April 6, 2005, 12:00 AM

Three home furnishings retailers join FurnishNet b2b service

To promote more efficient trading partner communications as they grow sales, Levitz, Steinhafels and Wickes have signed up with FurnishNet.com to electronically exchange business documents over the Internet with their suppliers.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

To promote more efficient trading partner communications as they grow sales, Levitz Home Furnishings Inc., Steinhafels Inc. and Wickes Furniture Inc. have signed with FurnishNet.com to electronically exchange business documents over the Internet with their suppliers.

“By automating our processes with FurnishNet, we expect to significantly streamline our b2b transaction processing and gain a competitive edge through reduced paperwork, improved efficiencies and faster order turnaround from our suppliers,” said Mark Steinhafel, COO of Steinhafels. Milwaukee-based Steinhafels, a family-owned company with five stores, will use FurnishNet to exchange documents with 80 of its top suppliers, the retailer said.

Wickes, based in Carol Stream, IL, will connect with 57 vendors that account for 80% of the retailer’s business. The retailer processes more than 2,500 purchase orders and about 3,500 purchase order acknowledgements, advance ship notices and invoices per month. Automating the transfer of such documents over the Internet will help Wickes “increase our operational efficiencies and support our aggressive growth plans to open two to four stores a year over the next several years,” said Frank O’Conner, vice president of information technology.

Levitz, the holding company for Levitz Furniture and Seaman’s Furniture chains, will use FurnishNet to connect with about 160 suppliers, FurnishNet says.

FurnishNet’s Transaction Management service uses the Internet to exchange more than 300 types of transactions. It integrates EDI and XML to process transactions between any trading partners, regardless of company size or type of communications infrastructure, FurnishNet says.

In March, FurnishNet set a new monthly record when it processed more than 70,000 purchase orders, and first-quarter purchase order volume rose 65% over the year-ago period, the company reports.

 

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