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Case study - Data integration 2

 

When OfficeMax urgently need to interface its system with that of its largest customer, it didn't know how it could be achieved.  But it did know the job called for a powerful and flexible solution that could integrate them quickly and accurately. 

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US-owned OfficeMax is Australasia's market leader in the office products sector.  In October 2000 OfficeMax acquired Blue Star Office Products, Whitcoulls Office Products and other well-established brands for office products, technology, furniture and packaging. 

Having grown to dominate Australasia's office products sector, OfficeMax faced an urgent requirement from one of their largest customers who wanted to streamline their purchasing and invoicing processes. 

To satisfy this requirement OfficeMax needed to integrate its own invoicing application with the customer's Ariba cXML-based system and process a significant number of invoices on a weekly basis.  It also needed to enable electronic ordering, again using the cXML format. 

OfficeMax recognised that tight integration with their clients was becoming a competitive necessity, so it also wanted to invest in a solution that could grow to accommodate additional customers without requiring substantial development or IT expenditure. 

What was needed was a system flexible enough to handle a range of customer formats and back-end systems - one that could be rapidly implemented and configured.  The new solution also needed to be scalable, fast and easy to use, with deployment in weeks not months. 

OfficeMax selected a data integration solution from JAVLN™ for its advanced business integration capability in a wide range of formats.  This meant that other suppliers and customers could be added with little or no change to the system or IT overhead. 

Due to timing and budgetary considerations it was also important to get a turnkey solution that needed no further investment or software component to work.  This would eliminate the need for expensive customisation or overhead from the technical team. 

An additional advantage was the fact JAVLN's solution was intelligent enough to manage the complexities of the customer's B2B interface, including the unbundling of consolidated invoices so that client systems can process them efficiently, all the while maintaining the integrity of the original transaction on OfficeMax's systems. 

OfficeMax considers the project a significant success.  Invoices and credit notes are sent to their largest customers at least weekly while electronic orders from the same customers are accepted and processed in real time - a powerful solution to a very real challenge. 

Benefits

  • Customer focus -retained key customer by enabling direct invoicing to their back-end system and the electronic receipt of orders
  • Cost benefit - improved cashflow through faster and more accurate invoicing cycles
  • Efficiency - increased accuracy by automating product code matching
  • Service - freed up customer service personnel to provide better service by automating manual processes
  • Future-proof - new data formats can simply be transformed to the existing standard