SDI, a market leader in Digital Supply Chain Solutions, was in need of a file transfer capability for incorporation into an Omni-Channel Supplier Catalog Management service offering comprised of over 6,000 suppliers. This offering was piloted with the collection, validation and publication of product descriptions for inclusion in online product eProcurement catalogs.
Several alternatives were considered and rejected.
- SFTP, which SDI had used in the past, was not acceptable to many of its suppliers who either did not have or did not want to rely on IT resources to set up and maintain SFTP clients to make their end of the transfer happen.
- SharePoint was piloted, but SDI’s suppliers again pushed back. Email notifications were arriving in SPAM folders, non-Microsoft users had difficulty registering for an account, and links to SharePoint were being blocked by the supplier’s firewalls, requiring IT resources to manage exceptions.
- Even email was considered, but this was rejected because the product files were too large for most mail systems.
SDI was left little choice but to pursue a custom web service, which entailed $100,000 in development and support costs over a 3-year period. But a serendipitous call from eShare made SDI aware of a solution that ticked all the boxes.
- eShare required no custom development, allowing SDI to implement a solution in a few days and saving over $75,000. Key to this cost savings is the use of SDI’s existing SharePoint for all uploaded file storage.
- No account setup for its supplier is required, and suppliers are able to authenticate using their existing OpenID compatible credentials.
- Operating on a subdomain of SDI (secure.sdi.com), eShare’s SaaS-based system eliminates the link blocking that can otherwise occur with SharePoint links.
- eShare provides a simple, SDI-branded web portal through which suppliers upload their product listings.
SDI and its suppliers are very pleased with the simplicity of the web interface that eShare provides and the workflow it has enabled. SDI is already looking to expand eShare’s role to include the validation of the uploaded data and the automation of its ingestion into SDI’s omni-channel procurement platform.
Summed up by SDI’s SVP, Digital Supply Chain, “eShare simplified and improved the quality of our data collection process. It’s modern and simple UX allowed us to quickly implement and secure our partnerships with our suppliers and continue to innovate our Digital Supply Chain Solutions”.