Food Lion LLC, a supermarket chain based in Salisbury, NC, plans to have all EDI transactions conducted over the Internet by November of next year to connect with more small suppliers while also benefiting from lower transaction costs and faster and more accurate transactions, Carolyn Hager, manager of e-business, tells Internet Retailer.
Food Lion has handled 94% of its purchase orders over its EDI system for several years, accounting for most of its communications with large and medium-size suppliers.
But with EDI over the Internet, "we`re reaching more of the small ones," she says, noting that Food Lion deals with niche suppliers of specialty items as well as major food manufacturers. So far, the migration is proceeding well, she adds, noting that Food Lion already has 25% of its EDI transactions over the Internet under a program started earlier this year.
To help with the transition, Food Lion is working with vendors including QRS Corp., Richmond, CA, which makes it easy for small as well as larger companies to use EDI over the Internet, Hager says. Large and small suppliers alike can migrate to the Internet without having to purchase and immediately implement new software, she adds.
While larger companies can have QRS redirect their VAN transactions through the Internet to reach Food Lion, smaller companies can either fax information to QRS for translation into an Internet EDI transmission or access web forms that can be filled out online and forwarded by QRS to the retailer.