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eLinkTM for Selling Organizations Case Study:

Customer: Large retailer with over 1,700 stores and an eCommerce site for consumers

Business Challenge: The customer wanted to expand its business‐to‐business (B2B) and business‐to‐ government (B2G) sales.  They have multiple existing customers that have implemented electronic procurement (e‐procurement) systems.  These customers are now requiring them to interface with their systems in order to continue to receive orders.  They also have many potential customers that have e‐procurement systems and require suppliers to interface with their systems in order to be eligible suppliers. The trend toward e‐procurement systems continues to gain momentum. Integration capabilities have become a prerequisite to effectively compete for the business of corporations, institutions (e.g. colleges, universities, hospitals, etc.), and even some government agencies.

To fully integrate with a customer’s e‐procurement system, roundtrip punchout or static catalog capabilities were required.  The customer needed to create a customized electronic catalog in a technological format that complied with the specifications of the system. There was also a need for ongoing maintenance of each customer catalog. To create these capabilities, they would need to engage teams from multiple functional areas, to include IT, Operations, Sales, and others. While they had the internal capability to perform these tasks,  it would be costly, slow, and inefficient, because it required resources that were focused on a long list of other important projects.

The APD Solution: APD developed a customized application of our solution for the customer, based upon our understanding of their needs.  APD’s system functions as an information translator and order management system to provide the Punchout Integration Solution:

  • APD creates customer specific electronic catalogs that fully integrate with the e‐procurement systems of the retailer’s customers on a round trip punchout basis.
  • APD accepts catalog content information and inventory status information from the customer in a format that is currently available and preferred by their company.
  • APD transmits purchase orders and payment information to them in a format that is currently available and preferred by their company.

By taking advantage of APD’s technological strengths in systems integration, program design, and order management, the retailer can immediately meet the technical requirements of its customers and significantly grow commercial sales in a way that is cost effective and profitable.


  • Able to implement immediately (30 days)
  • Grow B2B and B2G sales
  • Minimize use of internal IT resources
  • Realize significant efficiencies
  • Simplify ongoing maintenance
  • Support supplier diversity utilization

eLinkTM for Buying Organizations with Inventory Management Case Study:

Customer: One of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies

Business Challenge: The customer had multiple manufacturing facilities around the country, each with different procurement platforms and accounting systems.  The various systems are independent of each other and are not integrated.  Some of their specific challenges included:

  • Difficult to access inventory information
  • Too much inventory and other facilities order the same/similar items without knowledge of existing inventories in other locations
  • Inadequate staffing of store rooms
  • Lack of real-time inventory reporting per location
  • High inventory level of OEM and regular MRO supplies, resulting in overstocks
  • High exposure in inventory carrying costs
  • Lack of visibility of supply levels in each location
  • Too many suppliers
  • Lack of transparency in invoicing, as they needed to separate labor costs vs. material costs

This company wanted to improve consistency of their requisition and internal transfer processes, improve the mechanisms used to see real-time inventory across their facilities.  They decided that the best solution would be to outsource the problem and identify a “turn-key solution.”  The challenge for the customer was in finding, through the RFP process, one company that could provide a comprehensive integrated business solution.

The APD Solution: After reviewing the customer’s needs, APD identified several key business opportunities for improvement.  The ideal solution would be a hybrid of both the CAPSTM and eLinkTM offerings, whereby APD would:

  • Use CAPSTM to integrate legacy inventory system within the custom catalog platform
  • Provide real-time on-hand inventory status across all customer facility locations using eLinkTM, allowing them to check internal availability before purchasing new product from APD
  • Drive down inventory costs without sacrificing availability through our OEM Kitting Solution
  • Capture and analyze data on spending pattern to make recommendation for savings
  • Completely manage store rooms
  • Use APD’s broad product offering to allow the customer to reduce its number of suppliers
  • Create custom billing process to specifically meet their transparency needs