The EDI Business Challenge
To launch in Australia, Trebuchet Nordics supported the local team by providing their IP, infrastructure and systems. “In relation to the existing integration, Trebuchet Nordics utilise Microsoft BizTalk, which was one of the options we considered locally for our requirements,” said Anthony Mancini, Technical Business Solution Delivery Manager for Trebuchet. “The way the integration was built in the Nordics with BizTalk— the rules were specific to their market, much of it was done within the integration layer with a large amount of custom-code. On evaluation—to implement the Nordics integration approach would prove too costly to re-engineer and did not provide a standard that our clients could adopt, as well as meet our time to market deadline,” explained Mancini.
For Trebuchet Australia, the answer was to start fresh. “We made the strategic business decision to design an EDI solution more suited for the local market,” said Mancini. “We had a very complex integration requirement with many endpoints and process areas. We lacked in-house integration expertise at a technical level and our immediate priority was to source an integration vendor that understood our complex integration needs. The solution had to be cost effective, easy to use and fast to implement. It was a requirement to be able to communicate using standard methods, for example XML and CSV, along with the different connectivity methods such as FTP and AS2. We also wanted to avoid massive infrastructure investments and support requirements that we would then need to manage,” adds Mancini.
Locally, Trebuchet was introduced to the Fusion Factory team through Avanade. “Avanade recommended Fusion Factory to demonstrate their integration expertise and the Flow Integration software—and that’s where our partnership was made,” says Mancini. “We had been working with Avanade for some time as our global MS Dynamics AX partner and we trusted their recommendation and knowledge,” Mancini explains. “Other compelling decision factors for Trebuchet were Fusion Factory’s costs and their ability to demonstrate taking clients to market—fast. Fusion Factory with Flow ticked all the boxes for what we were after. Time was of the essence and we had no time to waste,” added Mancini.
Seamless EDI Solution
“Much of the challenge for Trebuchet was actually around the significant number of message files that needed to be processed and the complexity of the business processes—more than the technical solution itself. There is a lot of logic to deal with particular situations coming in and out of Trebuchet,” said Craig Bennett, CTO for Fusion Factory.
Trebuchet defined the business processes and Fusion Factory implemented the corresponding message flows that allowed files to seamlessly pass between their clients, and numerous trading partners.
Trebuchet’s ERP system is MS Dynamics AX and is the key interaction point for integration. Fusion Factory configured the logic to translate various XML and flat file formats to the OAGIS format (Open Applications Group Integration Specification), the standard format that Trebuchet has agreed to use and is working with all its trading partners. “The Fusion Factory solution created a seamless integration between Trebuchet’s MS Dynamics AX instance and other parties’ systems, such as 3PL WMS systems, client ERP and partner software including a TMS (Transport Management System from Descartes) and BSM (BuySellMove – a global export & import control tower solution),” added Bennett.
“The solution, configuration and functionality met all our expectations,” said Mancini. “Our expectation was obviously to have a functioning solution, but also one that met all business requirements in message latency (time it takes for a message to be sent from one party to another), 24×7 stability, audit functionality, search functionality and especially the ability to trace logical groupings of messages—all the functionality within the Flow Integration software.”
Business Benefits for Trebuchet
“Fusion Factory’s superior integration expertise became increasingly evident in the implementation, especially where fast changes were vital to facilitate business processes that weren’t in our initial scope. The Fusion Factory team was always available and ensured any required changes were made in a timely and robust manner,” said Mancini.
One of the most significant benefits to Trebuchet is the ability to track, trace and audit the messages in the business process. “At the integration level we can view the data flows in real-time which allows corrections if required in a very short turnaround time,” Mancini explained.
“An unexpected benefit discovered through the implementation was the monitoring component within Flow, which we use to run checks and balances within our systems to make sure they’re continually up and running without any issues. Previously, we waited for an error to alert us—and then action. Now we actively use the monitoring tool, which highlights to us immediately if there is an issue,” explained Mancini. “An additional benefit with Flow is that we can perform searches, view code and make minor updates without having to engage a Fusion Factory developer, which is a huge benefit to us and saves considerable time and valuable IT spend in development,” said Mancini.
The Total Trebuchet Logistics Network Service Provider Model Delivers a Competitive Advantage
The Trebuchet client benefits are simple yet effective. The message standards that clients use don’t have to be changed when 3PLs switch over. “Our seamless network model allows our clients to take less ownership of significant aspects of their business. Companies do not need to be concerned about changes to any of the systems that Trebuchet connects,” explained Mancini.
Results Achieved Working with Fusion Factory
- Reduction of Trebuchet in-house resource time and costs by 30% associated with gathering of integration requirements.
- Reduction in manual labour for Trebuchet clients by 30% due to the combination of Fusion Factory and the Trebuchet Solution.
- Reduction across in-house development of configuration rules within MS Dynamics AX and partner systems by 80%. Flow handles the logic when integrating data from one system to another.
- Configuration changes to the integration process are built twice as fast within the Flow Integration software using Fusion Factory expertise compared with a competitor custom-built integration solution.
- Improved automated workflow for Trebuchet business processes working with Flow Integration software by up to 20%, reducing the amount of manual work required to manage the same processes.
Mancini also adds, “Whenever we have a scenario where we look at the challenge and how to solve it—our first action is to contact Fusion Factory to make the change—which can generally be completed within a couple of hours. Alternatively, if we had to go back through our clients, partners or vendors to make a change it would be up to a three-day build.”
Ready for the Future
“Any new client, application or trading partner that comes on board, we will deploy the Flow Integration software working with the team at Fusion Factory—it’s our only way to go. Our plan to expand with Fusion Factory will allow us to be less reliant on our clients and partners to provide us with information for testing. As a practical example, right now where we need to test a message going to our warehouse and transport partners we need our clients to key in a dummy order for us. There is functionality within Flow that can produce a message to mimic what our clients would need to send us. This significantly reduces the lead time and a lot of costs for us, as we need to request and a charged for their time,” concludes Mancini.
LOGISTICS NETWORK SERVICE PROVIDER
Trebuchet first launched in the Nordic countries in 2008. In 2012, Trebuchet partnered with an Australian global wine company in order to manage the company’s domestic, export and import end-to-end supply chain. Trebuchet as a logistics network service provider acts as an integrator between manufacturers, transport and warehouse companies managing the three essential flows between the parties; the physical flow of products, information flow and cash flow. Unlike the traditional 3PL model where manufacturers deal directly with the 3PL providers one to one—Trebuchet consolidates supply chains for multiple manufacturers and manages all the business processes, resources, and technologies allowing their clients to invest valuable resources on their core business. To learn more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 3 9916 7400.