Integration Initiative FAQ


Why are Distributors Undertaking Integration Initiatives?

Distributors are undertaking Integration Initiatives to improve supply chain efficiency. Distributors are integrating with Preferred Suppliers to automatically communicate business information throughout the transaction lifecycle. It reduces labor, saves time, and eliminates errors to make a more efficient supply chain for distributors and suppliers alike.


Can You Tell Me More About Essent?

The provider of of OrderTrax, the industry-standard integration portal, Essent is extensively experienced in implementing integration projects. Founded in 1981 and serving the promotional products industry since 2000, Essent provides best-in-class solutions for business management, ecommerce, and integration.


Why are Distributors Selecting Essent for Integration Initiatives?

In addition to the experience and industry expertise of Essent, Distributors want to provide the most comprehensive tools to be efficient, streamline workflows, and improve sales processes. A vital part of this solution is linking distributors to Preferred Suppliers via the Essent® OrderTrax® Network, which is the best way to integrate in the promotional products industry.


What Documents Can Be Integrated as Part of an Integration Initiative?

The documents and information that can be shared via the Essent® OrderTrax® Network are the documents and information that are most frequently needed to move transactions forward. They are also the documents and information that trading partners spend the most time communicating by phone, email, and other manual methods. Some of the information that can be integrated includes Pricing Lists, Inventory Availability, Product Catalogs, Product Configuration, Purchase Orders, Design/Artwork Transmittal/Approval, Order Status, Advance Shipment Notice, and Invoices. Integration opportunities exist in every portion of the transaction lifecycle.


What is Typically the First Phase in an Integration Initiative?

Distributors usually want Preferred Suppliers to start by providing customer-specific Pricelists and real-time Inventory Availability. While integration can touch every part of the transaction lifecycle, Price and Availability are typical ways to get started.


What is the Essent® OrderTrax® Network?

The Essent OrderTrax Network is the promotional products industry-standard electronic data interchange. It is a global network and web portal that connects suppliers to their trading partners like distributors and decorators, enabling the electronic, automatic, real-time exchange of business information. OrderTrax securely and accurately processes more than 12 million transactions representing more than $3 billion in commerce annually.


What is the Advantage of Integrating via OrderTrax?

The time, cost, and resources normally required for integration projects are minimized. With other integration methods, companies attempt to individually manage integration projects with dozens or hundreds of trading partners, which quickly becomes very expensive, time consuming and often not feasible. With OrderTrax, companies integrate once and then can  connect with multiple other trading partners in the network, even if those partners use different standards (a supplier using PromoStandards could integrate with a distributor using ePSA, for example). There is no need to handle dozens of individual integration projects.


Can Suppliers Integrate with Other Distributors through the OrderTrax?

Yes. Suppliers can integrate with all of their trading partners through the Essent OrderTrax Network. After a supplier integrates with one trading partner through OrderTrax, the supplier then can integrate with other distributors on OrderTrax, even if the trading partner uses a different standard. It's one integration to connect to many partners.


How Much Does it Cost to Integrate?

The Integration Initiative minimizes costs because as an experienced integration services provider like Essent can implement and maintain the integration more cost-effectively than individual companies can on their own. Contact Essent for specific pricing.


Do I Need a Development Team to Integrate?

No. Essent effectively acts as your development team as it implements and maintains the integration.


How Long Does Integration Take?

Once a company decides to move forward, it’s usually a few months if not just weeks to implement the integration. Essent developers are highly experienced in integration projects and are likely to have previously implemented an integration project almost identical to yours.

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Your customer wants you to integrate because you're a great vendor. Essent is here to help you every step of the way.

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What Information Can I Integrate?

  • Inventory Availability
  • Customer Price List
  • Order Status
  • Advance Ship Notice
  • Media
  • Product Data
  • Purchase Orders
  • Product Configuration
  • Invoices
  • More

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