Case Study / KBX TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
KBX Technology Solutions had existing EDI infrastructure through a legacy on-premise provider that was spread across multiple divisions and departments. The distributed nature of their on-premise software made it difficult for them to onboard and support their EDI trading partners. Onboarding new trading partners was regularly taking eight weeks to complete.
At the same time, KBX was looking to consolidate their technology stack, modernize the way they integrate with their supply chain, and provide better tooling to their EDI trading partners. This was all part of a great transformation effort to adopt a new TMS that was being built in-house.
KBX Technology chose Orderful to improve their EDI infrastructure, speed up trading partner onboarding times, and provide a better experience for their trading partners. The company chose to work with Orderful from among a field of seven EDI vendors.
For KBX, onboarding trading partners quickly isn’t just a way of saving time and money—it enables the company to connect shippers and carriers quickly. They needed to solve EDI onboarding problems with both new shippers and new carriers. The company has 400 EDI trading partners and processes over 8,000,000 EDI transactions per month. But until recently, KBX Technology was running its onboarding process manually through a legacy EDI software provider.
“When I came to KBX, all the testing of new EDI connections was being done through email,” recalls Jim Bruckert, EDI integration team leader, KBX Technology Solutions. “The process required people to communicate constantly about when they sent something and what the reference number was. The recipient would have to translate the transmission they received and send it back to the sender, who would validate it. All these handoffs took far too long and relied on people keeping up with their email.”
Adding urgency to the situation, KBX’s legacy EDI platform was hosted by another Koch company. The solution was steadily becoming more difficult to support. When KBX realized that its own EDI traffic had grown to 85% of the platform’s transactions, the company decided it was time to look for a more viable long-term solution.
KBX Technology began looking for a way to validate connections faster without manual effort. The company evaluated seven EDI vendors, including managed services, self-service solutions, and cloud solutions. Orderful immediately stood out.
Orderful also offered KBX the ability to let its partners use business rules rather than requiring mapping in their EDI software to meet KBX’s guideline requirements. KBX’s leadership was impressed by Orderful’s vision as a company.
“We chose Orderful largely because of how they’re thinking about the future of data exchange and architecture,” says Tracy Reiss, vice president, KBX Technology. “EDI has been around for a long time, but there are better ways of doing it. Orderful’s infrastructure and architecture convinced us that they have long-term viability.”
With Orderful, KBX has dramatically reduced the complexity of its EDI activities. KBX trading partners can use self-service to validate their connections against KBX guidelines, saving time and effort for both parties.
“For most validations with Orderful, our carriers can see their validation before we even see it and respond back to them,” explains Bruckert. “They don’t have to wait for us to give them feedback—they can do their own testing and see whether it’s a valid transaction right away by logging into Orderful. It can all take place without involvement from our team, and it eliminates a lot of back-and-forth that takes place with traditional EDI testing.”
KBX’s new method of validating connections is just one aspect of its highly efficient new onboarding process with Orderful. The company has streamlined this process from 95 steps to 32, and now connects new trading partners in four weeks rather than eight. This transformation becomes even more impressive when you consider that KBX spends much of that four-week period waiting on its trading partners to complete steps.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever get to zero manual steps in our onboarding process, but I’m sure we could get down to 15 or 20 with Orderful,” says Bruckert. “That’s a massive improvement because many of the steps we eliminated would have come with significant wait time.”
When KBX’s connections do require hands-on involvement, Orderful makes the work as easy as possible. Because the platform’s business rule capabilities are no more difficult to use than a spreadsheet formula, KBX business analysts can do what used to require the help of an experienced mapper or developer.
“The Orderful API lets us use JSON to map data from our business systems to Orderful,” explains Bruckert. “Now that we have that set up, we don’t have to go back and make lots of adjustments every time we onboard a new partner. And the way Orderful displays transaction data is better than anything I’ve ever seen. We can easily flip between JSON and X12 data as we monitor the status of our loads. Our transactional data is the lifeblood of our company. If we’re not moving loads, we’re not making money. Orderful gives us the real-time data and notifications we need to keep everything moving.”
Orderful is a global software company who is focused on bringing supply chains together. Orderful provides cloud EDI software for retailers, brand manufacturers, 3PLs, distributors and carriers. Orderful turns your on-premise legacy EDI practices into a modern cloud API architecture. Experience the fastest supply chain on-boarding possible, 100% valid data sent to and from your partners, and >50% reduction in time and costs associated with EDI. Give your supply chain a self-service onboarding experience that can get you exchanging value in less than a day. Thousands of enterprises rely on Orderful to exchange millions of transactions each week.
KBX is a global steward for smarter, more efficient logistics, optimizing all facets of freight transportation. KBX provides its customers advantaged capabilities related to transportation procurement across the world, visibility and technology solutions that help drive transparency, and opportunities to eliminate waste within global supply chains. As the transportation arm of Koch Industries, Inc., KBX serves the growing demand for supply chain efficiency across broad logistics markets.
KBX is an independent Koch company based in Wichita, Kansas. Koch Industries is one of the largest private companies in America according to Forbes magazine. Koch companies are involved in refining, chemicals, biofuels and ingredients; forest and consumer products; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; electronic components; commodity trading; minerals; energy; ranching; glass; and investments.