Tree of Life to Bring EDI to Retailer Customers

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Being wholesome and natural doesn't mean you can't be high tech. Natural and specialty foods distributor Tree of Life, Inc. said it plans to complete the first part of its EDI-based supply chain and marketing automation link to its retailer customers that use the ECRS Catapult Enterprise point of sale and Supplier Integration Server (SIS).

"Tree of Life and ECRS are making great progress with the integration of Catapult, SIS, and Tree of Life's supply chain systems," said Greg Leonard, corporate v.p. of natural food sales for Tree of Life, which announced the initiative Friday at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. "This integration has the potential to totally redefine the way independent retailers do business by providing complete retail automation."

Functionality addressed in phase one of the project includes electronic purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgments, electronic invoices, automated email notifications, and promotional distribution, the wholesaler said. Planned functionality for phase two includes automated supplier catalog synchronization and invoice-based cost synchronization.
Mike Asher of Rollin' Oats Market and Cafe in St. Petersburg, Fla., said ECRS's direct integration with Tree of Life has transformed the way his company does business.

"We now send electronic purchase orders directly to Tree, which saves us anywhere from one to four hours on every order," Asher said. "The time savings alone make this a worthwhile investment. Furthermore, the system's automated email notifications keep me informed of order status at all points in the supply chain process."

The ECRS solution leverages statistics-based reordering methodologies and EDI X12 (electronic data interchange) protocol standards to automate the inventory replenishment process based on historical movement and other factors and can transmit electronic purchase orders to, and receive shipment data from, Tree of Life in a bi-directional manner. The ECRS system tracks all Tree of Life orders and provides email notifications on the status of each order at all points in the delivery process.

The solution also provides automation for Tree of Life's promotional activities.

Tree of Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Wessanen NV based in The Netherlands.
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