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Accelerating Global Growth with Efficient, Cost-Effective Trading Partner Integration in the Cloud

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 Accelerating Global Growth with Efficient, Cost-Effective Trading Partner Integration in the Cloud - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Application Infrastructure & Middleware - Data Exchange & Integration
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - Application Development Platforms
Applicable Industries
  • Consumer Goods
  • Retail
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Procurement
Use Cases
  • Supply Chain Visibility
  • Time Sensitive Networking
Services
  • System Integration
  • Training
The Challenge
The Master Lock Company (TMLC), the largest global manufacturer and marketer of padlocks and personal safes, was facing challenges due to its fast-paced global growth. The company was expanding its operations in new markets across Asia, Central America, and Europe, which meant onboarding significant numbers of additional trading partners, each with their own specific local requirements. TMLC’s retail business depended on electronic data interchange (EDI) to effectively communicate with its global base of trading partners. However, with an average of 40 new trading partners to onboard every year, the company’s lean EDI team was approaching its limits. The company was aware that they would soon need to add at least three full-time equivalents (FTEs) to the EDI team just to keep up with the increasing complexity. The challenge was to find a way to manage the rising requirements without driving up costs.
The Customer

Master Lock Company

About The Customer
The Master Lock Company is a globally recognized name in the field of padlocks and security products. Since its establishment in 1921, the company has consistently set new standards for lock design, application, and performance. Headquartered in Wisconsin, USA, TMLC is the largest global manufacturer and marketer of padlocks and safes. The company has been harnessing both organic growth and strategic acquisitions to launch international operations in new markets across Asia, Central America, and Europe. TMLC’s retail business relies heavily on electronic data interchange (EDI) to effectively communicate with its global base of trading partners.
The Solution
TMLC decided to migrate its EDI platform to IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network, a security-rich, cloud-based solution for trading partner integration. This solution reduced the need for full-time resources dedicated to activities such as EDI mapping. When a new trading partner needed to be onboarded, TMLC simply submitted their requirements to IBM and the majority of the work was done for them. The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network also provided cognitive analytics capabilities to help businesses gain deeper insight into EDI processes using visual reports and queries written in natural language. The platform also included IBM Sterling E-Invoicing, a platform that enabled businesses to exchange documents in an automated, compliant, and fully auditable way. This significantly reduced the complexity of TMLC’s international operations. Today, 95 percent of all TMLC’s EDI orders are processed via IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network with no manual intervention from the EDI team.
Operational Impact
  • By automating its mission-critical EDI processes with IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network, TMLC was able to continue its fast-paced growth and focus on developing functionalities to support the business. The solution also made training new personnel significantly faster and easier. With IBM Sterling Business Transaction Intelligence supporting non-technical EDI users across the organization, TMLC was able to track its transactions faster than ever. The solution also provided valuable business insights for the accounts receivable team, streamlining the process. With managed services to support its fast-changing EDI requirements, TMLC was able to roll out support for new business models rapidly. The reliability of IBM Sterling Supply Chain Business Network helped TMLC take advantage of every opportunity, especially during key retail events like Black Friday.
Quantitative Benefit
  • 50% faster onboarding for acquired trading partners
  • Avoided the need to employ three additional full-time equivalents (FTEs)
  • 100% availability ensures mission-critical EDI services are always online

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