, integrated out-of-the-box with OrderTrax can take advantage of PromoStandards standards as they are adopted by other trading partners. For example, distributors using EssentOne can see participating suppliers’ real-time inventory right from within EssentOne.

When you work with Essent, you only need to connect once to connect to the future.

A Two-Way Street: Essent Supports Both Suppliers and Distributors

As a result of serving all parts of the industry, Essent is uniquely qualified to both craft industry standards and provide solutions based on those standards.

Integration is a two-way street and Essent supports both sides of the road. Distributors and Suppliers (and by extension Decorators) of all size (and notably a number of the top organizations in the industry) are Essent customers. As a result of serving all parts of the industry, Essent not only has a unique perspective, it is uniquely qualified to both craft industry standards and provide solutions based on those standards.

Using the PromoStandards Inventory Availability standard as an example, Essent has implemented support for real-time inventory look-ups from within Essent software (including looking up the distributor’s own inventory if they have such) as-well-as providing Suppliers’ inventory availability via OrderTrax.

Essent takes into account the distributor and supplier plus how the two parties interact with one another, offering powerful solutions that are designed for all parties, no matter their size or their side of the road (even if that road is the OrderTrax superhighway).

Essent Supports PromoStandards

While Essent helps define the new standards, it also make the standards available in products and services including OrderTrax and EssentOne.

PromoStandards standards, like Inventory Availability, are available now from Essent for both Distributors and Suppliers.

As PromoStandards defines new ways for Distributors and Suppliers to communicate automatically and in real time, those new integration methods will be added to the Essent services and suite of technology solutions as they become available and are adopted.

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