Onboard new EDI trading partners in less than a month with Celigo’s Modern EDI

5min read


Case Study

Watch this recording of a webinar co-presented by Orderful and Celigo. The combination of Celigo’s iPaaS and Orderful’s cloud EDI platform provides a solution that can be implemented rapidly. New EDI trading partners can be onboarded in less than a month. Watch the webinar to learn more.

This webinar is co-presented by Erik Kiser, Founder & CEO of Orderful and Mark Simon, VP of Strategy at Celigo.

Mark Simon, VP of Strategy, Celigo

Welcome, everyone, to our webinar today on EDI. We’re going to give everyone just a couple more minutes to join. Still looks like we’ve got a lot of attendees joining, so we’ll get started here in one more minute. Excellent. Okay. I think we’re going to get rolling here. Had a few more people join. So thank you, everybody. I’m really excited today for our webinar. And it’s focused on EDI and how to onboard new EDI trading partners in less than a month with Celigo and Orderful’s modern EDI solution.

I am Mark Simon. I’m the VP of strategy here at Celigo. Just a little bit about me. I’ve been with Celigo for the last three years, but prior to that, I originally started out my career as a software engineer. So, really, sort of a tech person at heart. And that led me to being a co-founder and CTO of an e-commerce company, which we led through considerable growth before exiting and joining a consulting firm and then leading one of the larger practices in a mid-market ERP ecosystem for over 10 years. And through that process, worked with hundreds of clients, but a large number, a majority, over half of those, were products companies of some kind, whether e-commerce, some type of distribution company. And we really focused on digital transformation for them, new systems, automating their processes. And a consistent theme in that was EDI integration and the challenges that faced these growing companies. So excited to be able to share our solution here, which we think is really a game-changer for the space. And very excited to have Erik Kiser, the founder and CEO of Orderful, to talk to us today. Erik?

Erik Kiser, Orderful founder and CEO

Yeah. Thanks, Mark. Similar to Mark’s background, I’ve been working– or, I guess, probably a little different, I’ve been working EDI for the last 12 years, but I started my career as a consultant. I started by building EDI integrations, connecting manufacturers with their supply chain. So connecting them to retail, connecting them to suppliers, and then also logistics providers. So mostly enterprise-level experience. But as I’ve gone through this 12-year EDI journey, I’ve had a lot of exposure to the problems that SMBs and brands face as well. Over that time, I started my own consulting firm. And what we were doing was building EDI integrations for mid-market companies. We grew into a 50-person consulting company. We used all of the different major EDI providers out there as our partners to solve the EDI problem. And as I was building and starting to grow this business, I recognized that there was no EDI provider in the market that could bring supply chains together. And that was kind of the juncture and kind of sparked this idea that we could create a modern platform for EDI that can actually make it really easy for companies to trade and come together.

Mark Simon

Fantastic. Thanks, Erik. So we’ll jump in here and we’ll take a look at the agenda for today, so first thing we’ll do is we’ll jump in after this and talk a little bit more about Celigo and give everyone a little bit of background here that isn’t familiar. And I’ll hand it over to Erik to get more background about Orderful as a company, and then we’ll lead into why does EDI matter to modern businesses? What does the EDI landscape look like right now? What is a modern EDI solution and where are things headed? And then we’ll look at the Celigo and Orderful solution; how that works together to come as a combined single solution. I’ll take a look at our customer success story and then recap and leave some time for Q&A at the end.

So on the Celigo side, who are we? Celigo, our goal as an organization is to enable companies to integrate; to bring integration and make it accessible to users throughout an organization, not just technical teams. And we foster and enable that by being an iPaaS platform, so what’s known as an integration platform as a service.

So we’re a cloud-hosted integration solution. But we are the first of the next generation of iPaaS solutions, iPaaS 2.0, if you will. And what we bring to that integration space is a different approach than some of the legacy providers, and we bring ease of use and some very powerful pre-built solutions that we’ll talk about a little bit more of. But that combination is we strive to bring power with ease of use so you can have both in the platform, both enable developers and technical staff, as well as non-technical staff and build the most efficient muscle within your organization for driving digital transformation through automation and with the foundation of that being integration.

So Celigo, we are a funded startup company, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have reached a milestone of 4,000 customers and we are almost hitting a seven billion records process monthly for our customers through the platform. And that’s a huge milestone for us and we’re really, really excited. I think about seven billion records are being processed. And that number is growing so quickly for us it dwarfs any type of spike around Black Friday, for example. And so it’s fabulous to have a cloud-native architected solution that can handle that type of growth. We have over 36,000 users that are actively using our system, interacting with it, building flows, building integrations and automating their business processes every day. As a company, we have– actually I think we broke the 500 employee threshold now and we have six global offices. And we’re growing very, very rapidly. If you look at some of the customer logos that we have in our organization, they really span the spectrum of both sides.

So we have Fortune 500 companies that leverage Celigo within their organization, a very large number of mid-market, and then down through small businesses as well. And we can provide value to that whole spectrum simply because of the value derived from our platform and some very flexible models. So our goal is to bring and enable that integration, and gain those gains of efficiencies for as many businesses as possible. You don’t really have to take our word for it only. If you go out and take a look at what some of the leading peer insights and customer reviews, I’d say take a look at G2 Crowd. For example, we’ve been put in their top 50 products for cloud IT management this year. And very proud of that because we’re the highest ranking integration solution in that list.

So a little bit more about our iPaaS platform itself. So as I mentioned earlier, really, our goal with that platform is to allow both IT and business teams. And this enables what we call– through that approach, this enables what we call a federated approach to integration. And that’s the leading practice that we recommend and that we’ve seen our most successful customers use. If you solely consolidate your integration build and development within, say, just an IT team or just the business systems team, you’re really not leveraging the value of automation like you could. And so by providing a platform that has reusability, has strong compliance and governance, has technical capabilities, but combined with that ease of use, you can use this federated model where you can enable departments– a marketing department, for example, an e-commerce team, any department in your organization who can build, manage, extend, modify flows, but they can do so under the guidance and coordination through a center of excellence within our organization, through an IT team.

So it’s that pairing that really enables and unlocks digital transformation by being able to spread the engine and build that engine of automation throughout your organization. So we effect that by allowing you to integrate any business application. So we have built an extensive array of pre-built connectors for specific SaaS applications. But we can connect to any application through our universal connectors, through flat files, directly against databases, through an on-premise connector if you have a legacy on-premise system. That gives us that ability to automate and optimize the business processes with the platform. You can have that business logic inside. You can leverage code as needed to make as complex of a flow, or take a low code approach. And together, all of these it really accelerate digital transformation for your organization.

And with that, over to you, Erik.

Erik Kiser

All right. Thanks, Mark. Orderful is a cloud API platform for EDI, and we’re powering global trade. We’re a complete EDI platform. What happens is our customers connect once to our product via our API, and then they get access to our network, and any trading partner or anybody in their supply chain that they want to do business with then also gets added to our network. So as we bring on new accounts, we’re increasing the size of our network and everyone wins.

We’ve been around for four years. We have over a thousand companies in the network. We’ve been able to grow our network pretty quickly with our text chat. It’s actually quite easy for us to add a new partner to the network, and right now it’s taking us about four hours to do this. So if you had a trading partner that hasn’t currently published in Orderful, you make a trade request, we can get that done in a day or less. A little bit more about us, we’re a 30-person team. We’re backed by Initialized Capital Managers and Andreessen Horowitz. We just raised our Series B. We’re kind of entering into the growth phase of our journey.

As you look at kind of the breakdown of our customers in the middle of the slide, the largest percentage of accounts that we do business with are brands. So these are CBG companies that are trying to trade with retailers or that need to enable integrations with their 3PLs. We also represent some really large enterprises. We actually represent the second-largest private company in the world in Koch Industries. They use our product to trade with their supply chain. And then we also help companies like other SaaS platforms and 3PLs with their EDI challenges as well. So I’m really excited to kind of jump into EDI here.

And Mark, if you want to just hit the next slide. For those of you that are on this webinar that don’t know what EDI is, it’s the way that a company trades and integrates data with their supply chains. And this technology is a 60-year-old technology that predates the internet. The way that EDI was originally leveraged was for the military to send really high-value payloads back and forth from Germany to America over simple telephone signals. So when you look at the technology, it is extremely old. An example of an EDI transaction here is on the left. This is a fixed position file. It’s asterisk delimited. And you certainly need to be an expert to understand all of the different fields and qualifiers within this thing.

So with that transaction, they’re also traded over different communication channels. What’s expected of a brand is to build their own flat files and then set up their own communication channels and try to integrate with their trading partners with kind of this hodgepodge of solutions. What EDI looks like for a brand is typically a brand will have to integrate data with all of their retailers. So any retailer that you sell into you’ll have to integrate with, and these would be transactions like purchase orders and invoices and shipment notices, and then you’ll also integrate with 3PLs. So if you’re shipping through a third party logistics provider, you certainly want to integrate and automate that data because it’s typically high volume transactions. Then as a brand has risen to an enterprise, you can also go down market and integrate with suppliers.

Mark Simon

Hey, Erik. I remember the first time I worked on an EDI integration. It was almost 20– or, actually, it was more than 20 years ago, I’m scared to admit; it makes me feel pretty old. But I remember being told, “Well, yeah. This is the old way that things are being done, but it’s going to be replaced,” and at the time, hearing XML is going to replace this, and I think every few years we hear, “Hey, this is going to be replaced,” but I know from the customers that we work with that EDI is, it seems like, even more entrenched than ever. It’s simply the only way to do business. It doesn’t look like it’s really going anywhere, is it?

Erik Kiser

It’s not going anywhere. And, yeah, the way that supply chains integrate data is the same today as it was 20 years ago when you saw it. It’s certainly the norm for how to integrate data with your supply chain. And I think the reason for that is that everybody’s adopted it, so it’s something that everybody has been accustomed to. Every retailer has been accustomed to enforce it, and then they can also force their supply chains to trade the way they want them to trade, and nobody’s really thought about how to make this problem go away. Everybody is just kind of solving for it in real time. Next slide.

So the challenge with EDI is it’s not just painful for the brands over here on the right, but it’s also really painful for the retailer on the left. What a brand has to do is actually build that flat file. So what that looks like is you have your system of record, like let’s say NetSuite. You then have to extract data out of that. You have to build some mappings. You have to then translate that mapping into a flat file that’s asterisk delimited fixed position X12 example I gave you earlier. And then what you have to do is figure out how to communicate or send that transaction to your trading partners, and you’ll set up your own FTP, AS2, or others. And then on the other side, the retailer or trading partner has to do exactly the same thing. So the challenge with EDI has always been that both sides are kind of going at this with a custom solution. And a lot of the pain comes in actually coordinating and trying to get the big retailer to work with the small brand. It’s kind of a typical David and Goliath challenge.

I mean, again, all of this onboarding and all of the building is done kind of in a custom way. I mean, it’s all done over email. It’s done with PDF files that describe how to integrate and how to build these flat files, so there’s even more complexity when it comes to actually executing the job.

So a little bit about when is EDI important to a brand and what’s the typical journey for a brand. Let’s take for example a makeup company. Susie starts a makeup company. She starts selling to friends and family. She is selling out of a garage, kind of starts this idea phase, starts to get some semblance of an MVP, and some semblance of the fact that other people want to buy her makeup. Then she upgrades her business to an e-commerce site, maybe stands up Shopify and starts selling to other consumers through e-commerce. And what happens here is the brand starts to experience the markets. So maybe the market will take the product, or maybe it’s going to stay a stale product and not go anywhere, but if the market is taking the product and there’s product market fit, typically the brands will start moving away from their garage and into an actual 3PL. And this is when EDI comes up. This is probably when the first instance of needing to integrate or automate transactions actually becomes a reality for a brand.

And then the second thing that happens is once the brand, the makeup company kind of matures, kind of taps out the e-commerce opportunity, they need to start selling through multiple channels. And that’s when the introduction of retail comes up and wholesale comes up. And that’s also when the next kind of influencer EDI pops up for a company. So there are these steps along the journey where EDI becomes a question, and it becomes kind of a requirement. A lot of companies will not take on the integration piece of this early, but we’ll talk about why that’s important in the next slides.

Mark Simon

Yeah, I’ve definitely seen some of this inflection hit big companies. And use beauty as an example, I’ve definitely seen it in that sub vertical as well, where getting a lot of momentum, and then they land a key account. They get into maybe Ulta or Sephora for the first time. It’s a huge win for them and hey they’re going to be 100 stores. And kind of lost in all that is now there’s a big shift because now they have no option. They have to conduct business over EDI, and that imposes a lot of process requirements and big impact on the organization. And often a mad scramble because it hasn’t been thought through. And so definitely the need for speed has been consistent when they hit that trigger point. And get those key accounts that they need to move fast has been one of the biggest things I’ve seen.

Erik Kiser

That happens fast, right? The product market fit is there. You go to a trade show, then boom. They’re picked up by Sephora. And next thing you know, you’ve added essentially 10 full-time jobs, but you’re not adding 10 full-time people. So it’s a mad dash to try to solve these problems.

So really high level. When EDI matters for a brand is again, you grow into a 3PL. The next phase is you start selling at a wholesale, so doing B2B. You can also start selling through wholesale and dropship. So shipping directly to consumers through your wholesale partners’ websites. And then last, this is more on the enterprise side, but when you can start integrating and automating or procure the payment processes.

When we talk about this journey, there’s definitely challenges along the way. We kind of alluded to part of the challenge, which is you hit this inflection point with retail. And they depend a lot on the brand, but the brand doesn’t have the resources to actually execute against that demand. So I’ve put together a timetable of what this looks like– and when you grow into a 3PL, probably less than 2 million in revenues, less than five people and definitely no developer.

So the need to integrate with the 3PLs is really high, but you don’t have the resources to typically do it. When you sell into a wholesale like selling to a retailer, kind of same situation, definitely more revenue is what we see. Maybe now you have an ERP system. Maybe the team’s a little bigger, but there’s still no developer on-premise that can actually build these EDI integrations.

When you start selling through wholesale and drop-shipping and starting to have a more complex business model, again, team size could be much larger than 15, but probably not bigger than 50 people, maybe 50 million in revenue; still, no developer. So kind of what you’re seeing in this journey is while all of these different stages happen for a business, there still has not been a need to hire somebody to build integrations for your business. Your focus on operating, selling– in the case of a makeup company, you focus on building new products, not focus on integrating and solving technical challenges for the business. Mark, you have any anything there?

Mark Simon

Yeah. I actually really love this slide. This is a great map to anyone building and growing a business that knows that EDI’s on the radar, but they maybe aren’t sure quite when. And I think this really helps because one of the biggest things you can do for any of this is prepare yourself; be thinking ahead, know when this is going to come, and it’s going to give you a lot more agility as a business leader to put yourself in a position where you have the right solution in place. You’re choosing the most flexible solution instead of just having essentially a crisis around EDI at some point and just grasping for a solution, which believe me, I’ve seen a lot of clients do over and over again and spend a lot of time. Myself and my team coming in and unwinding some bad decisions along the way of providers that aren’t working, that are too slow. And I love this because of any slide probably that we’re going to go through and talk about today, this is the one that I think a leader in a business can take, file away, and use it a little bit as a decoder ring to look into the future. It’s their crystal ball, I guess, to say, “Okay, when do we need to– when are we going to need to invest in EDI again? When do we need to be thinking about it?” Help them stay ahead of the curve and really address problems before they come up and have a big impact on the business.

Erik Kiser

Yeah, that’s great. I think these companies, the brands are all trying to make the best decisions in the moment, right? It comes out like, “Hey, let’s just use web forms or let’s start manually handling these orders because we have to.” And that’s the best they can do in the moment. But then what happens over time is that that adds just a ton of complexity and a ton of stress on the business, because then you start to pile on all of the different provider options. So that’s a good segue into this slide.

There’s really four different ways you can go about EDI. So in the market today, there are web form providers, so there’s big companies out there that will give you access to a web form where you can manually log in, you download any purchase orders, and then you key it into your system of record. The benefit is that it’s cheap. The challenge is that it’s very error-prone, doesn’t scale, and probably requires some data entry expertise to know your system and know how to key in these orders.

The second option is that there’s integration brokerages. An integration brokerage will take your transactions and then somehow deliver them to you in a way that you can read them. You can start to integrate them into your ERP system. But really, what they’re providing is this communication layer and management. What this requires, is a developer because what you’re doing is you’re sending the integration brokerage a transaction. Maybe they’re generating an EDI file for you and you’re seeing an XML file. But what this requires is actually expertise to generate these transactions and build out of your ERP system. Very common for brands to use integration brokerages.

The third option is a managed service provider, so as a company starts to get a little bigger, they want to be completely hands-off. There’s a lot of marketing out there that says, “Hey, we can be your outsourced EDI provider.” I actually ran a consulting firm that used to do this and saw kind of the pros and cons of it. What happens is a company will outsource all of their EDI building and integration to a third party, and that third party promises that, “Hey, you can be hands-off. You don’t need any technical expertise in-house.” But the real problem is that the third party doesn’t actually know your business, they don’t know all the ins and outs of how you’re handling these orders, or how you want to ship your products. And they also don’t really have the same incentives that you do to manage these customer relationships.

And then the third option is really to do it all yourself. This is to build these flat files on your own, build the X12 file, and actually stand up your own communication channels and send or receive its data on your own. The challenge with this is it takes a media expert to do it, and it can become really custom. I mean, you end up with an environment that needs to be maintained and managed over time.

Mark Simon

Yeah, I’ve certainly, Erik, I’ve seen all of these approaches in play, either engaged in them, in myself some way, or working with helping to build, facilitate, choose one of these options with clients in the past or customers now. And yeah, it’s really tough for growing organizations. You really have to weigh the tradeoffs of each of these approaches. And it’s kind of unfortunate because I’m going to be honest, I feel like until recently here, until new players have moved into the market, especially Orderful is trying to change the paradigm, there really hasn’t been a lot of good options. It’s been tough to make a decision. The do it all is so, so expensive, and it feels often like you’re rubbing sticks together to make fire and in rebuilding and literally rebuilding the wheel. But sometimes you need control, so that comes at a cost.

And on the other end of the spectrum, I’ve seen so many companies go to the web forms approach as, “Hey, we need something quick and get going because we have orders coming in from a Target, Costco, or some big box customer.” But then they just stick there. They stick in that solution and then never really fully automated. And I’ve seen literally teams of people hand keying orders between the web forms interface and the ERP or the order management system. And in trying to untangle going in and then getting manual entry errors because of that, and just that stuff is a burden on the business.

And then again, there’s not a lot of use of the managed service provider, too that I’ve seen. But that’s where I’ve seen in some ways, the greatest dissatisfaction in the market. I’ve had a lot of customers come and say, “Hey, we work with so-and-so, but it’s just a black box for us. We can’t move fast enough. We can’t get new– it takes us six months to get trading partners up.” And that really holds back a business where you get automation, but now you’ve given up your speed and flexibility and any agility.

Erik Kiser

That’s right. What we’ve seen is what the market really wants is a tool where you can have full control of your supply chain and kind of manage it yourself. And it also reduces or eliminates the technical complexity of building these EDI integrations. And so we’ll get there and talk a little bit about how Orderful solves this. But yeah, these four options have evolved over time. And they’re really big businesses. So EDI has been around forever. Every company that has supply chains integrates with EDI. All of these different provider options, cut their teeth and made a ton of money providing their option on the market, but we see it as there being a better opportunity with a new kind of provider.

So next slide. All right. And so typically what happens is as a brand evolves with the different stages of growth, you’ve grown into a 3PL, maybe you start with webforms, you sell into wholesale, maybe the brand starts using integration brokerage. When you get into drop shipping, maybe you’re looking at actually MSP and then an enterprise, you want to kind of bring it all in-house and might have a more enterprise-level experience and control. The challenges, and we kind of alluded to this earlier, is that as you enter these different phases, a lot of this technology and solution providers get layered on one another. So over time, you start to build– a brand starts to build a really complicated environment that becomes unmanageable as multiple service providers for EDI and is something that kind of grows out of control.

Mark Simon

Yeah, that certainly becomes very, very tough to manage for an organization. You have multiple panes of glass, so to speak, to try to understand where a critical transaction for one of your trading partners is moving through. You’ve got to get a look here, look there, look multiple places to track that down and what I’ve seen is that it increases the operational burden substantially in there’s a lot of actually hidden costs in there as you go and that difficulty of really knowing clearly and quickly what’s going on, especially because errors do arise. There’s business process changes that take place in an organization because these integrations are really just contracts and if there’s a use case that slips through the change management and impacts one of the– and results on a change in the data and you don’t have an alignment, I’ve got an error that’s bubbling up and it’s preventing a transaction from going through and that can have huge, huge consequences.

Erik Kiser

That’s right. The next slide talks about– I mean, air handling and kind of the management of these transactions, once you’re live, actually, can become extremely expensive to the business if you get it wrong. What happens is there’s kind of three different categories of errors. There’s chargebacks, there’s loss or fail trading partnerships. You can actually lose business because your EDI environment isn’t set up properly. I mean, then finally, if there’s these data entry errors that cause wasted time and productivity in your business.

But the chargebacks, they’re really interesting because the retailer is enforcing, the goliath is enforcing all of these really intense requirements and SLAs for you as David, the small business to handle and kind of perform against, and as we’ve been talking throughout the journey, you just don’t have the right resources to be able to handle these requirements. An example would be, if you’re doing web forms, it’s actually, the retailer’s not going to tell you this until it happens, but you need to actually key in the ASN or the 856 before the truck arrives.

So you have a really small window to get this 856 keyed in and sent to your trading partner before your shipment actually runs to the dock so they can actually scan the shipment and receive it. If you don’t do this, like I think Walmart, right now, is charging 5% of the order value and a chargeback and it creates a really expensive relationship for you. You’re already being kind of choked on margin with wholesale. I mean, these chargebacks are another way in which retailers are actually making money on their relationship with brands. The loss in failed trade partnerships is probably the worst-case scenario is when you’re trading with a partner and you miss transactions, you miss purchase orders, or you miss invoices, and eventually, those missed purchase orders become missed revenue opportunities for you. They also become really challenging for your trading partner because they’re expecting to put your products on their shelf and you didn’t fulfill the order. A lot of retailers have actually walked away from S&D relationships if these kinds of problems happen, so all the hard work that your sales team put into building this new retail relationship can quickly fall over if EDI isn’t handled properly.

And then finally, the data entry errors, it goes to the old adage of garbage in, garbage out. If you’re keying in an order improperly and you put in data that has the wrong inventory, or item numbers, even if you key in the order in the wrong line, this can cause issues when shipping an invoice and your product with your training partner. And it causes this back and forth, these email conversations that end up creating tension in your relationships. So there are three major ways of getting this wrong and this certainly comes up for brands across all phases of that journey.

Mark Simon

Yeah, Erik, this is really important, and I think the potential risks here and the potential impact of these risks are often kind of lost on a lot of growing companies. We talked about that trigger moment when you especially land that first big account with a very large trading partner and use that 5% chargeback from Wal-Mart as an example. There’s a lot of focus going into the other areas of the company to make sure that you’re ramping up supply chain, the quality is there, everything else. And I’ve come into situations where I’ve seen companies with a relatively small amount of revenue, land this, for them, this new dream opportunity with the big-box retailer and not have their process worked out well enough and have a strong solid process with checks and balances in place. And they end up missing something. And then, ASN is a perfect example. They don’t get that.

And for those of the audience, all of these concepts may be new. So even drilling a little bit deeper, those advanced shift notices are really the way of communicating with your trading partner to say, “Hey, you the trading partner, the big box customer, they already– they ordered something from you. They said, “Hey, can I have 10,000 units of your widget?” You responded and say, “Yes, I can get you 10,000 widgets and it’s going to be on this date.”

But then, when that’s getting shipped and it’s on the way, you have to notify them, “Hey, it’s coming.” And that’s this advanced ship notice that these units are on the move. They’re going to be there. They’re packaged. They’re going to look like X. You’re going to get them here. We’re delivering them where you told us to deliver.” And if that truck shows up at the loading dock and they haven’t been notified, and they haven’t been notified within the window that’s contractually required, that’s where those charge backs come into play. And that’s a rigorous process that a lot of companies aren’t used to. And the penalty there really requires a different type of thinking about your processes. So just having it– something in place, or somebody moving something, or quote managing or literally someone being sick for a day can cost a hundred thousand dollars. Missing an error notification because you have some kind of fluky integration in place that’s not managed properly fails. I’ve literally seen this show up as 100,000, 150,000 dollars in fees. And it can really hit a company hard to be hit by those chargebacks. And it’s a pretty, pretty severe penalty. But it’s really part of the game. And again, it comes from that David and Goliath relationship. But it requires a shift in processes and systems. The key solution to that is solid, well-managed integration solution in place to head that off, and then good management of that.

Erik Kiser

Right. Yeah, and how we– the next slide how we uniquely think about this at Orderful is we want to give that enterprise-level of control to the SMB to the mid-market account. And we also want to remove the enterprise job of integration and make that integration experience seamless and easy through our technology. And that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do. Orderful is a new breed of EDI provider or a complete cloud EDI solution. And what we provide is an API for brands or enterprises or anyone really to connect to our customers right to our API. And what we do is we actually translate that API transaction into an EDI transaction. So the first step is we’ll validate the data, we’ll tell you whether or not your data is going to be accepted by your partner, then we translate it, and then we actually handle all the communication for you as well. So what we do is we take out all of the technical requirements of EDI and we give you this modern API to interface with.

Our platform is mainly driven by the UI and what you get when you log in Orderful is you get a list of all your transactions, you get visibility into how well you’re trading with your partners and then you get the ability to actually solve problems and understand kind of what those errors are. This is something that’s unique to Orderful in that previous slide we’re talking about problems. Orderful actually gives you the ability to see the issues in real-time and then make quick decisions about how to solve them and resolve those issues with a business analyst and even not a developer. And then kind of third benefit, and we hit on this earlier, is what we’re doing is we’re building a preconnected network. So any time we have a customer that connects we onboard their supply chain, their supply chain becomes part of our network, I mean, everyone wins. Because as we add brands and retailers, customers, whoever to our network we’re giving access to anyone new that connects to the platform to immediately trade with those companies.

Mark Simon

Excellent. Thank you, Erik. So a key question here is how do you create a complete solution for a business, particularly in the mid-market space leveraging Orderful and the combination of Orderful and Celigo specifically our integrated IO platform is how you achieve that comprehensive end to end solution around EDI? How we move beyond just EDI integration and thinking that is this B2B integration? But leveraging what Orderful does through that translation of the EDI communication to API we now can facilitate API to API integration. So that greatly simplifies the effort to build out an automated integration for new trading partners or managing it for extending and adding new trading partners in the future. And when I talk about managing it, being able to identify and clearly understand what’s going on, what’s failing, if something does fail, if there’s an issue along the way. This is very much transformative. So it doesn’t require not only a developer but a developer that knows the intricacies of well, let’s be honest an archaic EDI format that is now over 40 years old. We’ve shifted EDI from the stone age into the modern SaaS API to API integration world.

And because using the integrator IO platform on Celigo by leveraging our iPaaS we’re treating Orderful as another endpoint. And so then we can connect in and automate these process flows for receiving those inbound purchase orders from your customers, bringing that into your ERP as a sales order. You’re then going to go through your internal process management, accept that purchase order or respond. Then we have flows within integrator.io to move that out, push that back through Orderful to your trading partner. And you’re extracting that challenge and all that complexity around EDI down into the Orderful platform and it’ll just stay focused there. And as those flows work through, the data moves through that process, and those records, able to keep that synchronized and managed. And it ends up being really the core integration component part of that and that process automation is just like your other integrations in your business that you may be using, say, from an e-commerce channel or any of your other revenue channels that you have integrated. And that provides a huge benefit.

So now you can bring your EDI solution and EDI integration in-house earlier. So you can create speed and agility and create control, all in a very, very cost-effective manner much earlier than you would be if you were waiting to build out all this custom and when it would have made sense to build a team around it. So you’re getting at really the best possible solution if we look at how to take the best things from all of those four possibilities we saw earlier, and bring those together. And that’s what the Celigo integrator.io plus Orderful solution really does around EDI. It’s really transformative for a growing business, especially a growing business where resources are so scarce, but so in demand in a growing organization where you need to be as efficient as possible and get the most return from your team. And that’s what we can really facilitate here.

So one of the things we want to do is talk about a success story. A use case where a customer leveraged both Celigo and Orderful to achieve just that. So Chubbies is a kind of– I laugh because they’re kind of a fun– definitely, a fun brand dedicated to men’s shorts, fantastic marketers. They do a lot of viral stuff. So they see big, explosive growth. And they got on a – like we alluded to earlier, like we see with a lot of companies – they got on the radar, opened up some big accounts, but they had a need. They had EDI needs and were really struggling because they couldn’t get new trading partners up and running fast enough. They couldn’t automate. They knew automation of these EDI processes was critical to growth but just couldn’t do that with their existing partners and the solution that they had chosen. And through combining the Orderful side plus integrator.io from Celigo, were able to have huge efficiency increases. So after going live, they were able to reduce at manual entry time for transactions by almost 40 hours– 40 hours a week. And that has a huge impact on the business. And that’s before their growth continues. And this had a really big impact on them. Erik, I know you have some insights as well. Would you like to share those?

Erik Kiser

Yeah, of course. I think they were– when they came to us, they were using one of the larger providers in the space, a larger integration brokerage. And, they were working with this company for over a year. And the other provider promised to have a pre-built integration to their ERP system in the next week. And it just didn’t work. And so when Chubbies came to us we’re like, “Well, what can we do? We see your modern cloud EDI provider.” So we use Celigo. And so that’s kind of actually what brought us together with Celigo. And together we were able to get Chubbies live with their first trading partner in less than a month.

So we took this account that was really struggling to go live. They were working with one of the major retailers for over a year in web forms, trying to get integrated with their ERP system through another EDI provider. And then when they moved over to Orderful they were able to go live in less than a month with the Orderful Celigo solution. And then what that resulted in is once they were able to integrate and automate their orders, they actually saw an increase in order volume as well. I believe they saw somewhere around 50% growth in volume, which means revenue through their retail sale channel. So pretty great win. Great customer to have. We’re excited and continue to support them.

Mark Simon

Excellent. Yeah, they’re a great customer and it’s awesome to see the success they’ve had through the automation of these business processes and in the combined solution, especially after struggling. We’ve just we’ve seen that time and time again that it can be so hard to get those with the other solutions out there, to get those trading partners tested, get those solutions so successfully launched and integrated. And speed is everything to a fast growing business like this. And it’s great to see how that directly resulted both in reduction of operational costs, but also increase in sales. And it’s a double edged sword, providing benefits on both sides. We’re really excited and look forward to their continued growth.

Erik Kiser

What this did for us is you guys were able to build a pre-built template, right? So I think the way that Celigo talks about it is as an integrated app. So now there’s a pre-built, integrated app between NetSuite and Orderful’s EPI that makes it even easier for brands to stay connect and start trading EPI.

Mark Simon

Exactly. We’ve leveraged our pre-built solutions that sit on top of our iPass and have developed those out to get better gains of efficiency. So just to make it even more– get a more rapid deployment, get faster time to value through leveraging those pre-builts, starting with a connector to Orderful going by on that building template, and then coming soon as a fully pre building manage integration application to bring even this sort of next level, the best of breed use in capability that a full business process application can provide that sits on top of that. And really all of these– and that’s a great segue to this really final slide or wrap up slide here. Combining the power of Celigo and Orderful, you really get some great proven results. It provides the ability to connect very quickly, both on the integration side, it also brings Orderful’s capability to connect and bring new trading partners online that they haven’t connected with very, very rapidly. And that’s beyond even just leveraging the pre-built set of trading partners that you’ve already worked with. So those connections in this whole chain were bringing that capability and then increase speed of connection.

And then beyond the connection side of this, the brand improves speed to the testing process. So these trading partner guidelines on testing and responsiveness and ability to modify that is now all in your control when you leverage Celigo and Orderful. And that very much increases the speed of that process. And now all of a sudden, you can get to a go-live. It can happen months ahead of where it would with one of the other solutions out there. And you’ve got the combined support of both Celigo and Orderful behind you in that process. And that end result is this is 70% or better reduction in EDI trading partner onboarding times and an acceleration of the business.

Erik Kiser

Great. Mark, I think we’re a little over, do you want to let people ask some questions?

Mark Simon

Yeah. I’d love to. Let’s take a look if we’ve got a few questions here. Yeah, one of them – they came in here – is where and when do you start this process of automating your EDI journey?

Erik Kiser

Yeah. That’s a great question. I think we hit on it in the presentation. It should be early. You should start automating and integrating this data as soon as these requirements come in. Otherwise, you end up with– typically, brands will end up with kind of a hairball of a mess that kind of grows over time. So as soon as that 3PL integration happens or as soon as that wholesale relationship happens, that’s when brands should really start thinking about it.

Mark Simon

Exactly. And really, as early as possible. That’s key. Another question here is do you connect to– it’s in the trading part. But I’ve heard this a lot of times, do you connect to X trading partner? And I think that’s an important thing to look at and really shift that paradigm. What are your thoughts on that, Erik?

Erik Kiser

Yeah. The nice thing with the joint solution is Celigo has built this integration to our API for any transaction type that you’re going to trade with the trading partner. So that integration work is done. And then what we’re doing at Orderful is we’re building a network of pre-connected partners. I mean, you can actually see all of the trading partners in our network by visiting our website Orderful.com. And then at the top, there’s an option to click on network. And you can actually search for those partners that are published. And you can see which transaction types are already published. And again, if we need to add someone new that isn’t there, it’s taking us half a day to do that work.

Mark Simon

And I think that that’s the key. Big existing network of trading partners and then only half a day to add a new one. That’s fantastic. And that’s an efficiency that I haven’t seen in the EDI space before. So really amazing. We look forward to talking to everyone more as they might work with Celigo and Orderful for EDI challenges. We appreciate everyone attending the webinar today and thank you and hope everyone finds this informative and useful in your journey to increase efficiency and grow revenue of your business. Thank you.

Erik Kiser

Thanks a lot.


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