A couple of years ago, when energy drink and chewing gum maker Mad Croc was just getting started, top executives, like those at a growing number of small, young manufacturing companies, opted to effectively outsource the tasks of deploying and operating enterprise applications by selecting a software-as-a-service (SaaS) alternative.
But officials knew their largest customers wouldn't cut them any slack just because Mad Croc was a young, small company relying on SaaS applications. Retailers, such as Target, CVS, and Costco, that carry Mad Croc's line of energy drinks and snacks would expect Mad Croc to be able to exchange order, advance ship notice, and other information via an electronic data interchange (EDI) system integrated directly with Mad Croc's back-end systems.
"The big-box retailers have their own, very specific requirements for EDI," says Chuck Andrews, an IS consultant who works with Mad Croc. "If you want to run with them, you have no choice but to comply."
Source: Managing Automation
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