May 14, 2004, 12:00 AM

How a small rice supplier connects to Supervalu and Wal-Mart through UCCnet

When the v. 2.3 release of UCCnet’s Global Registry became available this month, Falcon Rice Mill began using it the first day to share product data with Wal-Mart and Supervalu.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

When the v. 2.3 release of UCCnet’s Internet-based Global Registry of trading partner product data became available this month, Falcon Rice Mill Inc. began using it the first day to share product data with the retail grocery operations of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Supervalu Inc. “We’re a small company, but we like to keep up with technology,” Falcon Rice vice president Charles Trahan tells InternetRetailer.com. “I see this as the wave of the future.”

Falcon Rice expects to cut the time it takes to get products into retailers’ warehouses with accurate product information to two weeks from six weeks, Trahan says. And by synchronizing product definitions with those of its customers and registering them through UCCnet, Falcon Rice expects to further benefit by working with more accurate purchase orders, invoices and other business documents. In addition, retailers get more accurate data on the number of items delivered in cases and on pallets. “It makes us and the retailers more productive,” Trahan says.

Falcon Rice has about 40 employees and does about $9 million a year in sales of processed rice to grocers and restaurants. Falcon Rice employees enter product data into interactive spreadsheets provided by Kodiak Group, which synchronizes the data with retailers’ information and records it in UCCnet’s Global Registry. Falcon Rice loads the spreadsheets directly to a web page hosted by Kodiak as part of its UCCnet Quick to Market service. The spreadsheets are designed with pull-down menus and data fields that help the user organize the input of product information required by the Global Registry, which serves as an Internet data repository that allows suppliers and retailers to access synchronized product data.

The newest version of the Global Registry is based on a new XML messaging schema that provides for additional industry identifiers attached to products and additional messaging services, including suppliers’ requests for notifications of information on new or altered products, says Bryan Larkin, Kodiak’s vice president of technology strategies.

Falcon Rice has been sharing its data with Wal-Mart through the Global Registry since May 2002, after it took about a month working with Kodiak to set up its data on 103 products for Wal-Mart, Trahan says. Updating its information for the latest version of the Global Registry took about one week under Kodiak’s Quick to Market service even as Falcon Rice and Kodiak duplicated its product data with identifiers for Supervalu in addition to Wal-Mart, Trahan says. Most of that week’s time was used for testing the new data inputs, Larkin adds.

Kodiak’s Quick to Market service requires a one-time set-up fee of $500, plus fees based on the number of product identifiers, or global trade identification numbers, that a company registers with UCCnet, says Larry Chernicoff, president and CEO of Kodiak. The average Kodiak client pays $300-$400 per month in GTIN fees, he adds.

 

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