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ISS Austria: digital supply chain for small companies

ISS Austria - Erich_Steinreiber and Harald_Denk l

New supplier portal by EDITEL gives small companies access to the digital supply chain

While Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is increasingly becoming the standard in goods procurement, many small companies lack the resources needed to fully integrate EDI into their systems. This is where EDITEL’s web-based portal solutions come in, the only prerequisite being Internet access: it allows even small suppliers to exchange purchase orders, despatch advices, and invoices with their clients in an easy, secure, and paperless process. A case in point is the supplier portal recently implemented by the EDI service provider EDITEL for ISS Austria, a facility management service provider.

Large companies with their own ERP system and integrated EDI solution are in a position to exchange data electronically with business partners in a swift and flexible process. Small companies are often unable to exchange business data automatically for technical or financial reasons – and yet structured, digital communication can also be made a reality with such partners. All it takes is a web-based supplier portal. “Supplier portals allow for the easy and cost-efficient integration of any business partner – whether EDI ready or not – into digital business processes,” explains Gerd Marlovits, CEO of EDITEL Austria. A solution like this has now been successfully implemented by EDITEL for “taste’njoy”, ISS Austria’s own brand for upscale employee catering.

The common language EDI connects and accelerates business processes

With “taste’njoy,” ISS Austria offers upscale employee catering at more than 20 locations throughout Austria. Last year, for instance, a total of 1.8 million meals were prepared directly on the clients’ premises. To make this happen, a lot of fresh and high-quality ingredients from selected suppliers are needed. These suppliers come from a wide variety of industries and have different IT environments. “The challenge for ISS was to find a common solution to communicate with all business partners in one digital language,” explains Erich Steinreiber, CEO of ISS Austria: “For our procurement of goods, we have been relying on an EDI solution by EDITEL which is directly integrated into our ERP system. This solution was introduced last year. We benefit from EDI and can exchange data with our business partners who already have an existing EDI connection in a swift, easy, and secure process. For all those suppliers for whom this is not possible for technical or financial reasons, mostly because they are small companies, we now use the supplier portal set up in collaboration with EDITEL,” Mr. Steinreiber said.

The right set-up pays off

For suppliers, using the web-based EDI portal is easy, but requires careful preparation. To ensure optimal usability for the client, all details that are relevant for handling business processes must be taken into account when setting up a supplier portal. User-friendliness is one of the priorities, as the portal must also be visually well designed and straightforward to allow for easy data entry. These specifications required ISS and EDITEL to work closely with suppliers during the implementation of the project. “From many years of experience, when implementing a supplier portal, we recommend analyzing the processes beforehand in detail and standardizing them, if possible. This will help avoid any glitches before they happen. These steps quickly pay off,” emphasizes Gerd Marlovits from EDITEL.

Practical test passed with flying colors – next steps coming up

Dozens of ISS Austria suppliers now successfully use the new supplier portal, benefiting from consistent communication via EDI in their daily business: article catalogs (PRICAT), orders (ORDERS), despatch advices (DESADV) and now also invoices (INVOIC) are exchanged in digital format only. “Our processes are much faster now because all paper handling and related manual entries are a thing of the past,” said Harald Denk, Head of Country IT at ISS Austria, in a first reaction. “We have achieved our goal of finding a simple and practicable solution, which all suppliers are happy to embrace. The system is up and running and works to the complete satisfaction of everybody involved, which is not least a result of the good collaboration with EDITEL. We were very much impressed by the expertise and flexibility of the entire team at EDITEL.”

The company plans to digitally connect with other business areas such as suppliers from the facility management sector, cleaning, building services, and security in the near future.

The press release „ISS Austria: new supplier portal by EDITEL gives small companies access to the digital supply chain“ and accompanying images are also available for download.

Symbolic image copyright ISS Österreich

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