Data Gets In Sync At Scotts - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Data Gets In Sync At Scotts

Lawn-care-products manufacturer aims to have all 8,000 of its products listed in the UCCnet data pool.

The Scotts Co., known for its fertilizer, grass seed, plant food, and other lawn- and garden-care products, today will disclose it has standardized on Sterling Commerce Inc.'s Gentran Integration Suite to manage the growing amount of data exchanged with customers. This week, it will begin using the software in its testing of data synchronization with home-improvement retailer Lowe's.

The company's ultimate goal is to have all 8,000 of its products listed in the UCCnet data pool. UCCnet is a nonprofit unit of the Uniform Code Council standards organization, formed about six years ago to establish a global online product registry. Scotts initially will synchronize data with 500 items, says Lori Boyer, EDI coordinator at the supplier. Product data in Scotts' SAP platform is tied into UCCnet using Sterling's Gentran Integration Suite software. Whatever data changes are made in the supplier's internal system are uploaded and made to the information that resides in UCCnet's data pool.

The software supports numerous communication transport protocols for Internet B-to-B, Web services, EDI, business-process management, enterprise application integration, and enhanced file transfer. Using such protocols, Scotts now receives electronic notices for orders from customers and can transmit critical advanced ship notices, where the customer receives the information in minutes instead of hours. The company easily manages more than 5,000 business transactions per day globally from customers using numerous communication vehicles and data formats.

The company also must support a number of newer initiatives retailers are pushing, such as collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment and radio-frequency identification. Says Boyer, "We're looking at RFID down the road, but that wouldn't be until next year."

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