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  • 27 Jul 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards is proud to provide suppliers with an easier way to transfer order details electronically and allow others to access their products. One success story comes from Charles River Apparel.

    The leading apparel brand for corporations, businesses, school teams, athletic groups, and college students nationwide was founded in 1983 and is based outside of Boston, MA. Here’s how they discovered PromoStandards and saw immediate results!

    What They Were Doing Before Implementing PromoStandards Correctly

    Jeison Ortega, at the time, was the Director of Information Technology and is now its Chief Technology Officer. He understood the advantages of trading partner integration; sellers can more efficiently provide information online, and customers have immediate access.

    Yet, the technology provider Charles River Apparel initially chose didn't know how to implement the integration endpoints correctly. In the promotional products industry, almost every order is customized and highly configurable, so well-formed orders are vital for including fine details and communicating accurately.

    Since the provider wasn’t versed in the intricacies of the promotional products industry, they learned the PromoStandards protocol from scratch. They didn’t use a standard method or platform, and the fact that they were not very experienced with trading partner integration made it all the more challenging.

    How They Discovered PromoStandards

    Jeison knew what his company needed was an experienced integration service to reliably create, host, and maintain integration endpoints while meeting the specific needs of the industry. Then, at the 2019 PPAI Technology Summit, he recognized Essent Corporation, a provider of fully-integrated business management software solutions and services for process-intensive industries.

    Stephen Luisser, Vice President of Research and Development at Essent Corporation, is an award-winning integrator and former PromoStandards board member. When he delivered a presentation on integration and how rapidly its spread throughout the promotional products industry, Jeison realized they’d make a great team.

    Charles River Apparel Saw Immediate Results

    After working with their initial provider for one year, they switched to working with Essent’s OrderTrax Network, which implemented the Media Contact endpoint in just 24 hours. Essent implemented the endpoints for Inventory and Order Status next. And, within a few phone calls, Charles River Apparel had the Media Service endpoint fully implemented.

    Charles River Apparel distributor partners immediately expressed they were pleased. Jeison shared that Charles River Apparel was even able to salvage a relationship with a customer that was having issues using the endpoints set up by the previous provider.

    Find the Right Integration Provider With PromoStandards!

    At PromoStandards, we make it easy to communicate with others in the promo industry. When you become a member, you can leverage the open-source standards more efficiently by working with a service provider who knows the promo industry. Find a service provider by joining PromoStandards today!

  • 21 Jul 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    PromoStandards standardized the transfer of vital information to move transactions forward. This clearly works for the promotional products industry. The question is: does it also work for print?

    In short, the answer is yes! This success story comes from Brand Chain (formerly the Print Services and Distribution Association, or PSDA), a network of professionals dedicated to providing print, marketing, and business communications solutions for distributors.

    Continue reading to learn how Brand Chain discovered PromoStandards and how the print industry benefits from implementing these standards!

    The Print Industry Before PromoStandards

    Knowing how to communicate customer needs quickly and accurately for vendors to produce and deliver them on time is a challenge that’s existed since businesses started.

    Poorly formed purchase orders cost money. In the promotional products industry, this adds up to millions of dollars annually. Plus, these waste time and create giant headaches for end users.

    Orders could be:

    • incomplete and missing information, such as the imprint location, imprint method, or the shipping or billing address.
    • vague with typos, lack of specificity, or missing some of the correct info, like a digit in the SKU.
    • missing the form entirely.

    In these instances, someone needs to take the time to fill in these blanks.

    Brand Chain Joined PromoStandards

    Andrew Alford, the President of Brand Chain, realized the importance of integration. By engaging in trading partner integration, Brand Chain was able to become closer to its partners, give real-time access to where orders are in the fulfillment cycle, and make informed decisions that can encourage customers throughout the buying process.

    Brand Chain joined PromoStandards as an Advisory Member and formed a Technology Committee. This committee, which includes several other PromoStandards members, maps out significant integration needs for print distributors and suppliers.

    How PromoStandards Helps the Print Industry

    The print and promotional products industries are very similar, with overlapping markets, suppliers, and distributors. Both industries customize products, and removing friction from the supply chain is a high priority.

    “Print and promo are sister industries that share customers and have a very similar workflow,” said Eric Alessi, Chairman of PromoStandards. “Leaders in both industries are looking for the same thing, which is the ability to conduct custom product sales as efficiently as possible. Solving integration for print is a natural fit and extension of solving integration for the promotional products industry.”

    As such, the open-source standards by PromoStandards provide benefits in trading partner integration for both industries.

    1. These streamline the buying process by displaying accurate pricing and availability information and allowing the buyer to choose how to customize the product.
    2. These save time and labor by reducing the number of phone calls and emails to ask about inventory, the status of an order, and more.
    3. These make customers happier by having a smooth line of communication between distributors, suppliers, and manufacturers.

    Join PromoStandards Today!

    You too can easily share information to move transactions forward! Endpoints for Inventory, Invoices, Media, Order Status, Product Compliance, Product Configuration, Product Data, Purchase Orders, and Ship Notices are available. To get started, simply join PromoStandards to access all the info you need!

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