– Case Study –

VISION EASE & SPS Commerce: A JD Edwards EDI Success Story

Vision Ease
  • Customer Type:
    Supplier
  • Industry:
    Optical Manufacturing
  • Headquarters:
    Ramsey, MN
  • SPS Product:
    Fulfillment
  • ERP:
    Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
  • Network Member Since:
    2009

Executive Summary

When a new CIO arrived at VISION EASE, he set a course for modernization. If the company continued to grow, the existing manual processes and patched together systems wouldn’t keep pace. One of his first decisions was to partner with SPS Commerce for its EDI operations with more than 600 trading partners. Today 75 percent of the company’s orders are processed electronically and managed by the EDI experts at SPS.

“We didn’t want to become experts at EDI and with SPS we don’t have to. We’ve worked with SPS for almost a decade and simply can’t imagine our company without their service,” commented Flo Kinzel, CIO at VISION EASE.

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The Challenge:

Modernize systems to provide scalability.

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The Solution:

SPS Fulfillment for EDI and customer onboarding.

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The Results:

Streamlined order management across 600+ trading partners; decreased manual entry by 50 percent.

EDI Wasn’t Our Specialty

VISION EASE is a global ophthalmic lens marketer and is a trusted partner to independent opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists, and retail chains throughout the world. When Flo Kinzel started as CIO at VISION EASE in 2018, he sought out to modernize systems and move the company forward with automation. His mission was to eliminate the “fix it when it breaks” mentality and to deploy full-service solutions that would minimize issues at the onset.

One of the first decisions the new CIO made was to outsource its EDI. “We had minimal EDI expertise and didn’t want to expand this skill set within the company.  Keeping up with mapping changes and onboarding new customers was a strain on our IT department,” said Kinzel. “We needed to be able to react quickly to changes from our trading partners but didn’t want to hire a devoted EDI team. The answer was to partner with a full-service EDI provider, SPS Commerce.”

SPS Commerce Fulfillment was chosen for its proven integration with JD Edwards ERP and its ability to take on all of the tasks associated with managing VISION EASE’s EDI, including mapping changes and daily monitoring. It was important to VISION EASE that changes to their EDI would impact their EDI solution but not their JD Edwards ERP system. “With SPS, we don’t need to change our internal interfaces or JD Edwards system when trading requirements change. It all happens in the cloud-based EDI solution,” commented Kinzel.

When VISION EASE signs with a new customer, they let the team at SPS Commerce know and leave it to them to set up the EDI connection. SPS reaches out to the customer, conducts any troubleshooting needed and completes the EDI testing on VISION EASE’s behalf. VISION EASE also relies on SPS to make all ongoing mapping changes on its behalf and keep the system running smoothly.

Transforming to Electronic Commerce

Manual entry is problematic, and this was the case at VISION EASE in 2009. “There were many issues resulting from data entry that made the automation of our inbound order process a critical step. Our goal was to have 75 percent of our orders received via EDI, FTP or data movement. Today we’ve achieved this goal with SPS,” said Kinzel.

VISION EASE’s retail customers range from single-store eyewear stores needing shipments of 1-2 lens to large retail chains whose orders go out by the truckload. Each customer has unique requirements, but the larger retailers were the most complex. “We aim to comply with the trading requirements of our customers, its simply good for business. Some are very specific about their EDI and leave no room for error. We rely on SPS to understand these guidelines and make sure we are in alignment,” said Kinzel.

“If we didn’t have SPS, we would need to hire at least two full-time staff to manage our EDI. As EDI isn’t our business, this wasn’t a consideration for VISION EASE.”
– Flo Kinzel, CIO, VISION EASE 

Smooth Operations

Today the full-service EDI solution from SPS manages more than 50,000 EDI transactions monthly. “The solution is reliable and the SPS team is very responsive, we don’t worry about EDI. We can simply take it for granted and know it’s working – because it is,” said Kinzel.

Since deploying the solution, VISION EASE has noticed an increase in customer satisfaction from retailers of all sizes. The company has cut its manual entry by almost 50 percent and minimized the involvement of their internal IT staff. “If we didn’t have SPS, we would need to hire at least two full-time staff to manage our EDI. As EDI isn’t our business, this wasn’t a consideration for VISION EASE,” said Kinzel.

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