Streamline supply chain administration

Mouser Electronics’ Mark Patrick, explains how the company’s order automation capabilities help buyers manage their supply chain process.

Commerce today is increasingly conducted electronically. Connecting business-to-business buyer and supplier enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications can significantly streamline financial, procurement and supply chain processes. ERP systems represent the organisational hub of any modern purchasing company. Connecting trading partners electronically removes the burden of conducting business through paper-based transactions and the laborious tasks of manual document review and data entry.

The electronics industry is an excellent example of the need to remove costs from the administration of purchasing, accounting and logistics departments. Any company developing and manufacturing an electronics-based product needs to source potentially thousands of individual components. Many components cost less than a fraction of a Euro yet are essential to the overall bill-of-materials. By using printed documents to manage and process orders and associated financial records, businesses stand to incur expenses significantly more than the components themselves, representing a substantial overhead. By exchanging documents electronically, companies can reduce processing errors and document entry delays while also improving production planning.

Almost any business can save time, reduce cost and improve order accuracy by implementing an electronic order automation method such as electronic data interchange (EDI).

Most leading ERP systems feature an EDI capability that permits the smooth, reliable exchange of transactional documents using an internationally agreed format. Whether provided by the ERP vendor or vendor-approved third party, EDI functions automate the ERP document conversion process into the EDI format and communicate with the other trading partner.

Mouser offers a variety of order automation capabilities suitable for almost any customer, regardless of size, including: simple API integrations; punch-out catalogue provision; and comprehensive EDI solution.

API features provide customers with a flexible and straightforward approach to integrating Mouser product search, order and checkout capabilities into existing internal applications. Using this method removes the need for customer purchasing staff to switch from their procurement system to the Mouser website. Instead, product search and purchasing features become an integral function within the customer’s system.

A punch-out catalogue feature enables suitably equipped ERP systems to link directly to the supplier’s website and product catalogue without leaving the ERP application. Mouser’s team is on hand to provide a solution for companies whose ERP supports this feature, including a checkout option depending on the platform.

EDI provides the most sophisticated method of integrating workflow processes with Mouser. Supported transaction types include the EDI standard message types of Purchase Orders (850), PO Acknowledgements (855), PO Changes (860), PO Change Acknowledgements (865), Advanced Ship Notices (856), and Invoices (810).

Mouser’s team can provide advice and guidance on the appropriate order automation implementation for your business. Options include a simple API-based integration within your ordering system, a punch-out catalogue function from your ERP, or a full-featured EDI capability.

Whatever solution you choose, your organisation will benefit. Order automation will ease the burden of handling paper documents and unproductive time resulting from a lack of core procurement processes and systems integration. It will help streamline your operations, reduce transaction processing costs, eliminate order errors and improve overall production planning.