MSA extends TradeForms™ e-Business solution to enable their Supply and Demand chain

MSA Australia Limited is part of the world’s largest manufacturer of personal safety equipment, with 200 employees and $80 Million turnover locally. After examining the different strategies available to increase efficiency through e-commerce technology, IVBPlus was selected to provide an XML based B2B trading solution.

MSA have over 400 suppliers ranging from small to very large partners. They also have a wide range of over 1,200 distributors and customers that span the spectrum of small to large companies. Some partners had B2B e-commerce capability, most did not.

Greg Doyle, MSA’s e-Business Manager states “ Firstly, we used the IVBPlus TradeRoute middleware solution to establish reliable B2B electronic processes with our larger partners and e-Marketplaces that were e-Business enabled. Then we turned our attention to how TradeForms could help us trade electronically with our smaller trading partners, both customers and suppliers, that had no means to carry out e-Business transactions.”  

“ The main operational cost savings were identified in this area.“ he continued. “ Servicing the transaction volumes from these SME trading partners was very manual and costly. We wanted an integrated solution that would deliver meaningful benefits to our trading partners so that they would stop sending us phone and fax orders. The key was to make it a win-win situation for them, otherwise they’d continue to use the fax.”

“What we liked about TradeForms was that it was sophisticated, flexible, direct-connect technology that was better than fax, email, websites and b2b hubs with transaction fees.”

MSA had previously attempted e-commerce via a web site strategy that failed. Greg says, “ We found that asking companies to use our web site for transactions didn’t work for many reasons. Backwards integration was an issue but mainly they just didn’t use it because it required them to change the way they worked. We came to see that the website model was fundamentally flawed because no-one wants to manually log onto many websites to do business and then have to re-key into their own system as well .”

“ What we liked about the TradeForms solution was that it was sophisticated, flexible, direct-connect technology that was better than fax, email, websites and B2B hubs with transaction fees. It also cleverly compliments our extensive web-based catalogue so we get the best of both worlds, a powerful transaction solution that also leverages the best aspects of our website. Our pricelists are distributed via TradeForms, are tailored for each customer and are easily kept current. The customer completes the order using the TradeForms client and the data is integrated into their system as well as ours.”

“… I found TradeForms saves us 35% on those related operational costs.”

Greg Doyle also wears the hat of Systems Accountant for MSA and carried out detailed cost analysis of their business practices compared to life after IVBPlus.  

“ I was surprised at the significant savings TradeForms has delivered to the company.” Greg says. “After a close look, and after considering only the tangible effects such as operational costs and controllable error elimination, I found TradeForms saves us 35% on those related operational costs. Another added benefit is that our customer service staff can now focus on offering proactive service instead of repetitive data entry tasks. Our executive management is pretty happy about that, and so are our customers.”  

“ Our trading partners are also pleased that we can deliver better and more timely information to them such as pricing, ASN and Backorder status. So customer service is up, costs are down and we are easier to do business with, which was the main goal in the first place.”